LMS and Waterstones Trafalgar Square presents: An evening of Mathematics and Literature: Sarah Hart in conversation with Rob Eastaway

Waterstones, The Grand Building, Trafalgar Sq, London WC2N 5EJ
Start date
Meeting Date
Sarah Hart, Rob Eastaway

Join us and Waterstones Trafalgar Square in welcoming Professor Sarah Hart and Rob Eastaway, celebrating the paperback launch of Sarah’s book Once Upon a Prime: The Wondrous Connections Between Mathematics and Literature! This is the first in a new series of events organised by the London Mathematical Society bringing maths ideas to a popular audience.

Sometimes mathematics and literature can be thought of as polar opposites. But what if, instead, they were fundamentally linked? In this insightful, laugh-out-loud funny book, Sarah shows us the myriad connections between maths and literature, and how understanding those connections can enhance our enjoyment of both.

'Did you know, for instance, that Moby-Dick is full of sophisticated geometry? That James Joyce’s stream-of-consciousness novels are deliberately checkered with mathematical references? That George Eliot was obsessed with statistics? That Jurassic Park is undergirded by fractal patterns? That Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie wrote mathematician characters?'

Once Upon a Prime is the ultimate celebration of reading. From sonnets to fairytales to experimental French literature, Sarah shows how maths and literature are complementary parts of the same quest, to understand human life and our place in the universe.

As the first woman to hold the prestigious Gresham Professorship of Geometry, Sarah is the ideal tour guide, taking us on an unforgettable journey through the books we thought we knew, revealing new layers of beauty and wonder. As she promises, you’re going to need a bigger bookcase!

The London Mathematical Society has, since 1865, been the UK’s learned society for the advancement, dissemination and promotion of mathematics. This is the first event in the London Mathematical Society (LMS)’s series of events celebrating new books that are transforming the way we see and speak about mathematics.

Sarah Hart is Emeritus Professor of Mathematics at Birkbeck College (University of London). Educated at Oxford and Manchester, Professor Hart is the 33rd person and first ever woman to hold the prestigious Gresham Professorship of Geometry, the oldest Mathematics Chair in the UK.

Rob Eastaway is an author, speaker and broadcaster. His books include the bestselling Maths On The Back Of An Envelope, Why Do Buses Come In Threes?, and most recently Much Ado About Numbers about Shakespeare and his mathematical life and times. Rob regularly appears on BBC Radio 4’s award-winning podcast ‘More or Less’.


To purchase a ticket, please visit the Waterstones website.

Members of the LMS get free entry to this event – just contact education@lms.ac.uk.