- Edwin Abbott Abbott
Edwin Abbott Abbott (
December 20, 1838– October 12, 1926), English schoolmasterand theologian, is best known as the author of the mathematical satireand 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.
He was educated at the
City of London Schooland at St John's College, Cambridge, where he took the highest honours in classics, mathematicsand theology, and became fellowof his college. In 1862 he took orders. After holding masterships at King Edward's School, Birmingham, and at Clifton College, he succeeded G. F. Mortimeras headmaster of the City of London Schoolin 1865 at the early age of twenty-six. Here he oversaw the education of future Prime Minister H. H. Asquith. He was Hulsean lecturer in 1876.
He retired in 1889, and devoted himself to literary and theological pursuits. Dr. Abbott's liberal inclinations in theology were prominent both in his educational views and in his books. His "
Shakespearian Grammar" (1870) is a permanent contribution to English philology. In 1885 he published a life of Francis Bacon. His theological writings include three anonymously published religious romances - " Philochristus" (1878), " Onesimus" (1882), and " Sitanus" (1906).
More weighty contributions are the anonymous theological discussion "The Kernel and the Husk" (1886), "Philomythus" (1891), his book "The Anglican Career of Cardinal Newman" (1892), and his article "The Gospels" in the ninth edition of the "
Encyclopædia Britannica", embodying a critical view which caused considerable stir in the English theological world. He also wrote "St Thomas of Canterbury, his Death and Miracles" (1898), "Johannine Vocabulary" (1905), "Johannine Grammar" (1906). " Flatland" was published in 1884.
With the advent of modern science fiction from the 1950s to present day, Abbott's "
Flatland" has seen a revival in popularity, especially among science fictionand cyberpunkfans. While not, strictly speaking, science fiction (it could more accurately be called "math fiction"), "Flatland" has often been categorized as such. Many works have have been inspired by the novella, including novel sequels, short films, and a feature film called [http://www.FlatlandTheFilm.com Flatland] .
Dictionary of National Biography.
*cite book | last=Tuck | first=Donald H. | authorlink=Donald H. Tuck | title=The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy | location=Chicago | publisher=Advent | pages=1 | date=1974
*gutenberg author|id=Edwin_Abbott_Abbott|name=Edwin Abbott Abbott
* [http://www.eldritchpress.org/eaa/FL.HTM Online text of Flatland]
*iblist name|id=359|name=Edwin Abbott Abbott
*ibdof name|id=497|name=Edwin Abbott Abbott
*isfdb name|id=Edwin_A._Abbott|name=Edwin Abbott Abbott
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