a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Kavanagh (1849)
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

In the fourth chapter of this novel by the famous poet, the school teacher of the title tries to convince his skeptical wife that mathematics can be poetic by reading to her from Lilavati.

(This one chapter was published separately as Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine, 3 (1855), pages 257—62, and so I will consider it both as a short story and as an excerpt from a novel.)

More information about this work can be found at
(Note: This is just one work of mathematical fiction from the list. To see the entire list or to see more works of mathematical fiction, return to the Homepage.)

Works Similar to Kavanagh
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Geometry in the South Pacific by Sylvia Warner
  2. Maths on a Plane by P T
  3. The Gold-Bug by Edgar Allan Poe
  4. Mortal Immortal by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
  5. The Franklin's Tale (in The Canterbury Tales) by Geoffrey Chaucer
  6. Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
  7. Micromegas by Fran├žois Marie Arouet de Voltaire
  8. Young Archimedes by Aldous Huxley
  9. The Balloon Hoax by Edgar Allan Poe
  10. The Purloined Letter by Edgar Allan Poe
Ratings for Kavanagh:
RatingsHave you seen/read this work of mathematical fiction? Then click here to enter your own votes on its mathematical content and literary quality or send me comments to post on this Webpage.
Mathematical Content:
4/5 (1 votes)
Literary Quality:
2/5 (1 votes)

MotifRomance, Math Education,
MediumNovels, Short Stories, Available Free Online,

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Exciting News: The 1,600th entry was recently added to this database of mathematical fiction! Also, for those of you interested in non-fictional math books let me (shamelessly) plug the recent release of the second edition of my soliton theory textbook.

(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)