I’ve long been entertained by the notion that I exist in the wrong time, but I have no idea which time would be the right time. It’s not that I lack a fierce love of indoor plumbing or central heat/air. It’s not that I wish to have my inalienable rights, my education, or my independence ripped from me. Truly, I do appreciate modern sanitation and progressive equality. I love having a place in society as a person and not property. Yes, yes, admittedly, still being alive at my age does have certain binnies.
What if I could travel through time? What if I could find that right time? What if all I found was almost right? Paradoxes and hubris aside, I would totally monkey with history.
What if pivotal moments in history hadn’t happened the way they had? What if certain empires never existed? This is the reason I love alternate history novels. Talk about getting lost in a daydream. If I was remotely a fan of doing actual research and verifying facts, that would be my sweet-spot genre. A rough knowledge of the past, gobs of erroneously linked misinformation, and a shoddy memory make highly entertaining fodder for fantasy novels
-- wherein the names have been changed to disguise my ignorance. Sure, I like historical fiction. Nigel Tranter is one of my favorite authors. I like to take what I’ve learned from well written and well researched historical fiction and get lost in alternative history novels. I can spend days being led down paths of other people’s What Ifs. Those days translate into weeks of contemplating my own What Ifs.
- Moses hadn’t gone back to Egypt? Or instead of taking “his people” and leaving, he’d become Pharaoh?
- Themistocles hadn’t insisted on a strong Athenian navy? Would Darius have won the Battle of Marathon?
- The Vikings had stayed the first time they’d landed in North America?
- Alexandria hadn’t burned? Would the tomes in the Great Library reveal a very different history than the one we’ve pieced together?
- Cleopatra had spanked Octavian? Could the Roman Republic have recovered?
- The Huns had succeeded in taking over the Sassanid Empire?
- Suetonius hadn’t defeated Boudicca? Would the British Monarchy be a Matriarchy? How would the rules of inheritance change? Would a patriarchal religion ever have taken root?
- What if Constantine had embraced Buddhism over Christianity?
- Clovis hadn’t united the Franks?
- Napoleon had taken St. Petersburg? Would there have been a Bolshevik Revolution?
- What if the Industrial Revolution had been defeated by a Naturalists Revolution?
I could go on and on and on…
When I figure out the whole time-travel thing, I’ll naturally want it like a DVR. There’ll undoubtedly be a need for fast-forwarding through the mundane and the blah, blah, blah. Oh yes, rewind and pause too for the parts worth reliving.
If you could pick a historical event to change, which one would it be and how would it change?