Early in Ian’s residence in Amber there was a misunderstanding between Ian and a couple of his cousins, regarding meddling on Tenterden, and since then he has made it very clear that while he doesn’t mind Family members visiting in the company of himself or one of his close kin, anyone coming to Tenterden to Shop or otherwise cause trouble, will not be tolerated.
Ian’s primary residence on Tenterden is Wittersham House, an extensive pseudo-gothic mansion, set in 200 acres of land, near the village of Wittersham in the County of Kent.
|The village of Wittersham||The Swan Inn, Wittersham||Wittersham House|
He also retains a mews cottage in the Bayswater area of London.
An Exercise in Alternative History
When he first became aware of other worlds, Ian discovered that Tenterden’s history had not followed exactly the same path as many of the others on the “Earth Line”. This led him to develop an interest in alternative histories and historical decision points.
Tenterden is located in the Earth Line, and is geographically a close analogue to Ancient Earth (aka Corwin’s Earth). It also originally had a parallel history, but this diverged during the Second World War, when Operation Sea Lion was launched by Hitler, against the advice of his generals, in September 1940. However, the British, being British, didn’t take invasion lying down. They defeated the invaders the following year, and then took the fight back to the Continent. Hitler was assassinated in December 1941, and an Armistice was signed on 20th April 1942. However, the European Allies (Britain, France, the Benelux countries, Portugal) weren’t in a strong enough position to impose harsh terms, and it was also in their interest to leave a militarised Germany as a bastion against the rise of the Communists in the East.
From that point onwards, technological progress has largely followed the normal pattern, but the politics are very different.
As of Early-2010
– The British Empire, ruled by Queen Elizabeth II, remains stronger than in the standard historical timeline, and where independence has been declared by its colonies, the progression has been orderly. The British Commonwealth is a more significant economic force than the European Union.
– The Greater German Reich, under Führer Klaus Heydrich, is a strong military force, with occupied territory East to St Petersburg. It is firmly allied with Fascist Italy and did have strong links with Spain while General Franco was alive, although those have weakened in the thirty years since his death. It has been engaged in an on-off war with the Soviet Union for many years, but with the latter’s disintigration and independence movements in the Central Asian Republics, the European Allies and Spain are beginning to reconside the threat level posed by the GGR.
– Eurasia is an area of turmoil. With the fall of Communinism, the Soviet Union has broken up and neo-capitalism is rampant. The Russian President was formerly head of the State Secret Service, and has a lot of contacts among the new order of super-rich Russian oligarchs. In the meantime, the Central Asian republics are going their own way and not necessarily making a very good job of it.
– The US remains the major power in the Americas, having conducted the Pacific War largely unaided and successfully. Strong links between Germany and Argentina have meant that there is significant Nazi influence in certain areas of South America, with Argentina more dominant in the region than Brazil. The President is Josiah Bartlett, after a Constitutional Amendment allowing him to serve for a third term.
– Canada maintains links with both the US and Britain, although as time passes, the US influence is becoming more prevalent. However, at this time, it does still acknowledge Queen Elizabeth as its head of state.
– China never became a Communist state; after the Second World War, a movement developed to return the former Emperor, Aisin-Gioro Puyi, to the throne as a Constitutional Monarch with an elected government. Japan is also a Constitutional Monarchy, after its defeat by the US. China and Japan continue to engage in military operations over territory in the East. The US is happy to stir the trouble, so that two potentially influential powers are more concerned with each other than everyone else.
– India has industrialised much more quickly than in the regular timeline, and has become a rising economic powerhouse. However, it does have ongoing border issues with Pakistan.
– The Arab world has become a force to be reckoned with, due to its large oil and gas reserves, with Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Persia as the dominant powers in the region. At this point, Islamic Extremism hasn’t become as ingrained: there is no Israel for it to focus its hatred on, the US has never become “the policeman of the world” in the same way as in regular history, and 9/11 did not happen.
Further details on Tenterden can be found here.
Ian is also currently undertaking two other Alternative History Projects:
- Dominion: Another variant on Earth Line history, but with the decision point in 1940 when Chamberlain was replaced by the Halifax and the Appeasement Party, rather than Winston Churchill.
- Agincourt: A project rather further back in history, beginning in the year 1413 with the coronation of Henry V, to study what would happen if Henry did not die in 1422, but lived to become King of France.