SCIENTIFIC ROMANCES: [FIRST SERIES]. London: Swan Sonnenschein, Lowrey & Co., 1886. Octavo, pp. [1-3] 4-229 [230: blank], original maroon cloth, front panel stamped in gold and ruled in blind, spine panel stamped in gold, t.e.g., brown coated endpapers. First edition, the rare first issue with cancel title leaf, earliest binding with no star on spine panel and publisher's monogram at bottom of same. A collection of five science essays and stories first published by Sonnenschein in as five separate paperbound booklets between 1884 and 1886 and subsequently collected in a single clothbound volume published in 1886. 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. Bleiler, Science-Fiction: The Early Years 1097. Locke, Voyages in Space (2011) V367. Stableford, Scientific Romance in Britain 1890-1950, pp. 5-6 and 137. Suvin, Victorian Science Fiction in the UK, p. 29. Bleiler (1978), p. 100. Reginald 07231. See Topp IX, pp. 98, 100, and 105. Cloth a trifle sunned and just a bit rubbed at head of spine panel and corner tips, a very good copy. (#90535).

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