BAVS 2013: Numbering Numbers

In a memorable scene from Dickens’s Hard Times, Sissy Jupe recounts to Louisa Gradgrind her failure in her lessons to understand the ‘true’ meaning of numbers. She laments: ‘And [Mr M’Choakumchild] said, This schoolroom is an immense town, and in it there are a million of inhabitants, and only five-and-twenty are starved to death in the streets, in the course of a year. What is your remark on that proportion? And my remark was – for I couldn’t think of

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Bloggers Fair: Mark Blacklock’s ‘The Fairyland of Geometry’

All-too-infrequently updated, The Fairyland of Geometry is a blog on which I post material surrounding my PhD research into the late-nineteenth-century engagement with the idea of higher-dimensioned space. The thesis aims to understand and describe how this engagement altered the spatial imaginary of the period by examining the passage of the idea across disparate cultural terrains, departing from August Mobius’s 1827 paper on barycentric calculus, in which he tentatively speculated a fourth dimension of space as a useful idea in

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