Flatland is a unique, delightful satire that has charmed readers for over a century. Published in 1884 by the English clergyman and headmaster Edwin A. Abbott, it is the fanciful tale of A. Square, a two-dimensional being who is whisked away by a mysterious visitor to The Land of Three Dimensions, an experience that forever alters his worldview.
Like the original, Ian Stewart's commentary takes readers on a strange and wonderful journey. With clarity and wit, Stewart illuminates Abbott's numerous Victorian references and touches on such diverse topics as ancient Babylon, Karl Marx, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Mt. Everest, H.G. Wells, and phrenology. The Annotated Flatland makes fascinating connections between Flatland and Abbott's era, resulting in a classic to rival Abbott's own, and a book that will inspire and delight curious readers for generations to come.
In The Annotated Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions, Ian Stewart (Does God Play Dice?) introduces and explains Edwin A. Abbott's 1884 math-geek classic. Stewart, a mathematics professor at Britain's University of Warwick, discusses Abbott's milieu and friends (including George Eliot and H.G. Wells), Victorian literary conventions (e.g., his protagonist gains understanding of the three-dimensional world in a dream), the low social status of Flatlandian women, Abbott's class and political affiliations, and a host of other entertaining and enlightening tidbits. Photos and illus. ( Dec.)