Sunday, September 19, 2010
An Alternate History of Britain
An Alternate History of Britain is a three volume saga written by Simon Schama, and released in the late 1990s. The three books were wrapped in controversy in parts of the world, yet hailed by anti-imperialist as well. It was a hugely success in Britain and the British Commonwealth. The alternate history is based on the premise of what if the United Kingdom, rather than the United Provinces, ruled the world’s oceans. The story begins with the earliest evidence of settlements in the British Isles and works its way to the modern days. The main point of divergence in this alternate history is not British, but rather Dutch; in the form of the Provinces being divided by religion. This lead to an overall weaker Dutch navy which lead to an inevitable rise of British naval forces. The very idea of the United Provinces being divided into north and south along Catholic and Protestant lines is laughable indeed, and brought much scorn from critics in the Dutch Commonwealth. Worst criticism came from the Slavic citizens of Sweden, who balked at the idea of living in a Communist state ruled by a Georgian despot during World War II. The Swedes were not fans of the books for they reduced their mighty kingdom into a Nordic do-nothing neutrality. Jewish communities were disturbed by the book, for it made them targets of the Nazi butchers instead of Balkan Slavs. The biggest critics of the book were the Germans themselves. So bad was it, that the book is actually banned in the German Empire. They were offended not only by the deposition of the Kaiser, but the fact that Schama turned the Germans into a weak and gutless people by the start of the 21st Century.