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Edwin Abbott

1838-1926. Educationist and religious writer. Distinguished student in classics and mathematics at Cambridge, he became fellow of St. John's and was ordained in 1862, was appointed headmaster of City of London School in 1865, and resigned in 1889 to devote himself to study and writing. Though chiefly remembered for his educational work, Abbott (a Broad Churchman) also wrote biographies of Francis Bacon, Cardinal Newman, and Thomas à Becket, books on textual criticism, and several religious romances. Reflecting learning, piety, and originality, his works still repay study. Philomythus (1891) is a superb psychological treatment of theological rationalizing, with Newman as the butt. His science-fiction novel Flatland (by A. Square, 1884) describes a two- dimension world into which the world of three dimensions impinges seemingly miraculously. Abbott suggests that miracles in our world may be incursions from a fourth dimension.