The Sirdar's Chess-Board
Mrs E W Latimer
Short Fiction, Travelogue
Mathematics, Gender, Amusement, Mesmerism
The female narrator, Sophy Effingham, follows her military husband to central Afghanistan, and whilst there she amazes the Sirdar and his attendants by her ability to cut a chess-board of sixty-four squares 'with three snips of my scissors, in place of eight times eight squares' so that it 'lay before the Sirdar five times thirteen, sixty-five squares in all' [accompanying diagrams show how the geometric feat might be achieved] (369). Later, when the Sirdar laughs, she reflects that 'a mesmeric perception of his thought flashed into me like a stroke of electricity' (370).
© Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Project, Universities of Leeds and Sheffield, 2005 - 2020
Printed from Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical: An Electronic Index, v. 4.0, The Digital Humanities Institute <http://www.sciper.org> [accessed ]