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Abbott, Edwin A

Entry updated 20 June 2020. Tagged: Author.

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(1838-1926) UK clergyman, academic and author whose most noted work, published originally as by A Square, is Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions (1884; rev 1884) (see Dimensions). Narrated and illustrated by Mr Square, the novel falls into two parts. The first is a highly entertaining description of the two-dimensional world of Flatland, in which inhabitants' shapes establish their (planar) hierarchical status. In the second part, Mr Square travels in a dream to the one-dimensional universe of Lineland, whose inhabitants are unable to conceive of a two-dimensional universe; he is in turn visited from Spaceland by a three-dimensional visitor – named Sphere because he is spherical – whom Mr Square cleverly persuades to believe in four-dimensional worlds as well. Flatland is a study in Mathematics and Perception, and has remained popular since its first publication. [JC]

see also: Forgotten Futures; History of SF.

Edwin Abbott Abbott

born St Marylebone, Middlesex [now London]: 20 December 1838

died Hampstead, London: 12 October 1926

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