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 in New York City.
  • Crapsack World: The defeated US is not a pleasant place to live, especially if you're not of European descent.
  • Death Seeker / Woman Scorned: After the fact, Hodgins speculates that his (rather unhinged) former lover Barbara may have sent him back in time fully expecting him to screw things up.
  • 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: Hodgins blunders into contact with a platoon of Civil War troops, one of 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 Hodgins approvingly mentions reading.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: Hodgins' narrative, written in his old age, breaks off in mid-sentence, with a post-script applied by the 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, the brilliant but unstable woman who invents the time machine Hodgins uses.
  • Ripple Proof Memory: Hodgins suffers this, following the spoilered events listed above.

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