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Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions

by Edwin Abbott Abbott

The story takes place in a two-dimensional world called Flatland and explores the limitations of perception, social hierarchy, and the nature of reality. Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions is a satirical novella by the English schoolmaster Edwin Abbott Abbott, first published in 1884 by Seeley & Co. of London. Written pseudonymously by "A Square", the book used the fictional two-dimensional world of Flatland to comment on the hierarchy of Victorian culture, but the novella's more enduring contribution is its examination of dimensions. Men are portrayed as polygons whose social status is determined by their regularity and the number of their sides, with a Circle considered the "perfect" shape. On the other hand, women consist only of lines and are required by law to sound a "peace-cry" as they walk, lest they be mistaken face-to-face for a point. The Square evinces accounts of cases where women have accidentally or deliberately stabbed men to death, as evidence of the need for separate doors for women and men in buildings.

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Edwin Abbott Abbott image

Edwin Abbott Abbott was an English schoolmaster, theologian, and Anglican priest, best known as the author of the novella Flatland (1884). Abbott's best-known work is his 1884 novella Flatland: A Rom...

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