"Fight and be Right"

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by EdT, Jun 1, 2008.

  1. V-J Not a Donor

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    Mmmm.

    It's interesting here that Socialism appears to be seriously marginalised, which again gives some indication of what's to come. It appears to be that the way in which left-wing opinion is kept down is coercive by this stage, but it could begin with at least one of the main parties stealing the clothes of the left at some point - I think it's not altogether unlikely that the Liberal-Conservatives may be very pally with nascent Trades Unionism, for instance. (As the Liberals historically should have been but weren't really.) A centre/left 'big tent' could lead to the Socialist left, when it eventually does emerge, being a quite radical one, but shorn of the industrial side - a sort of sub-middle class Hyndmanesque (Please include him at some point!) SDF affair.

    But that, as you say, is just speculation. :)

    Yeah. I was assuming that he would still marry Mary of Teck, but considering the POD, that's by no means assured is it?

    More, more.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2008
  2. DAv Middle Class... sorry

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    I forgot to ask in my last post but will you be doing a revamp or update of your 'Shot Heard Around the World' TL anytime soon Ed?
     
  3. EdT Member

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    All plausible speculation. Events will lead to a very different *Labour Party ITTL; I shan't say how exactly, but rest assured Henry Hyndman will definitely have a mjaor role! (And a more prominent one the OTL, for that matter)

    Quite. :p

    Indeed not. There's quite a pool of eligable young brides for Eddy to marry- assuming he lasts that long, that is...


    Next part will come tomorrow!


    To be honest I don't think I will be- not anytime soon at least. ASHATW Mk2 was one of the things I was tempted to do instead of this project, and to be honest when I went through it I couldn't sum up any enthusiasm whatsoever to rework it. I am revamping my website however, so it will appear there in a slightly spruced-up form.
     
  4. EdT Member

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    Fascinating, I'll have to have a read...


    This may be my post FaBR project actually- I'm thinking of it as being something altogether shorter and less epic, but still quite fun.
     
  5. maverick Banned

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    Please do...and comment! even on the crazy implausible parts about British Politics in the 1980s that don't seem to make much sense but that do when I provide half-assed explainations...:p




    Oh, the good news keep piling up!:) I would have loved to see a more realistic thought-out, Improved ASHATW, since it was the first TL I read, but I think that you should leave it as it is, it doesn't excite you and by leaving it as it is you can appreciate the progress you've made in your writing...
     
  6. EdT Member

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    Chapter 1

    “The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you can see.”
    __________________________________________________________


    (Taken from “Perpetual Bridesmaid: The life of Albert Edward, Prince of Wales” Star Press, 1979)

    “In the summer of 1876 the Prince of Wales had a narrow escape from suffering immense embarrassment. One of the Prince’s companions in India had been the Earl of Aylesford; in his absence, the Countess had assuaged her lovesickness by courting the Marquess of Blandford. Unfortunately for all concerned the affair was discovered, and an angry Earl threatened divorce proceedings. The Prince shared his friend’s anger; he publically supported the Earl, and rashly suggested that the Marquess should divorce his own wife and marry the Countess.

    The remark turned a merely unfortunate situation into a potentially dangerous one for the Prince. In the past his own interest in the Countess of Aylesford has not been strictly platonic; his former paramour had kept a series of incriminating letters that he had written to her and promptly gave them to the Marquess. Blandford realised that the threat of the letters being published gave him a massive bargaining chip. He privately said as much to anyone who could listen, but one day when he came to show them to his brother, the rising politician Lord Randolph Churchill, the documents were nowhere to be found. At the time, it was widely assumed by those that knew of the case that the letters were a figment of the Marquess’ imagination; In fact Blandford had carelessly left the letters on his table and they had been tidied by a maid, becoming confused with a batch of other papers in the process[1]. The mystery of the ‘Aylesford Letters’ would only be solved in the 1910s when they were rediscovered in a drawer in Blenheim, their status by then reduced to a historical curiosity...”


    (Taken from ‘Lord Randolph Churchill’ by Timothy James, Picador 1978)

    The Churchills were by now much in demand; Lord Randolph was now one of the accepted dandies of the day. He dressed immaculately, frequently sporting a dark blue frock-coat, his shirts were coloured, and he wore an exceptional amount of jewellery for a man. A succession of balls, dinners and parties filled the couples’ days. They were to be seen at Epson, Ascot and Goodwood, where Randolph satisfied his love of the turf and his wife electrified the social world with her beauty[2]. There was progress in the political sphere too. Churchill’s irritation at Beaconsfield over his refusal to appoint him as a Lord of the Treasury was short-lived[3], and the Prime Minister was soon a regular fixture at Lady Churchill’s dinner parties again.

    The resignation of the Earl of Carnarvon over the perennial ‘Eastern Question’ in January 1878 precipitated a general re-organisation of the Colonial Office. James Lowther, the previous Undersecretary of State, had been promoted to become Chief Secretary of Ireland; despite some misgivings, Beaconsfield decided to test his belief that Lord Randolph might be a “young man of promise”. At the age of 29, Churchill entered into Government for the first time[4]...

    Under the watchful eye of his ally Sir Michael Hicks Beach[5], Lord Randolph proved to be a capable and enthusiastic presence in the Colonial Office; the responsibilities of being a junior member of the Government occasionally chafed however, and on occasion his tongue got the better of him. The advent of the Zulu war at the beginning of 1879 gave Churchill the chance to enter the limelight. The Undersecretary of State seized on this opportunity with alacrity, and made his mark by violently disagreeing with Hicks Beach over the issue of Sir Bartle Frere’s recall[6]. Unfortunately, the High Commissioner’s Royal connections outweighed even the objections of the Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary, and in a bizarre compromise Frere was first censured, and then promptly begged to stay on[7].

    Characteristically, Churchill’s attitude to the war oscillated wildly between bouts of patriotic fervour and disgust that it had been allowed to take place in the beginning. His speech following the battle of Rorke’s Drift was a masterpiece of rhetoric; “We will not say thereafter that the Borderers fight like heroes, but heroes fight like the Borderers!” However, as the war went on Churchill came to share Salisbury’s view that the real rival to British power in the region came from the Boer states, and in May he scandalised the Commons by implying that King Cetawayo should stay on his throne after his defeat, anticipating by several years London society’s paradoxical affection for the Zulu leader[8]...

    As early as June the Prince of Wales had suggested that Churchill might be the perfect candidate to lead a survey of the Cape in the wake of the war. At first Beaconsfield and Salisbury were sceptical, but the prospect of removing Churchill from Westminster for a few months seemed increasingly appealing as the end of the summer recess loomed, and the idea’s warm reception from Hicks Beach ensured that the idea was endorsed by the cabinet in September...”


    (Taken from ‘Enfant Terrible: Randolph Churchill, the early years’ by James Roberts, Imperial 1978)

    Lord Randolph had always been an enthusiastic traveller, and he seized the chance to visit South Africa with gusto. After an uneventful passage, the couple arrived in October 1879 and quickly set about dazzling the social world of Cape Town; endless dinner parties in colonial society soon began to pall however, and after a month of engagements the Churchills left the Cape to go inland. The Churchills travelled far and wide, hunted enthusiastically, and met South Africans of all classes. On one such expedition, Randolph shot an Antelope; its head was stuffed, sent back to England and given to his son Winston for his fifth birthday[9].

    Lord Randolph’s remarkable propensity for making a few life-long friends was demonstrated on his first day visiting the town of Kimberley when he met a man destined to be one of the most controversial figures of the period. In the autumn of 1879 Cecil Rhodes was merely another one of the many civic leaders that Churchill had been introduced to during his progress across the region. However the young diamond magnate made a deep impression on the visiting Minister, and the appreciation was mutual. The two young men probably realised that they shared much in common; Churchill’s visit to Kimberley began a friendship through correspondence that developed rapidly into a lifelong bond[10]...

    In early January however, the Churchills’ African jaunt almost ended in tragedy. The couple had just arrived in Durban when Randolph began to feel unwell and suddenly came down with a severe fever; he was quickly rushed to hospital, where malaria was diagnosed. For a time, his condition was judged sufficiently serious for Lady Churchill to keep a constant vigil by his bedside, but after a few days his spirits rallied; by the end of the month he was judged well enough to begin the journey home, and luckily the disease had few long term effects[11]...

    Although he was not to find health in Africa, Lord Randolph did at least discover wealth, for he acquired several thousand Rand Mines shares at their original par value. These rose almost daily in value, and soon were worth enough to more than cancel the Churchills’ debts. For many years to come, Randolph was to have the luxury of knowing his personal finances were secure[12]...”


    (Taken from ‘Lord Salisbury: A Biography’ by Ian Jenkins, Star 1987)

    “The election results telegraphed to Biarritz by Arthur Balfour were disastrous, and as Salisbury told Sir Augustus Paget, they came as “a complete surprise to us; there was no premonitory sign of such a revolution.”... Only 237 Conservatives returned to the Commons, against 352 Liberals and 63 Irish Home Rulers, giving Gladstone an overall majority of 52, and a majority over the Conservatives alone of 115[13]. Salisbury advised Beaconsfield to resign before meeting Parliament so as not to emphasise the scale of the defeat in a formal division. He wondered if the result might have a larger portent then a mere electoral blip. “The hurricane that has swept us away is so strange and new a phenomenon, that we shall not for some time understand its real meaning,” he wrote to Balfour. “It may disappear as rapidly as it came: or it may be the beginning of a serious war of classes. Gladstone is doing all he can to give it the latter meaning...”


    (Taken from ‘Lord Randolph Churchill’ by Timothy James, Picador 1978)

    “The year 1880 did not only mark the end of a Government; it marked the end of a political epoch. All the questions that had occupied men’s minds in the 1860’s and 1870’s were swept away by new problems, and these threw up new men. Parnell had begun to emerge; Chamberlain was at least famous in the Midlands; Salisbury and Northcote, although unknown political quantities, had held Cabinet office. All these men, who were to make their mark in the next decade, had at least begun their advance. The arrival of a fifth newcomer was utterly unexpected, for it was at this moment that Lord Randolph Churchill stepped from relative obscurity and into the centre of the political stage...”

    __________________________________________________________

    [1] This is the PoD; OTL, the Marquess was less careless and did not lose the letters, leading to a major political crisis, Royal embarrassment, the ostracisation of Randolph Churchill from London society for several years and the termination of his friendship with the Prince of Wales.

    [2] OTL, Churchill’s father the Duke of Marlborough was appointed Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in 1876, largely as a means of getting Randolph out of the country. ITTL, the Churchill family stays put and the Churchills remain at the centre of London society, while the Earl Cadogan is given the post of Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.

    [3] This occurred in OTL; Churchill refused to speak to the Disraeli for a time over this perceived slight.

    [4] OTL, at this point Churchill was still persona non grata in London, but ITTL the lack of a scandal puts him in the perfect position to be promoted.

    [5] Hicks Beach was appointed Secretary of State for the Colonies in 1878 OTL as well as ITTL. He would later become Chancellor in 1885 and would step aside to allow Churchill to become Leader of the House of Commons the following year.

    [6] OTL and ITTL, the Zulu war was precipitated by an unauthorised ultimatum delivered to the Zulus by Sir Bartle Frere, the High Commissioner. Both Disraeli and Salisbury wanted Frere to be dismissed; Hicks Beach disagreed however and was able to save his career.

    [7] This happened OTL too; Churchill’s arguments are not enough to change the outcome.

    [8] Cetawayo was deposed OTL, and came to London where he became an extremely popular figure; the British later tried to restore his throne. Something similar will happen ITTL.

    [9] Winston Churchill was born before the point of departure, although his character will be slightly different ITTL for various reasons. OTL, when Randolph went to Africa in 1890 Winston continually wrote to him asking for an Antelope head.

    [10] I suspect that Rhodes and Churchill would have got on very well providing they were several thousand miles apart from each other; both were extremely talented mercurial opportunists, and would have understood the other completely.

    [11] This is a huge divergence in Churchill’s life; his malaria has the side-effect of killing off his latent syphilis. Without this disease, Churchill will not only live far longer than OTL but will be slightly less prone to the mental instability that plagued his final years.

    [12] This is also quite a change from OTL, when Churchill had relatively severe money problems until the 1890’s, shortly before his death.

    [13] These results are the same as OTL’s 1880 General Election; the ripples from the Point of Departure have not reached far enough to affect the result yet.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2008
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  7. Nekromans Mernber

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    So Edward never becomes King? Interesting.

    Brilliant first chapter, Ed; clears away a few of Churchill's obstacles in the path to Warlord of the Universe and adds some tantalising little hints.
     
  8. Scarecrow Dieudonné

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    Excellent start Edt. That friendship between Randolph and Rhodes could lead to some interesting times in Africa ITTL.
     
  9. V-J Not a Donor

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    Interesting beginning, if rather lacking in broad hints as of yet.

    Since you're going to knock off Albert, and since we already know Chamberlain is going to do well, I'm more convinced than ever that we'll see a pro-German policy emerge. You might even keep Fritzy going a bit longer, and perhaps dispense with Wilhelm as well... Then we can have Prince Henry take over, and concord will, I'm sure, reign.

    Interesting to see what will happen to Northcote, and Salisbury in particular as well. I've never really rated Salisbury, but in comparison to what we'll get here I should probably count my blessings. :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2008
  10. Grey Wolf Writer, Poet, Publisher, Cat-sitter

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    Curiously I thought it was going to be about Marlbrough, until I read on and saw it was ole Randolph

    Best Regards
    Grey Wolf
     
  11. Nicksplace27 Member

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    Cecil Rhodes! My favorite historical britwanker! Please have him do something really cool with Churchill's dad! Have you read his biography? Becuase this friendship could change Rhodes' whole life...
     
  12. PCSwitaj [swit ahy] or [sweet eye]

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    I'm slighlty confused here; if in OTL the letters were shown and Albert still became King, why would he not become King if the existance of the letters can never be proven until the 1910s (The decade he died)? If need be, chalk it up to my lack of British history. :eek:

    Other than that, very interesting start. I'm now attempting to put together Randolph's and Cecil's friendship and the one map of Africa around the Horn area (Somalia, etc)...connection there? Hmm....

    EDIT: Found it :D - linky
     
  13. V-J Not a Donor

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    Because as a result of history being disrupted, things will happen which didn't in OTL, one of which might be Albert pre-deceasing Victoria, either by a natural death or (shock) assassination?
     
  14. PCSwitaj [swit ahy] or [sweet eye]

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    Okay, I thought I had missed something in the update...wait, the title of the book gives that away....crap! :eek: Oh well, that's what I get for speed reading....so who's next in line for the throne?
     
  15. Nekromans Mernber

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    After Albert it's Alfred of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. It'll be interesting to see if he's King Alfred or King Alfred II - unrealistic, since these things were reset after 1066 (see Edward the Confessor and Edward I), but would be cool.
     
  16. V-J Not a Donor

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    Not at this point it aint. Like I said earlier, the succession would pass to Eddy Victor, (b. 186tysomething) if he lives.
     
  17. Faeelin Lord of Ten Thousand Years

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    Oh boy. A guy we know ends up as Prime Minister getting on smashingly with Rhodes. This will end well.
     
  18. Nekromans Mernber

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    What? Why not Alfred? Who on earth is Eddy Victor?
     
  19. V-J Not a Donor

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    Erm, Edward VII's first son.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prince_Albert_Victor%2C_Duke_of_Clarence_and_Avondale

    And here I was thinking you knew quite a bit about royal history. Tut-tut.

    (Before the birth of Albert's sons, [Eddy and OTL's George V] you're right, but by this point he's only only third in line.)

    The thing is, Randolph may be worse than Rhodes! :D
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2008
  20. Nekromans Mernber

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