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Mazes and Labyrinths

12 13 By the nineteenth century the process of separation between the physical sciences and the metaphysical sciences was nearly complete in the west. Thus, instead of a path being simply something to follow in order to experience certain things in a certain order and so reach the centre, the route became confusing, and full of traps and pitfalls. Despite this, as we have just seen, many early mazes could still be reduced to labyrinths and solved by the ingenious hand on wall method. The example shown opposite, however, cannot be solved in such a way. One of three innovative mazes designed by the Earl of Stanhope in the 1820s, it survives today at Chevening in Kent. A renowned mathematician, Stanhope realised that if elements of the design were isolated as islands, and not secured to the outer perimeter, then popular mazesolving tricks like the hand on wall would not give the solution try it. Stanhope also spotted that the Hampton Court maze, dating back to 1690 see page 6, was actually the first example of this principle. This fiendish new development made the centre even harder to discover and increased the number of people who could not find it. CHEvENiNg lost islands
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