Literature: Bring the Jubilee

Bring the Jubilee is a 1953 novel by Ward Moore. Considered a classic of Alternate History, the novel depicts a timeline where the Confederacy won The American Civil War and became a world power, leaving the United States of America as a crumbling backwater. The book's protagonist and narrator, aspiring historian Hodgins McCormick Backmaker, is born into this timeline long after the war's end, and in the alternate 1950s becomes involved in a time-travel experiment. He embarks on a historical-research trip back to the Battle of Gettysburg, which accidentally results in far-sweeping changes.


Tropes:

  • Adaptation Expansion: Originally a novella.
  • Alternate History: Although thanks to Hodgins' inadvertent Civil-War era meddling, he ends up living out the rest of his life in our timeline.
  • Alternate Techline: The CSA of the novel is more advanced technically than our timeline in some ways, and less so in many others.
  • Bookworm: Hogins spends several years happily working and reading in a bookstore.
  • Crapsack World: The defeated US is not a pleasant place to live, especially if you're not of European descent.
  • Fallen States of America: As noted, the US is split in two, with the CSA prosperous and spreading its influence throughout the New World while the remnants of the USA stagnate and decay.
  • For Want of a Nail: Hogins blunders into contact with a platoon of Civil War troops, one them dies, and the CSA loses the Battle of Gettysburg and then the Civil War.
  • Historical-Domain Character: Some alternate versions appear, a typical example being Dwight D. Eisenhower, who is evidently a minor officer in the depleted US military and writes a book on tactics that Hogins approvingly mentions reading.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: Hogins' narrative, written in his old age, breaks off in mid-sentence, with a post-script applied by a person who found it years later; whether he literally died while writing will never be known.
  • Literary Allusion Title: References the pro-Union Civil War era song "Marching Through Georgia".
  • Mad Scientist: Barbara Haggerwells, who invents the time machine Hogins uses.
  • Ripple Proof Memory: Hodgins suffers this, following the spoilered events listed above.