The first-ever annotated edition of the beloved classic, beautifully illustrated and brilliantly brought to life for a new generation of readers.. Flatland is a unique, delightful satire that has charmed readers for over a century. Published in 1884 by the English clergyman and head-master Edwin A. Abbott, it is the fanciful tale of A. Square, a two-dimensional being who is whisked away by a mysterious visitor to The Land of Three Dimensions, an experience that forever alters his worldview. By contemplating the notion of dimensions beyond their own, Abbott's Victorian readers were exposed to the then-radical idea of a fourth dimension-preparing them for Einstein's spectacular theories of relativity.Like the book itself, Ian Stewart's commentary takes readers on a strange and wonderful journey. With clarity and wit, Stewart illuminates Abbott's numerous Victorian references, weaves in little-known biographical information about Abbott and his intellectual circle-elucidating Abbott's remarkable connections to H. G. Wells and the mathematician George Boole-and traces the scientific evolution of geometric forms and dimensions. In addition, Stewart provides an extensive bibliography of Abbott's work and that of Charles Howard Hinton, whose wild but ingenious speculations about the fourth dimension undoubtedly inspired Abbott's fable. Touching on such diverse topics as ancient Babylon, Karl Marx, the Indian Mutiny of 1857, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, the Gregorian calendar, Mount Everest, and phrenology, Stewart makes fascinating connections between Flatland and Edwin A. Abbott's life and times. The result is a classic to rival Abbott's own, and a book that will inspire and delight curious readers for generations to come.