Knowledge 6 (November 28, 1884), p. 449.
Reviews: Some Books on our Table. Flatland; a Romance of Many Dimensions
By A. Square (London: Seeley & Co, 1884.)
The jeu d'esprit whose title heads this notice is obviously the production of a follower of Lobatschewsky and Riemann -- his end seemingly being to familiarise his readers with the idea that it may, after all, be only the shape of the space accessible to our observation
which binds us down rigidly to the conception of its possession of three dimensions, and three only. The writer, whose universe is a plane, finds it utterly impossible to imagine the existence of thickness prior to his visit to this part of the cosmos, length and breadth being the only ones recognisable. He gets a certain amount of fun out of his description of ``Flatland,'' in which the lower classes (and soldiers) are isosceles triangles, the middle classes squares, the upper middle with a tendency to a pentagonal, or even hexagonal, forms, and the aristocracy
circles -- the female sex in all classes being practically only straight lines. Nor does terrestrial sociology escape numerous sly pokes in the descriptions of political and domestic life in ``Flatland.'' This daintily got-up work will afford any one (and, notably, the
mathematician) half-an-hour's amusing reading.