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Flatland: a Romance of Many Dimensions [Hardcover]

Edwin Abbott Abbott
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
Price: £15.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

27 Feb 2012 1781390983 978-1781390986
Flatland is a fascinating nineteenth century work - an utterly unique combination of multi-plane geometry, social satire and whimsy. Although its original publication went largely unnoticed, the discoveries of later physicists brought it new recognition and respect, and its popularity since has justly never waned. It remains a charming and entertaining read, and a brilliant introduction to the concept of dimensions beyond those we can perceive. This is a reworking of the expanded 2nd edition of 1884, with particularly large, clear text, and all the original author's illustrations.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 164 pages
  • Publisher: Benediction Classics (27 Feb 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1781390983
  • ISBN-13: 978-1781390986
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 15 x 22.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 188,415 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"One of the most imaginative, delightful and, yes, touching works of mathematics, this slender 1884 book purports to be the memoir of A. Square, a citizen of an entirely two-dimensional world."--
The Washington Post Book World

"Flatland has remained of interest for over a century precisely because of its ability to engage its readers on so many different planes in so many different dimensions."--
Victorian Studies

"This reprint of Abbott's Flatland adventures contains an Introduction by Thomas Banchoff which is worth reading on its own. So if you don't have yet this book at home, go ahead and buy this edition."--
Zentralblatt MATH

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

What if there existed a world consisting of only two spatial dimensions? This mind-bending supposition is the jumping-off point for one of the literature's most celebrated oddities: the 1884 novella Flatland, one of the earliest instances of modern speculative fiction, and perhaps the only instance of mathematical satire.

In Flatland, a lowly square, whose polygonal betters exhibit more sides, discovers pathways to other worlds where, alas, thinking is as rigidly defined as in his own. Class structures, the position of women (who are but mere lines), and the stolidness of religious and political leaders are sent up with chilly aplomb.

Beloved by fans of science fiction, students of dimensional physics, and readers of Victorian literature, this belongs on the shelf of any serious home library. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Go on... ...give it a go... 10 Jan 2005
By A Customer
I urge you to read this insightful book. It's short and is very easy to read yet will give you a tangible way of contemplating further dimensions by reference to a society with only two (hence the title 'Flatland'). This [Dover Thrift Edition] could well be the best ever spend on a present for your head! The only negative for me is the book's portrayal of Women as straight lines with pointy ends(!), but you have to take into account that it was written by a Victorian Cleric and this part of the story presents an interesting aside in terms of a view of Victorian Society. Please don't get hung up on this point though - in every other way it is incredibly contemporary, accessible and stimulating to the mind. It is referenced by many leading popular science books and is superior to most (incredible considering its vintage). It certainly represents an essential addition to your bookshelf! I'm sure you won't be disappointed.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Open your mind 16 May 2004
By Mad Saint Uden VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Some science books make stuff seem complicated. Even more compliacted than it needs to be. This book, does not. This is an excellent example of a book being able to open your mind to wider possiblities by explaining stuff you already know about insticivly but have never put into words yourself. Although this book is not for the expert, it is ideal for someone just getting going or needing the chance to recap the basics.
It had me thinking for weeks.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Charming Yarn! 12 Oct 2002
By "talba"
That better understanding comes from simplicity is well known. But this axiom is taken to new heights here!
On the one level this is a cool and very amusing exposee of dimensionality. But on another far more fascinating level, it is a brilliant critique of humanity - of society and its norms and rules. How ridiculous our behaviour must look to beings eyeing us from a 4th dimension!
This book is not just intelligent, it is also funny!
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Flatland is THE must-read for anyone interested in getting a feel for higher dimensions. The book is extraordinarily readable and succeeds even with people that are afraid of mathematics. Abbott's charm lies in his ability to write simply and clearly about a topic that has its share of very unreachable, esoteric books. You fall into the story (whose plot is by no means secondary to the mathematical ideas), and before you know it you find yourself in contemplation of things like the fourth and fifth dimensions. The visual image that this book provides is a necessary step to envisioning and then understanding the idea of higher dimensions, even for those already versed in the mathematics of it. You never know, after you read this, you might even be willing to try your hand at things like Einstein's relativity. A little on the social aspects of the book: keep in mind that it was written in the very late 1800's. Hidden within the philosophical and mathematical ideas is a satire of the social climate of the times: how women, the military, the upper echelons of society, and just about everyone else were viewed. Flatland makes you think, and think deeply, on many different and sometimes unexpected levels.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Historical science? 5 Jun 2006
By N. Ball
This is a book that took complex ideas and presented them well at a time when the science was not widely understood. Written as a satire on the victorian society where the author lived it still chalenges some of our modern prejudices.

Consider also reading Flatterland by Ian Stewart, which brings the ideas into a modern context
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely not an allegorical 'Life of Christ' 18 July 2002
By A Customer
I think the hundreds of reviews preceding this one sum up the book pretty well, so I won't recap it all here. I just wanted to point out that the reviewer who thought that Flatland was a religious allegory, with the Sphere as Jesus has defintely missed the point - Sphere is one of a line (no pun intended) of all too fallible and very much human characters who we meet in the book, illustrating one of its sharpest ironic points (I just can't help myself now).
The first is the Point, utterly convinced, in the teeth of all the evidence, of the non-existence of everything but itself. Then we meet (in a dream) the King of Lineland, who prefers to believe that the Square is a mutant woman, rather than believe in a two-dimensional space (I promise I'm not making this up). Then we have A. Square, our narrator, who has to be forced to accept the reality of three dimensions by being forcibly removed from Flatland.
And, almost at the end of the book, the Sphere, who, until now has seemed to represent enlightened wisdom, shows his own flaws, by reacting angrily and petulantly to the suggestion of fourth, fifth or higher dimensions.
The Sphere is definitely not meant to be divine - he's just as limited in vision as all the other characters. I hardly think that a clergyman would be so unflattering about Jesus.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
This is an extraordinary book and once you read it you'll try to count how many points, lives, squares and cubes would a hypercube (tesseract) consist of.

The book is very thin and it can be comfortably read in one day. In order to introduce the reader to 2D world, author starts to describe the society, rules and manners of that world. Between the lines he thus provide a small criticism on our human society vy showing some issues from other point of view. When a sphere comes to preach the word about new dimension to Square, who is the narrator of the story, Square has huge problems of visualizing the third dimension, until he sees it on his own eyes.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Somewhat tedious and only for boffins interested in historical...
It seems a very long time ago since I purchased this product and to be honest I cannot say that it has stayed in the memory especially, but I don't recall any issues with it.
Published 1 month ago by Stuart King
4.0 out of 5 stars noce book
a bit difficult to read
Go to hell amazon with the stupid minimum word limit system that just makes reviewers angry that they cant say just what they want, lets fight against... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Martin Holeysovskı
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
It sounded a bit obscure, which is why I bought it, but it turns out not in a good way.
Published 8 months ago by Fiona Mathison
3.0 out of 5 stars Mentioned as a favourite of Isaac Asimov
For its clear definition of dimensions. Yackety yackety yack! Zzzzzzzzzzz. Now where was I before I fell asleep. Read more
Published 8 months ago by liloldmanhoo
1.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book - dreadful kindle edition
I shouldn't expect much for 38p but frankly the kindle edition is so poor that its unreadable.

The book itself is superb.
Published 9 months ago by A. Price
1.0 out of 5 stars Horrible edition
This edition is printed to order and is quite frankly not worth the paper it is printed on. The text is in the public domain, and a free PDF that you print off at work is likely to... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Mr James Thomson
5.0 out of 5 stars Brain fodder!
A fascinating way of visualizing dimensions other than our own through a civilization analogy. The only let down is the sexism that runs throughout, which although fits into the... Read more
Published 13 months ago by R. J. Neal
5.0 out of 5 stars Clever, instructive and entertaining
For sure this is one of the most ingenious books that I have ever read. Based in Flatland, it is the story of A. Square and of his visions of Spaceland, Lineland and Pointland. Read more
Published 15 months ago by M.I.
5.0 out of 5 stars Still a better love story than twilight
That's a misleading title, it's allot better story. I suspect allot of people where brought here by big bang theory, in which case I am sure that this will fulfil your expectations... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Arthur
5.0 out of 5 stars Good
Received in good time and very good condition. aaa aaa aaa aaa aaa aaa aaa aaa aaa aaa aaa aaa
Published 22 months ago by J. Veitch
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