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Edwin A. Abbott

Edwin Abbott Abbott (1838-1926) an English schoolmaster and theologian, is best known as the author of the mathematical satire and religious allegory Flatland (1884). Abbott was the eldest son of Edwin Abbott (1808-1882), headmaster of the Philological School, Marylebone, and his wife, Jane Abbott (1806-1882). His parents were first cousins.


Flatland: Hard work, but immensely rewarding

Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions by Edwin A. Abbott

Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions, published in 1884, is Edwin A. Abbott’s social satire and Christian apologetic. As a Cambridge mathematician, theologian, and schoolmaster, Abbott had a lot to say about his Victorian society and about being open-minded to the supernatural. He does this from the point of view of a humble square that lives in Flatland, a world of only two dimensions.

For the first half of the book (“This World”), the square explains the demography of Flatland, all the while offering hilarious social satire. He begins at the lowest social stratum (women, who are straight lines) and ends with the king, who has so many sides that he’s indistinguishable from a circle. Low-class men, such as soldiers, are isosceles triangles with sharp acute angles. Since the brain is the size of the smallest angle, these men are stupid, bu... Read More