Flatland by Edwin Abbott
Trade paperback format. Introduction by Alan Lightman.
A “romance in many dimensions” that has fascinated generations of readers with its clever blend of social satire and mathematical theory
A Penguin Classic
A work that continues to pose provocative questions about perception and reality, Flatland is a brilliant parody of Victorian society where all existence is limited to length and breadth—its inhabitants unable even to imagine a third dimension. The amiable narrator, A Square, provides an overview of this fantastic world—its physics and metaphysics, its history, customs and religious beliefs.
But when a strange visitor mysteriously appears and transports the incredulous Flatlander to the Land of Three Dimensions, his world view is forever shattered. Written more than a century ago, Flatland conceals within its brilliant parody of Victorian society speculations about the universe that resonate in Einstein’s theory of relativity as well as the current “string-theory” of nature.
“At once a classic of science fiction, a playful brainteaser about geometry, a pointed satire of Victorian manners—and, finally, a strangely compelling argument about reason, faith, and the greatest mysteries of the universe.” —The Wall Street Journal