SCIENTIFIC ROMANCES ... SECOND SERIES. Hinton.

SCIENTIFIC ROMANCES ... SECOND SERIES. London: Swan Sonnenschein & Co., Limd., 1896. Octavo, pp. [1-2] 3-22; 27-44; 1-177 [178: ads] [note: text complete despite gap in pagination], original maroon cloth, front panel stamped in gold and ruled in blind, spine panel stamped in gold. First edition, first issue or printing. A collection of two science essays ("The Education of the Imagination" and "Many Dimensions") both published separately in paper wrappers by Swan Sonnenschein, Lowrey & Co. in 1888, and two short novels ("Stella" and "An Unfinished Communication") first published by Swan Sonnenschein & Co. in 1896. C. H. Hinton was concerned with finding ways of expanding the mind beyond the confines it had been taught to accept as final. His interest in the fourth dimension was the outcome of this search. In the famous analogy, pioneered by Hinton himself in A PLANE WORLD (1886) and by Edwin A. Abbott in FLATLAND (1884), a being of two dimensions would not be able to perceive a three dimensional object, such as a cube, and would perceive it in two dimensions only, as a square. In the same way, a man is not able to perceive any four dimensional objects, and if any are encountered, he explains them in terms of the familiar three dimensions. Hinton's fate was to be the inspiration for other men. His SCIENTIFIC ROMANCES provided ideas that may have influenced the early work of H. G. Wells and his speculations on multi-dimensionality inspired the more famous speculations of P. D. Ouspensky. See Rudy Rucker, "Life in the Fourth Dimension: C. H. Hinton and His Scientific Romances," Foundation 18 (January 1980), 12-18. Anatomy of Wonder (1981) 1-98 and (2004) II-530. Barron (ed), Fantasy Literature 280. Bleiler, Science-Fiction: The Early Years 1099. Clareson, Science Fiction in America, 1870s-1930s 421. Suvin, Victorian Science Fiction in the UK, p. 61. Bleiler (1978), p. 100. Reginald 07232. See Topp IX, p. 111. Cloth rubbed at spine ends and corners, scratch to front panel, a bright, very good copy. The correct first printing of this book is very scarce. (#138263).

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