This etext was scanned from a copy of the first edition (third state) of An Episode of Flatland by Charles Hinton (1853-1907), and is believed to be the first on-line version of the complete work. To the best of my knowledge and belief this work is out of copyright world-wide. See The Forgotten Futures web site for more etexts based on out-of-copyright books, stories, and articles by a variety of authors. —Marcus L. Rowland (September 2007)
WITH WHICH IS BOUND UP
TO WHICH IS ADDED
C. H. HINTON.
SWAN SONNENSCHEIN & CO., LIMD.,
25, HIGH STREET, BLOOMSBURY.
AN objection is often made to the very word Flatland, and the term plane being—as if the existence of such a region and so circumstanced a people were impossible.
All such doubts find a ready solution in the Introduction to this narrative, in which is given a profound analysis of the structure of the people, the physical geography of the region, and a historical sketch of earlier events.
In dealing with the Episode which forms the subject of the story however, a different plan has been taken, a different method pursued.
The attempt has been made to let the physical differences and the extreme limitations of the people fall into the background, so that with the kind of perception which recognises a nature akin to his own, the reader may pass to a comprehension of the situation through the feelings, acts, ideas and struggles of the actors themselves.
It is enough for the reader to remember, that at the time the narrative opens the inhabitants of Astria—these flatlanders, these Unæans—had arrived at a state of civilization which, though mechanically inferior to ours, yet in respect to the organization of the State, the conduct of business, the unequal distribution of wealth, and the charm of society, was not so very much unlike our own condition.
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