alternative history


Definition of alternative history

  1. 1 :  fiction that is based on history and that explores what might have happened if certain historical events, figures, etc., had been different Kennedy surviving the assassination attempt is a popular event of alternative history, inspiring novels, stage plays and short stories. — Mark Juddery, Sydney (Australia) Morning Herald, 14 Nov. 2004 The key to all alternative histories is the so-called point of divergence—the moment imagination takes over from reality, or at least recorded history. — Cynthia Crossen, Charleston Gazette, 6 Feb. 2005 —called also alternate history

  2. 2 :  a history that is told from an unusual or unorthodox perspective Most Scots are brought up on such stories of martial tradition. … But there is an alternative history, though one heard less often. — Ewen Macaskill, Guardian, 16 Dec. 2004 … it is written as a chronology of curiosities that adds up to an alternative history of the world. — Johan Jaaffar, New Straits Times, 19 July 2008 There is an alternative history of Dylan … that of an opportunist who stole from Guthrie, Dave Van Ronk, and everyone else with whom he came in contact, all in the pursuit of greater celebrity. — Ed Siegal, Boston Globe, 18 Sept. 2005

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capable of being understood in two ways

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