Tag Archives: speculative history

“WHAT IF?” NOVELS AND SHORT TAKES: FROM 1907 ONWARD

With so many recent contemplations of potential alternate histories if various events had turned out differently, here are a few older examples from that burgeoning subgenre.

waterlooWHAT IF NAPOLEON HAD WON AT WATERLOO? (June 16th 1815) – In 1907 G.M. Trevelyan penned an essay on this topic. In Trevelyan’s take, Napoleon had been chastened by his temporary exile to Elba before escaping and regaining control of France.

Bonaparte’s health was failing badly. In fact, his erratic behavior during his ill-considered invasion of Russia has been attributed to a possible stroke in some theories. Feeling limited in his ability to once again lead armies of conquest to rebuild his continent-spanning empire, Napoleon decided to master diplomacy the way he had previously mastered warfare.

Dealing from his position of strength following his victory at Waterloo in this alternate timeline, the Emperor was astonishingly lenient in dealing with his defeated enemies. He imposed no harsh conditions on their surrender and ultimately emerged with his empire extending to the Rhine and with French hegemony of the Italian Peninsula recognized. Continue reading

9 Comments

Filed under Ancient Science Fiction