Q1: The world is about to end but you can be sent back in time to live out your life in any era before the 20th Century. When and why?
Hard question. My first choice would be somewhere I didn’t get killed too quickly! But pre-20th century, your chances were pretty bad wherever you were, dying from disease, infection, or war. That said, I’d love to meet the great minds of the Renaissance, when a person could actually know everything there was to know about a subject of study. One of my “have to meets” Would be Leonardo da Vinci.
Q2: What do you think is the biggest ‘What if…?’ of history and why?
For recent western history, probably the crusades. If they hadn’t happened, our civilisation since then would have been vastly different. There was a massive loss of life and confusion as noble people and commoners alike traveled, got lost, resettled, and died. They were also responsible for bringing back the bubonic plague. However, they brought new ideas about trade and commerce from the more technologically advanced middle eastern regions. They also consolidated control from the Catholic church. One could explore this question for a long time, as to whether the centers of modern power would be in different areas, or whether more people would be alive today, whether some advances would have come earlier, or later… It’s a huge factor in our history today.
Q3: Which three historical figures would you most want to invite to a dinner party and why?
Well, I’ve already said I want to meet him, so Leonardo da Vinci would be one pick. For the other two I’d pick Benjamin Franklin and Socrates. I’d throw a topic out there like “what makes a perfect society,” let them argue about it, and take notes. I’d also love to find out what they thought about modern technology, and see how long it would take Franklin to figure out how to use a smartphone!
Bill’s novel, The Seeds of Dissolution, is raising funds on Kickstarter