First published in 1884, "Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions" is English schoolmaster Edwin Abbott's classic work of science fiction. With the use of a geometric theme, Abbott weaves the fascinating tale of "A Square", an inhabitant of "Flatland", a two-dimensional world where women are portrayed as simple line-segments and men are represented as polygons whose social status is determined by the number and regularity of their sides. Through this device Abbott satirizes the seemingly arbitrary hierarchy of the Victorian era. In addition to a brilliant work of satire "Flatland" is a thought-provoking examination of the bounds of physical space. On the eve of the third millennium "A Square" dreams of a one-dimensional world, "Lineland", that is inhabited by "lustrous points". Subsequently he is visited by "A Sphere", an inhabitant of a three-dimensional world called "Spaceland", which he fails to comprehend until he sees it for himself. Having his mind opened to the existence of other dimensions "A Square" posits the theoretical possibility of the existence of four, five, and six dimensional worlds, an idea which gets him thrown out of "Spaceland" in disgrace. One of the most original pieces of literature ever written, "Flatland" is a witty and satirical adventure that explores the very nature of physical reality itself.
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- Preface to the Second and Revised edition, 1884.
- Part I. This World
- § 1. Of the Nature of Flatland.
- § 2. Of the Climate and Houses in Flatland.
- § 3. Concerning the Inhabitants of Flatland.
- § 4. Concerning the Women.
- § 5. Of our Methods of Recognizing one another.
- § 6.Of Recognition by Sight.
- § 7. Concerning Irregular Figures.
- § 8. Of the Ancient Practice of Painting.
- § 9. Of the Universal Colour Bill.
- § 10. Of the Suppression of the Chromatic Sedition.
- § 11. Concerning our Priests.
- § 12. Of the Doctrine of our Priests.
- Part II. Other Worlds
- § 13. How I had a Vision of Lineland.
- § 14. How I vainly tried to explain the nature of Flatland.
- § 15. Concerning a Stranger from Spaceland.
- § 16. How the Stranger vainly endeavoured to reveal to me in words the mysteries of Spaceland.
- § 17. How the Sphere, having in vain tried words, resorted to deeds.
- § 18. How I came to Spaceland, and what I saw there.
- § 19. How, though the Sphere shewed me other mysteries of Spaceland, I still desire more
- and what came of it.
- § 20. How the Sphere encouraged me in a Vision.
- § 21. How I tried to teach the Theory of Three Dimensions to my Grandson, and with what success.
- § 22. How I then tried to diffuse the Theory of Three Dimensions by other means, and of the result.