At first sight, the idea of ‘alternative history’ may seem ;like an oxymoron. After all, history is history, isn’t it? It’s a factually correct narrative about the past, so how can there be anything alternative about it?
his would be so if what we are taught about history were indeed ‘factually correct’ and we had full knowledge of everything that has occurred on our planet. Unfortunately, neither of these conditions is true. It’s a truism to say that the victors write the history books and thereby give us a very biased view of the past. Not only that, such records as we have are only partial: much has been lost to us through natuarl distasters, wars and the ravages of time itself.
Think, for example of how much better we would understand the history of the ancient world had the once-great library of Alexandria survived to our own day. any things which are for us a mystery (for example the pharaohs’ reasons for building the pyramids) might be might be explained in some book or papyrus. Nor would we have to make informed guesses about the chronology of the ancient it would all be there for us to read in black and white. On a more personal note, we would no doubt have a better understanding of how those pharaohs who mean little more to us than names, were perceived by people of their own times. We would no longer have to speculate on whether Tutankhamen was indeed a son of Akhenaten: there would be scripts giving his full family tree.