Curiosa Mathematica. Part I: A New Theory of Parallels.

By Charles Dodgson.

London: Macmillan and Co., 1895.

 

This is Lewis Carroll’s personal copy of the 4th edition of his Curiosa Mathematica, Part 1. A serious, and non-recreational exercise in pure mathematics, it was published under his given name. Carroll presents his ideas on Euclid’s parallel axiom, which have continued to evolve since the first edition of this volume was published in 1888. As Professor Francine Abeles has written: “Here we meet Dodgson’s equivalent and unusual closed form of the Euclidean parallel postulate—one that does not involve lines and their “behavior” at infinity, which he claimed was unknowable.” Reviewers may not have agreed with all of Carroll’s axioms, but they found the book “witty and ingenious” and “replete with both interest and amusement.”

 

Exhibit item 6.2