Edwin Abbott Abbott
Edwin Abbott Abbott
|Born||20 December 1838|
|Died||12 October 1926(aged 87)|
|Education||City of London School
St John's College, Cambridge
|Parent(s)||Edwin & Jane Abbott|
He was educated at the City of London School and at St John's College, Cambridge, where he took the highest honours in classics, mathematics and theology, and became a fellow of his college. In particular, he was 1st Smith's prizeman in 1861. [This seems to be an error by Venn: Colby's preface to Abbott's Flatland states that Abbott was 7th Senior Optime, Senior Classic and 1st Chancellor's Medallist in 1861; William Steadman Aldis was 1st Smith's Prizeman in 1861.] In 1862 he took orders. After holding masterships at King Edward's School, Birmingham, he succeeded G. F. Mortimer as headmaster of the City of London School in 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. 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), where he tried to raise interest in Gospels reading, Onesimus (1882), and Silanus the Christian (1908).
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).
Abbott also wrote educational text books, one being "Via Latina: First Latin Book" which was published in 1898 and distributed around the world within the education system.
Abbott's best-known work is his 1884 novella Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions which describes a two-dimensional world and explores the nature of dimensions. It has often been categorized as science fiction although it could more precisely be called "mathematical fiction".
With the advent of modern science fiction from the 1950s to the present day, Flatland has seen a revival in popularity, especially among science fiction and cyberpunk fans. Many works have been inspired by the novella, including novel sequels and short films.
- Thorne and Collocott 1984, p. 2.
- "Abbott, Edwin Abbott (ABT857EA)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
- One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Abbott, Edwin Abbott". Encyclopædia Britannica 1 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 26.
- Clute and Nicholls 1995, p. 1.
- Harper 2010
- Clute, John; Nicholls, Peter (1995). The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. New York: St. Martin's Griffin. p. 1. ISBN 0-312-13486-X.
- Cooper, Thompson (1884). "Abbott, The Rev. Edwin Abbott". Men of the Time (eleventh ed.). London: George Routledge & Sons. pp. 1–2.
- Thorne, J.O.; T.C. Collocott (1984). Chambers Biographical Dictionary. Edinburgh: Chambers Harrap. ISBN 0-550-18022-2.
- Tuck, Donald H. (1974). The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy. Chicago: Advent. p. 1. ISBN 0-911682-27-9.
- Harper, Lila Marz (editor) (2010). Flatland. Peterborough, Ontario, Canada: Broadview. ISBN 978-1-55111-690-7.
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Edwin Abbott Abbott
- Portraits of Edwin Abbott at the National Portrait Gallery, London
- O'Connor, John J.; Robertson, Edmund F., "Edwin Abbott Abbott", MacTutor History of Mathematics archive, University of St Andrews.
- Works by Edwin Abbott Abbott at Project Gutenberg
- Works by or about Edwin Abbott Abbott at Internet Archive
- Works by Edwin Abbott Abbott at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
- Online text of Flatland
- Full text of A Shakespearian Grammar on the Tufts University Perseus Digital Library
- Thomas Banchoff collection of materials relating to Edwin Abbott Abbott at the Brown University John Hay Library
- Edwin Abbott Abbott at the Internet Movie Database
- Edwin Abbott Abbott at the Internet Book List
- Edwin Abbott Abbott at the Internet Book Database of Fiction
- Edwin Abbott Abbott at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
- Free audiobook narration of Flatland