These are my proposed additions to References to Historical Figures in Turtledove's Work.


Atahualpa, also spelled Atawallpa, Atabalica, Atahuallpa, or Atabalipa (c. 1502 – 26 July 1533) was briefly the last Sapa Inca (sovereign emperor) of the Inca Empire (Tawantinsuyu), before the Spanish conquest, led by Francisco Pizarro, captured him and ended his reign. Pizarro staged a mock trial and found Atahualpa guilty of revolting against the Spanish, practicing idolatry, and murdering the previous Emperor. Atahualpa was sentenced to death by burning at the stake, which the Inca believed would make the soul unable to go on to the afterlife. Exploiting a loophole, Atahualpa agreed to convert to Catholicism, so that Pizarro commuted the sentence to strangulation.

A succession of claimants to the imperial throne led the Inca resistance against the invading Spaniards, with the last significant holdout, Vilcabamba, falling in 1572.

In "But It Does Move," set in Italy in 1633, Galileo wonders if the Inquisition "would strangle him before they burned him, like that savage king in the New World a hundred years before."[1]

Attila the Hun

Attila (c. 406 – March 453), frequently referred to as Attila the Hun, was the ruler of the Huns from 434 until his death. Attila was a leader of the Hunnic Empire, a tribal confederation consisting of Huns, Ostrogoths, and Alans among others, on the territory of Central and Eastern Europe.

During his reign, he was one of the most feared enemies of the Western and Eastern Roman Empires. However, little about the man behind the power is known; Attila's religion and his basic appearance, for example, remain matters of conjecture.

Turtledove has referenced Attila's fearsome reputation in numerous works. For example, in The War That Came Early: The Big Switch, Peggy Druce declares that Attila the Hun was a "bargain" when compared to Adolf Hitler.[2]

A recurring line in Turtledove stories is that someone's politics lean "just to the right of Atilla the Hun." Examples:

P.G.T. Beauregard

Pierre Gustave Toutant de Beauregard (May 28, 1818 – February 20, 1893), commonly referred to as P.G.T. Beauregard, was an American military officer who was the first prominent general of the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War.

Beauregard won early Confederate victories at Fort Sumter and First Bull Run. He then commanded armies in the Western Theater, including the Battle of Shiloh and the Siege of Corinth, Mississippi. He defended Charleston, South Carolina in 1863 from repeated naval and land attacks by Union forces. His greatest achievement was saving the important industrial city of Petersburg, Virginia, in June 1864, and thus the nearby Confederate capital of Richmond, from assaults by overwhelmingly superior U.S. Army forces. In April 1865, Beauregard surrendered alongside General Joseph Johnston.

Following his military career, Beauregard returned to Louisiana, where he advocated black people's civil rights and suffrage, served as a railroad executive, and became wealthy as a promoter of the Louisiana Lottery.

Beauregard's hero status from the War of Secession is sporadically referenced in Southern Victory. One of the most desirable rooms in the Charleston Hotel is the Beauregard Suite.[7] Soldiers P.G.T.B. Austin in Walk in Hell and Beauregard Barksdale in Breakthroughs both appear to be named for the general, and Anne Colleton comments the general's greatness in the latter case.

See also

Thomas Beckett


Within Southern Victory, Henry and Beckett's story is invoked in Breakthroughs by Abner Dowling in an attempt to talk sense into General Custer. The obscure pearl of wisdom was completely lost on Custer, if not on most of the readers as well. In the next volume Blood and Iron, Arthur McGregor makes it a humorous metaphor when his daughter Julia wishes someone would do something about her nuisance of a little sister Mary. Julia replies that the local American-controlled Canadian schools aren't teaching the history of England anymore, except to say that Britain was very wicked during the American Revolution.

In Frankos' St. Oswald's Niche, Jennet Walker establishes her credentials with Dr. Edwin Durrell by reciting an obsessively detailed oral essay on the Henry-Beckett feud.

Giordano Bruno

Giordano Bruno (born Filippo Bruno, January or February 1548 – 17 February 1600) was an Italian Dominican friar, philosopher, mathematician, poet, cosmological theorist, and Hermetic occultist. He is known for his cosmological theories, which conceptually extended the then-novel Copernican model. He proposed that the stars were distant suns surrounded by their own planets, and he raised the possibility that these planets might foster life of their own, a cosmological position known as cosmic pluralism. He also insisted that the universe is infinite and could have no "center".

Starting in 1593, Bruno was tried for heresy by the Roman Inquisition on charges of denial of several core Catholic doctrines, including eternal damnation, the Trinity, the divinity of Christ, the virginity of Mary, and transubstantiation. Bruno's pantheism was not taken lightly by the church, nor was his teaching of the transmigration of the soul (reincarnation). The Inquisition found him guilty, and he was burned at the stake in Rome's Campo de' Fiori in 1600. After his death, he gained considerable fame, being particularly celebrated by 19th- and early 20th-century commentators who regarded him as a martyr for science, although most historians agree that his heresy trial was not a response to his cosmological views but rather a response to his religious and afterlife views. However some historians do contend that the main reason for Bruno's death was indeed his cosmological views. Bruno's case is still considered a landmark in the history of free thought and the emerging sciences.

In "But It Does Move," Cardinal Sigismondo Gioioso holds Bruno's fate over Galileo's head as an incentive, referring to Copernicanism as being the deciding factor in Bruno's case[8]

Julius Caesar

[...] Caesar is reported to have said Iacta alia est, usually translated "the die is cast," when he made his decision to lead his army from Gaul back to Italy and overthrow the Roman government. In "Lee at the Alamo," Union Colonel Robert E. Lee thinks of the Latin phrase when he announces his refusal to surrender the Alamo to Confederate Colonel Ben McCulloch, preferring to stand siege instead.

Callinicus of Heliopolis

Kallinikos (Καλλίνικος, Callinicus in Latin) was a Syrian architect and chemist who is credited with the invention of liquid fire in the Byzantine Empire of Constantine IV in the mid 7th century. The fire was supposedly not possible to put out with water, and its nature has been lost and never recreated.

In the Agent of Byzantium section "Unholy Trinity," Master of Offices George Lakhanodrakon calls Basil Argyros "Kallinikos" for his discovery of the secret of hellpowder. Argyros recognizes this as high praise indeed.[9]

Howard Carter

Howard Carter (9 May 1874 – 2 March 1939) was a British archaeologist and Egyptologist who became world-famous after discovering the intact tomb (designated KV62) of the Egyptian 18th Dynasty Pharaoh, Tutankhamun (colloquially known as "King Tut" and "the boy king"), in November 1922.

In Alpha and Omega, the team of archaeologists including Eric Katz have Howard Carter on their minds frequently as they excavate the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. When Katz asks Yoram Louvish what he expects they will find behind the next wall, Louvish replies "Wonderful things," which all present recognize as Carter's statement of what he saw in Tut's tomb.[10]

Charles, Prince of Wales

Prince Charles is a no-show in Laura Frankos' novel, and a fictional analog for Dreyfuss and Turtledove.

Charles Philip Arthur George Mountbatten-Windsor, Prince of Wales, Duke of Cornwall, Duke of Rothesay (born 14 November 1948), popularly known as Prince Charles, is the heir-apparent to the British royal line, as the eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II. Charles has long been active as a supporter of philanthropy and conservation, although his reputation suffered in the 1990s, due to his wanton ways and his divorce from his first wife Diana Spencer. He is the oldest and longest-serving heir-apparent in British history. Charles was once expected to reign as King Charles III, although due to his advanced age and the unprecedented longevity of his mother, this seems increasingly unlikely.

In Laura Frankos' St. Oswald's Niche, the archaeology team, excavating the Abbey of St. Oswald in 1991, briefly discuss Charles' custom of making speeches at important archaeological sites, and debate the possibility that he might do the same at theirs. But the matter is soon dropped, and never raised again.

See also

Orion Clemens (politician)

Orion Clemens (July 17, 1825 – December 11, 1897) was an American journalist and politician who served as the first and only Secretary of the Nevada Territory (1861-1864). His younger brother was Samuel Clemens.

In How Few Remain, Sam Clemens is a POV and has a fictional son named Orion Clemens. It is acknowledged at one point that Sam named his son after his older brother.

Marjorie Courtenay-Latimer

Marjorie Eileen Doris Courtenay-Latimer (24 February 1907 – 17 May 2004) was a South African amateur biologist and paleontologist, and a curator at the East London Museum in Eastern Cape. In 1938, Latimer brought to the attention of the world the existence of the coelacanth (Latimeria chalumnae), a fish thought to have been extinct for 65 million years.

In State of Jefferson Stories "Always Something New", Latimer's discovery is often on Bill Williamson's mind during the events surrounding the discovery of the speartooth.

Eleanor of Aquitaine

Eleanor of Aquitaine (1122 – 1 April 1204) was queen consort of France (1137–1152) and England (1154–1189) and duchess of Aquitaine in her own right (1137–1204). As a member of the Ramnulfids (House of Poitiers) rulers in southwestern France, she was one of the wealthiest and most powerful women in western Europe during the High Middle Ages. She was patron of literary figures such as Wace, Benoît de Sainte-Maure, and Bernart de Ventadorn. She led armies several times in her life and was a leader of the Second Crusade.

In The Great War: American Front, Anne Colleton has an inner monologue comparing herself to Eleanor of Aquitaine. Anne has much more freedom than most women of her time, but due to money rather than royal birth. Anne is also intelligent like Eleanor, doubling the profits of Marshlands in only five years.[11]


Gaius Galerius Valerius Maximianus Augustus (c. 250 – April or May 311) was Roman emperor from 305 to 311. During his reign, he campaigned, aided by Diocletian, against the Persians, sacking their capital Ctesiphon in 299. He also campaigned across the Danube against the Carpi, defeating them in 297 and 300. Although he was a staunch opponent of Christianity, Galerius ended the Diocletianic Persecution when he issued an Edict of Toleration in Serdica in 311.

In Thessalonica, George the shoemaker studies the Arch of Galerius in the novel's titular city, and wonders what the point of all that fighting was, as the Persians are still around in 597.[12]

James Henry Hammond

James Henry Hammond (November 15, 1807 – November 13, 1864) was an American attorney, politician and planter from South Carolina. He served as a United States Representative from 1835 to 1836, the 60th Governor of South Carolina from 1842 to 1844, and United States Senator from 1857 to 1860. He was considered one of the major spokesmen in favor of slavery in the years before the American Civil War. In an 1858 speech, Senator Hammond said, "In all social systems there must be a class to do the menial duties, to perform the drudgery of life. ... It constitutes the very mudsill of society." He went on to utter the oft-repeated words, "You dare not make war on cotton — no power on earth dares make war upon it. Cotton is king." When South Carolina seceded from the Union in 1860, Hammond resigned his Senate seat, but played no role in the government of the Confederate States.

Acquiring property through marriage, he ultimately owned 22 square miles, several plantations and houses, and more than 300 slaves. Through his wife's family, he was a brother-in-law of Wade Hampton II and uncle to his children, including Wade Hampton III. When the senior Hampton learned that Hammond had abused his four Hampton nieces as teenagers, he made the scandal public. It was thought to derail Hammond's career for a time, but he was later elected as US senator. The Hampton family suffered more, as none of the girls married.

In The Guns of the South, the newly recognized Confederacy is under pressure from Britain and France to release its slaves. President Jefferson Davis, in council with Secretary Judah Benjamin and General Robert E. Lee, defends slavery by reciting lines from Hammond's "mudsill" speech, and saying that the "free" factory worker in Britain, France, or the USA, is free only to starve. Lee thinks, but does not say, that an abolitionist would not be convinced by this argument.[13]

Werner Heisenberg

In addition to his more relevant roles in Turtledove's work, Werner Heisenberg is the subject of an intense debate in the first chapter of Noninterference. When David Ware uses Heisenberg's observer effect as a justification for bending the Survey Service's rules against interfering in native affairs, Chief Engineer Moshe Sharett replies that Heisenberg was talking about atomic particles, not people.[14]

Henry I of England

Henry I (c. 1068 – 1 December 1135), also known as Henry Beauclerc, was King of England from 1100 to his death in 1135. He was the fourth son of William the Conqueror, and the first male member of the family to be born in England. On William's death in 1087, Henry's elder brothers Robert Curthose and William Rufus inherited Normandy and England, respectively, but Henry was left landless. He purchased the County of Cotentin in western Normandy from Robert, but his brothers deposed him in 1091. He gradually rebuilt his power base in the Cotentin and allied himself with William against Robert.

Present when William died in a hunting accident in 1100, Henry seized the English throne, promising at his coronation to correct many of William's less popular policies. Robert, who invaded in 1101, disputed Henry's control of England. Henry finally defeated Robert at the Battle of Tinchebray in 1106, and Robert was imprisoned for the rest of his life.

Considered by contemporaries to be a harsh but effective ruler, Henry skillfully manipulated the barons in England and Normandy, establishing a royal exchequer and system of justices.

In Frankos' St. Oswald's Niche, the discovery of the York Tapestry prompts a historians' debate on how best to reevaluate the roles of Henry and other figures of Tinchebray, when the tapestry's depictions of their relative positions and actions during the battle do not match up with conventional history books.

Henry II of England


Within Southern Victory, Henry and Beckett's story is invoked in Breakthroughs by Abner Dowling in an attempt to talk sense into General Custer. The obscure pearl of wisdom was completely lost on Custer, if not on most of the readers as well. In the next volume Blood and Iron, Arthur McGregor makes it a humorous metaphor when his daughter Julia wishes someone would do something about her nuisance of a little sister Mary. Julia replies that the local American-controlled Canadian schools aren't teaching the history of England anymore, except to say that Britain was very wicked during the American Revolution.

In Frankos' St. Oswald's Niche, Jennet Walker establishes her credentials with Dr. Edwin Durrell by reciting an obsessively detailed oral essay on the Henry-Beckett feud.

J. Edgar Hoover

In addition to his more active roles in Turtledove's work, FBI director J. Edgar Hoover is the subject of more minor references.

While Hoover was in office at the POD of Worldwar, his final fate in that timeline is never revealed. However, he is referenced often in Colonization and Homeward Bound, where General Charles Healey is said to strongly resemble him. The fact that neither Sam Yeager nor Glen Johnson ever meets him, while running afoul of virtually all American higher-ups in the 1960s, suggests that Hoover either died or was removed from office before that time.

John Birch Society

The John Birch Society (JBS) is an American advocacy group supporting anti-communism and limited government. It has been described as a radical right and far-right organization. Its members are called Birchers, a term which has been used to denote the most irrationally paranoid conspiracy theorists. The group was established in 1958 by Robert W. Welch Jr. (1899–1985), who named it for John Birch (1918-1945), an American soldier and Baptist missionary who was murdered by communist rebels in China at the close of World War II.

In "Always Something New," State of Jefferson Governor Bill Williamson believes that his large but sparsely populated state is full of Birchers.

Julian the Apostate

Flavius Claudius Julianus Augustus (Greek: Φλάβιος Κλαύδιος Ἰουλιανὸς Αὔγουστος, 331 or 332 – 26 June 363), was Emperor of the Roman/Byzantine Empire from 361 to 363, as well as a notable philosopher and author in Greek. His rejection of Christianity, and his promotion of Neoplatonic Hellenism in its place, caused him to be remembered as Julian the Apostate by the Christian church. Julian initiated and attempt to build a Third Temple in Jerusalem, a move which was probably intended to harm Christianity rather than to please Jews. Julian also forbade the Christians from teaching and learning classical texts.

In 363, Julian embarked on an ambitious campaign against the Sassanid Empire of Persia. The campaign was initially successful, securing a victory outside Ctesiphon. However, the Persians rallied their forces and counter-attacked. During the Battle of Samarra, Julian was mortally wounded under mysterious circumstances, leaving his army trapped in Persian territory. Following his death, the Roman forces were obliged to cede territory including the fortress city of Nisibis. He was the last non-Christian to hold the office of Roman Emperor.

Julian is the subject of Turtledove's short non-fiction piece "Emperors Shouldn't Skirmish," which speculates that a longer-lived Julian might have made the Byzantine Empire a multi-religious society.

Julian's attempted Third Temple is on the minds of several characters in Alpha and Omega, where a Third Temple has actually been built. Eric Katz wonders whether the failure of Julian's project helped or hindered God's plan for the Temple's ultimate purpose, and also speculates on what new form of Judaism would have grown out of a completed Julianic Temple.[15]

Justinian II


In "Two Thieves", Alexios Komnenos thinks of Justinian's promotion of a foreigner, Tervel of Bulgaria, to the post of Kaisar of the Byzantine Empire. While Alexios considers it disgraceful, he understands the need, as he appoints Richard J. Daley to the same post in New Constantinople.[16]


Kaldi (Khalid) (flourished c. AD 850) was a disputedly historical Ethiopian goatherder whom legend credits with discovering the coffee plant. Noticing that when his goats were nibbling on the bright red berries of a certain bush, they became more energetic, Kaldi chewed on the fruit himself. Through a subsequent turns of events, he discovered that the berries could be made more potent by roasting, and soon developed the world's first cup of coffee.

In "King of All," Kaldi is blamed for the rise of caffeine, a troublesome illegal drug. A newscast incorrectly refers to him as having made his discovery in the 1880s.

Marie Antoinette

Marie Antoinette (2 November 1755 – 16 October 1793), archduchess of Austria, was queen-consort of France from 1774-1792 as the wife of King Louis XVI. She, like her husband before her, was executed during the French Revolution. Though widely reviled during her reign for accusations of spendthrift habits, callous disregard for the suffering of poorer people, and adulteries with foreign diplomats, she has come to be regarded by many modern historians as a well-intentioned victim of circumstances, who had little real power. The popular anecdote that Marie responded to the peasants' cries over a lack of bread, with the callous exclamation "Qu'ils mangent de la brioche!" (usually translated "Then let them eat cake!"), has been widely discredited.

In popular culture, the best known image of her is from portraits painted in extravagant, comical dresses which have inspired numerous fashion statements and examples of satiric humor.

In In High Places, when Annette Klein learns that the hapless Celtic slave Birigida was really a rich home timeline American named Bridget Mallory, who had paid for two weeks of slavery as a thrilling roleplay, she recalls that Marie Antoinette had had an eccentric hobby where she and her retainers "played at being milkmaids".[17]

In the Earthgrip story "6+," space merchant Pavel Koniev hears Princess D'Kar of T'Kai declare that her tribe's M'Sak enemies are low wretches with nothing worth trading for. He turns to Jennifer Logan and says "Let them eat cake," referencing Marie's alleged callous contempt.[18]

Gaius Marius the Younger

Gaius Marius Minor, (110 BC/108 BC – 82 BC), was a Roman general and politician who became consul in 82 BC alongside Gnaeus Papirius Carbo. He committed suicide that same year at Praeneste, after his defeat by Lucius Cornelius Sulla.

In The Videssos Cycle, Gaius Philippus often reminisces about having fought in Marius' losing cause.

Golda Meir

Golda Meir (formerly Golda Mabovitch Meyerson, 3 May 1898 – 8 December 1978) was an Israeli politician, teacher, and kibbutznikit who served as the fourth Prime Minister of Israel (1969-1974), and the only female PM as of this writing. As the first female head of government in the Middle East, she has been described as the "Iron Lady" of Israeli politics, and a "strong-willed, straight-talking, grey-bunned grandmother of the Jewish people."

Meir was Prime Minister during the Yom Kippur War of 1973. Israel was caught off guard and suffered severe losses in the first days of the war, before recovering and defeating the invading armies. Public anger at the government caused Meir's resignation the following year. She died in 1978 of lymphoma.

In "The Eighth-Grade History Class Visits the Hebrew Home for the Aging," 88-year-old Anne Berkowitz sees that her ears have become as big as Golda Meir's.[19]

Napoleon I of France

In addition to posthumous role in The Two Georges, Napoleon Bonaparte and his tremendous impact on history are frequently referenced throughout Turtledove's work.

The War That Came Early: The Big Switch uses Napoleon's Russian campaign of 1812 as something of a central metaphor. Aristide Demange calls Napoleon the Hitler of his day, as his troops followed him blindly on campaigns of conquest, ultimately to their own ruination.[20] Meanwhile in Russia, which France had invaded under Napoleon's direction and is preparing to attack again in 1940, Red Air Force pilot Sergei Yaroslavsky gleefully remembers that, while Napoleon had taken Moscow, it was a pyrrhic victory, and Napoleon was unable to extract most of his army safely from Russia. Yaroslavsky is confident that Germany and its new allies will never make it that far.[21] Finally, Joseph Stalin broadcasts a radio speech to the Soviet people, promising that the invaders will be driven out just as Napoleon was.[22]

The same central metaphor is used on a smaller scale in "Bluethroats," where the birder and his daughter are driven from an Alaskan tundra by determined mosquitoes.

Napoleon has a similar reputation in Southern Victory, where all the latest masters of the battlefield are often compared to him.[23]

In The Guns of the South, Robert E. Lee, who has just received time displaced weapons that are changing the course of the ongoing war, reflects that Napoleon's Russian campaign might have had a different outcome, if the guns of 1864 had been displaced to 1812.[24]

In the fantasy world of The War Between the Provinces, a long-deceased character named "Great King Kermit" seems to have had a role similar to Napoleon.


Pocahontas (born Matoaka, known as Amonute, later took the name Rebecca Rolfe, c. 1596 – March 1617) was a Native American woman notable for her association with the colonial settlement at Jamestown, Virginia. She was the daughter of Powhatan, the paramount chief of a network of tributary tribes in the Tsenacommacah, encompassing the Tidewater region of Virginia.

Popular culture remembers Pocahontas via a largely apocryphal story involving her rescue of English army officer John Smith in 1607. Other significant events in her life were her capture by Colonists in a 1613 conflict, her marriage to planter John Rolfe in 1614, and her 1616 tour of London, where Pocahontas was presented to English society as an example of the "civilized savage" in hopes of stimulating investment in Jamestown. She died of an unknown illness while preparing to return to Virginia.

In The Great War: Breakthroughs, George Enos and his Navy buddies encounter a vessel called the SS Pocahontas, Arkansas, named after a city. Wondering what connection the ship has to the historical woman, the men recite a distorted, malaprop-filled biography of Pocahontas.[25]

Leen Ritmeyer

Leen Ritmeyer (born 3 June 1945) is a Dutch-born archaeological architect who currently lives and works in Wales, after having spent 22 years (1967–1989) in Jerusalem. Beginning in 1973, Ritmeyer served for 10 years as official architect of the archaeological dig at the Southern Wall of the Temple Mount directed by Benjamin Mazar.

In Alpha and Omega, Eric Katz and Shlomo Kupferman both find Ritmeyer's Temple Mount reports to be useful.[26]

Robert II of Normandy

Robert II (c. 1051 – 3 February 1134), sometimes called Robert Curthose ("short-stockinged"), succeeded his father William the Conqueror as Duke of Normandy in 1087 and reigned until 1106. Robert was also an unsuccessful claimant to the throne of the Kingdom of England. Robert's reign as duke is noted for the discord with his younger brothers William II and Henry I of England. Robert mortgaged his duchy to finance his participation in the First Crusade, where he was an important crusader commander. Eventually, his disagreements with Henry I led to his defeat at the Battle of Tinchebray (resulting in his lifelong captivity) and the absorption of Normandy as a possession of England.

In Frankos' St. Oswald's Niche, the discovery of the York Tapestry prompts a historians' debate on how best to reevaluate the roles of Robert and other figures of Tinchebray, when the tapestry's depictions of their relative positions and actions during the battle do not match up with conventional history books.

Nelson Rockefeller


Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller (July 8, 1908 – January 26, 1979) was an American businessman and politician who served as the 41st Vice President of the United States from 1974 to 1977, under President Gerald Ford, and previously as the 49th governor of New York State from 1959 to 1973. A grandson of billionaire John D. Rockefeller and a member of the wealthy Rockefeller family, he was a noted art collector and served as administrator of Rockefeller Center in Manhattan, New York City.

Rockefeller was considered to be of the liberal, progressive, or moderate side of the Republican Party. After unsuccessfully seeking the Republican presidential nomination in 1960, 1964, and 1968, Rockefeller was appointed to fill the vacant vice presidency under Ford, under the terms of the 25th Amendment. Ford had succeeded to the presidency after having been so appointed himself. As of this writing, Ford and Rockefeller are the only two such appointees in history. Rockefeller was not nominated for reelection in 1976. He retired from politics at the end of his term, and died two years later.

Categories: Historical Figures, Americans, 1900 Births (OTL), 1970s Deaths (OTL), Adulterers, Baptists, Businessmen, Died of Cardiovascular Illness (OTL), Divorced People (OTL), Governors of New York (OTL), Parents With Deceased Children (OTL), Republicans (OTL), Unsuccessful Presidential Candidates (OTL), Vice Presidents of the United States (OTL)

John Stubbs

John Stubbs (or Stubbe) (c. 1544–1589) was an English Puritan pamphleteer, political commentator, sketch artist, and self-proclaimed advocate of freedom of thought and free speech. In 1579, he opposed the negotiations for marriage between Queen Elizabeth I and the François, Duke of Anjou, heir to the French throne, fearing that such a match would return England to Catholicism. In an usually draconian sentence for the time and place, Stubbs and his publisher William Page were sentenced to have their right hands cut off, a sentence which was carried out on 3 November 1579. Ironically, after his release from prison in 1581, he remained a loyal subject of the Queen and served in Parliament. Some sources list Philip Stubbes as his younger brother.

In Ruled Britannia, Philip Stubbes refuses to repent before being burned by the English Inquisition, saying "Elizabeth cut off my brother's hand for speaking the truth."


Sukarno (born Kusno Sosrodihardjo, 6 June 1901 – 21 June 1970) was the first president of Indonesia, serving from 1945 to 1967.

Sukarno was the leader of the Indonesian struggle for independence from the Dutch Empire. He collaborated with the invading Japanese forces in World War II, in exchange for Japanese aid in spreading nationalist ideas. Upon Japanese surrender, Sukarno and Mohammad Hatta declared Indonesian independence on 17 August 1945, and Sukarno was appointed as its president. The Dutch recognized Indonesian independence in 1949. The early 1960s saw Sukarno veering Indonesia toward communism, and an alliance with the Soviet Union and China. An anti-communist rebellion 1967 supplanted him with General Suharto, and Sukarno remained under house arrest until his death in 1970.

In State of Jefferson Stories "Tie a Yellow Ribbon," Bill Williamson thinks of Suharto's slaughter of raft-fuls of Sukarno loyalists, prompted by Mark Gordon's assessment that Suharto is "a nasty, murderous son of a bitch" but is America's nasty, murderous son of a bitch because he opposed Sukarno's communism. Williamson feels a bit dirty upon receiving a goodwill form letter from Suharto.

Lucius Cornelius Sulla

Lucius Cornelius Sulla Felix (138–78 BC), commonly known simply as Sulla, was a Roman general and statesman who won the first large-scale civil war in Roman history and became the first man of the Republic to seize power through force. He had the distinction of holding the office of consul twice, as well as reviving the dictatorship. Sulla was a gifted and innovative general, achieving numerous successes in wars against different opponents, both foreign and Roman. Sulla's military coup, enabled by military reforms that bound the army's loyalty with the general rather than to the Republic, permanently destabilized the Roman power structure. Later leaders like Julius Caesar would follow his precedent in attaining political power through force.

In The Videssos Cycle, Gaius Philippus often reminisces about Sulla's defeat of Philippus' erstwhile commander Gaius Marius the Younger.

Tervel of Bulgaria

In addition to his direct role in Justinian, Tervel of Bulgaria is referenced in "Two Thieves," when Alexios Komnenos thinks of Justinian II's promotion of the foreign Tervel to the post of Kaisar of the Byzantine Empire. While Alexios considers it disgraceful, he understands the need, as he appoints Richard J. Daley to the same post in New Constantinople.[27]

Sabbatai Tzevi

In addition to his central background role in "The More it Changes," Sabbetai Zevi (the spelling Turtledove uses this time around) is referenced in Alpha and Omega as a cautionary tale, warning that the search for the Jewish Messiah can easily turn up a legion of false positives.[28]

Victoria of Britain


In Earthgrip section "The Great Unknown", we learn that the adjective "Victorian" to mean uptight about sex, has not come forward into 30th-century Spanglish, and is only known to Middle English experts like Jennifer Logan.[29]

Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington


In "The Yorkshire Mammoth," where an extended Ice Age greatly affected Britain's ecology, there is a reference to "Wellington boots," suggesting that Wellington had an esteemed military career in that timeline as well.

James Abbott McNeill Whistler

James Abbott McNeill Whistler (July 11, 1834 – July 17, 1903) was an American artist based primarily in the United Kingdom. He was averse to sentimentality and moral allusion in painting, and a leading proponent of the credo "art for art's sake". His most famous painting, Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1 (1871), commonly known as Whistler's Mother, is a revered and often parodied portrait of motherhood.

In The Two Georges, it is briefly suggested that Whistler was a famous North American Union artist as well.[30]

William, Count of Mortain

William, Count of Mortain, 3rd Earl of Cornwall (before 1084 – after 1140) was an English military commander (of Norman parentage) at the turn of the 12th century. He was a cousin of Duke Robert II of Normandy and Kings William II and Henry I of England.

From childhood, he harboured a bitter dislike for the future Henry I, and clashed with him over the rights to certain estates. William angrily left for Normandy joining forces with Duke Robert. In Normandy William attacked several of Henry's holdings, giving the king ample reasons to strip William of all his English honours. He was captured in 1106 with Duke Robert at the Battle of Tinchebray and stripped of Mortain. William was imprisoned for many years in the Tower of London, and in 1140 became a Cluniac monk at Bermondsey Abbey.

In Frankos' St. Oswald's Niche, the discovery of the York Tapestry prompts a historians' debate on how best to reevaluate the roles of William and other figures of Tinchebray, when the tapestry's depictions of their relative positions and actions during the battle do not match up with conventional history books. Furthermore, because 12th-century art depicts stylized figures rather than accurate portraits, there is a bit of difficulty in determining just which characters in the tapestry are meant to be William.

William of York

William Fitzherbert (late 11th century – 8 June 1154) was an English priest, and unusually, twice Archbishop of York, before and after his rival Henry Murdac. Born out of wedlock, he is thought to be a relative of King Stephen, who helped to secure his election to York after several candidates had failed to gain papal confirmation. William faced opposition from the Cistercians, who after the election of Pope Eugene III, had William deposed in favour of their champion Murdac. From 1147 until 1153, William worked to secure his restoration to York, which he finally achieved after the deaths of Murdac and Eugene. He did not hold the see long, dying shortly after his return, allegedly poisoned with the chalice he used to celebrate Mass. Miracles began to be reported at his tomb from 1177 onwards. He was canonised in 1227.

In Frankos' St. Oswald's Niche, Jennet Walker and other characters discuss Fitzherbert at length, and agree that he was an unlikely candidate for sainthood.


  1. E.g., The Best of Harry Turtledove, pg. 562.
  2. The Big Switch, p. 180.
  3. "Typecasting"
  4. The Disunited States of America, p. 198.
  5. Alpha and Omega, pg. 65, hc.
  6. And the Last Trump Shall Sound, pg. 50.
  7. American Front, pgs. 551-559, mmp.
  8. E.g., The Best of Harry Turtledove, pg. 555.
  9. Agent of Byzantium, 2018 edition, p. 156.
  10. Alpha and Omega, p. 104.
  11. American Front, p. 72, mmp.
  12. Thessalonica, p. 26.
  13. The Guns of the South, p. 253.
  14. E.g., 3xT, p. 13, HC.
  15. Alpha and Omega, pgs. 208 and 272, among other references.
  16. Tales of Riverworld, p. 199.
  17. In High Places, p. 200.
  18. E.g., 3xT, p. 466, HC.
  19. E.g., The Best of Harry Turtledove, pg. 191.
  20. The Big Switch, p. 230 HC.
  21. Ibid., p. 280.
  22. Ibid., p. 388.
  23. See, e.g. How Few Remain, pg. 51, mpb.
  24. The Guns of the South, pg. 82.
  25. Breakthroughs, pgs. 280-281, HC.
  26. Alpha and Omega, pgs. 203, 206.
  27. Tales of Riverworld, p. 199.
  28. Alpha and Omega, p. 113.
  29. E.g., 3xT, p. 604, HC.
  30. The Two Georges, pg. 288, HC