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If It Had Happened Otherwise by J. C. Squire

If It Had Happened Otherwise (1931)

by J. C. Squire (Editor)

Other authors: Hilaire Belloc (Contributor), G. K. Chesterton (Contributor), Winston Churchill (Contributor), H. A. L. Fisher (Contributor), Philip Guedalla (Contributor)10 more, Ronald Knox (Contributor), Hendrik Willem Van Loon (Contributor), Emil Ludwig (Contributor), André Maurois (Contributor), Harold Nicolson (Contributor), Charles Petrie (Contributor), Sir John Collings Squire (Contributor), A. J. P. Taylor (Contributor), Milton Waldman (Contributor), Sir John Wheeler Wheeler-Bennett (Introduction)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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One of the first academic anthologies of alternate history. Here all the essays are by noted historians or literary writers.

Frankly, when I read this book 25 years ago, I knew a lot less history so some of these pieces were lost on me, and I haven't re-read them since.

I remember the following essays fondly: "If the Moors in Spain Had Won" by Philip Guedalla, "If Louis XVI Had Had an Atom of Firmness" by Andre Maurois has the French Revolution defused by the King retaining minister Turgot, "If Drouet's Cart Had Stuck" by Hillaire Belloc postulates the the same king successfully escaping to England, "If Napoleon Had Escaped to America" by H. A. L Fisher has Napoleon assuming the role of Bolivar in Latin America (more of a satire on Napoleon than an effective alternate history), Winston Churchill's twist on the alternate history -- "If Lee Had Not Won the Battle of Gettysburg", "If Booth Had Missed Lincoln" from Milton Waldman produces a very different reputation for Lincoln than an American martyr, "If the Emperor Frederick Had Not Had Cancer" by Emil Ludwig has WWI avoided, and "If Archduke Ferdinand Had Not Loved His Wife" by A. J. P. Taylor looks at four reasons for WWI.

Less successful for me -- either because of my ignorance or their own qualities -- were G. K. Chesterton's "If Don John of Austria Had Married Mary Queen of Scots" is less an alternate history than an edifying Christian tale of love and an idealization of Catholic rule in England, "If Byron Had Become King of Greece" by Harold Nicolson, "If It Had Been Discovered in 1930 That Bacon Really Did Write Shakespeare" by John Squire is interesting but narrowly focused, Ronald Knox's "If the General Strike Had Succeeded", both Charles Petrie's "If: A Jacobite Fantasy" and G. M. Trevelyan's "If Napoleon Had Won the Battle of Waterloo" are rather dull. ( )
1 vote RandyStafford | May 5, 2012 |
633. If or History Rewritten, by Philip Guedalla, G.K. Chesterton, Hendrik Willem Van Loon, Andre Maurois, Hilaire Belloc, H. A. L. Fisher, Harold Nicolson, Winston Churchill, Milton Waldman, and Emil Ludwig - Edited by J. C. Squire (read 12 Nov 1960) In 1931 the people who contributed to this book were big figures in the world and I read their contributions with interest. I found some of the contributions of much interest. ( )
  Schmerguls | Dec 4, 2011 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Squire, J. C.Editorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Belloc, HilaireContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Chesterton, G. K.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Churchill, WinstonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fisher, H. A. L.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Guedalla, PhilipContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Knox, RonaldContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Loon, Hendrik Willem VanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ludwig, EmilContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Maurois, AndréContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Nicolson, HaroldContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Petrie, CharlesContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Squire, Sir John CollingsContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Taylor, A. J. P.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Waldman, MiltonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wheeler-Bennett, Sir John WheelerIntroductionsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brumm, WalterTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jeschke, WolfgangIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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