Flatland: An Edition with Notes and Commentary

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-11-27
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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Flatland, Edwin Abbott's story of a two-dimensional universe, as told by one of its inhabitants who is introduced to the mysteries of three-dimensional space, has enjoyed an enduring popularity from the time of its publication in 1884. This fully annotated edition enables the modern-day reader to understand and appreciate the many 'dimensions' of this classic satire. Mathematical notes and illustrations enhance the usefulness of Flatland as an elementary introduction to higher-dimensional geometry. Historical notes show connections to late-Victorian England and to classical Greece. Citations from Abbott's other writings as well as the works of Plato and Aristotle serve to interpret the text. Commentary on language and literary style includes numerous definitions of obscure words. An appendix gives a comprehensive account of the life and work of Flatland's remarkable author.

Author Biography

William F. Lindgren is a professor of mathematics at Slippery Rock University. He is the coauthor of Quasi-Uniform Spaces (with Peter Fletcher). Thomas F. Banchoff is a professor of mathematics at Brown University. He is the author of Beyond the Third Dimension, Linear Algebra through Geometry (with John Wermer), and an introduction to a new edition of Henry P. Manning's The Fourth Dimension Simply Explained.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Introductionp. 1
Flatland with Notes and Commentaryp. 8
This World
Of the Nature of Flatlandp. 16
Of the Climate and Houses in Flatlandp. 20
Concerning the Inhabitants of Flatlandp. 26
Concerning the Womenp. 34
Of our Methods of Recognizing one anotherp. 44
Of Recognition by Sightp. 54
Concerning Irregular Figuresp. 66
Of the Ancient Practice of Paintingp. 74
Of the Universal Colour Billp. 80
Of the Suppression of the Chromatic Sedationp. 88
Concerning our Priestsp. 96
Of the Doctrine of our Priestsp. 102
Other Worlds
How I had a Vision of Linelandp. 116
How in my Vision I endeavoured to explain the nature of Flatland, but could notp. 126
Concerning a Stranger from Spacelandp. 138
How the Stranger vainly endeavoured to reveal to me in words the mysteries of Spacelandp. 146
How the Sphere, having in vain tried words, resorted to deedsp. 164
How I came to Spaceland, and what I saw therep. 170
How, though the Sphere showed me other mysteries of Spaceland, I still desired more; and what came of itp. 180
How the Sphere encouraged me in a Visionp. 196
How I tried to teach the Theory of Three Dimensions to my Grandson, and with what successp. 204
How I then tried to diffuse the Theory of Three Dimensions by other means, and of the resultp. 210
Epilogue by the Editorp. 220
Continued Notesp. 228
Critical Reaction to Flatlandp. 233
The Life and Work of Edwin Abbott Abbottp. 239
Recommended Readingp. 267
Referencesp. 269
Index of Defined Wordsp. 277
Indexp. 280
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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