This is one of many Victorian novels about romance, gender and class, but it has aged well. Among the several relationships it considers is one between a mathematician, the author of "A Treatise on Trilinear Co-ordinates", and a woman he has waited 17 years to marry. Although the purpose of its inclusion in the book is probably to emphasize the effect that marriage has on men and women, it also serves to illustrate the stereotype of the mathematician. Although he normally would work on mathematics simply for his love of the subject, marriage has him formulating a plan to make money from selling a whole series of such books. His marriage to a school teacher who brags about how little she knows of mathematics helps to rid him of some of his less acceptable habits. There is also discussion of how his love of math and science affects his belief and interest in religion.
The mathematical aspects make up only a tiny proportion of the book, and so it is not really worth reading if this is your only interest. But, if the perception of gender roles in the 19th century interests you, you may be interested in reading this book which is now available free online. |