A Daily Updating Blog of Important Events In History That Never Occurred Today.
Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items explore that possibility. Written by Alternate Historian

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 'Happy Endings' by Guest Historian Jackie Rose
Guest Historian Guest Historian Jackie Rose says, a series of Happy Endings destined for compilation in a novella on the Fictionwise Web Site. If you're interested in viewing samples of my other work why not visit Jackie Rose site.


February 7

In 1934, disregarding the mistaken advice of his postmaster general James A. Farley who had recommended the cancellation of all domestic air mail contracts, President Roosevelt requested a consultative meeting with Charles Lindbergh (a former Air Mail pilot become world-famous aviator, Lindbergh was now acting as a consultant to two of the airlines).
An article from the Happy Endings thread

Air Mail Crisis AvertedIn reality, the President had bought into Farley's plan to use the U.S. Army Air Corps to fly the mail. But because of his iconic national status, Roosevelt feared that Lindbergh would embarrass him by publicly resisting the decision. However during their conversation, Roosevelt was persuaded that an Executive Order would be a misstep because the U.S. Army Air Corps was wholey unsuited to the task [1]. And for his part, Lindbergh agreed to accept a position in the Administration in which he would lead the modernization of the Air Corps.

As events were to transpire, it was a masterstroke. Firstly the alleged "fraud and collusion" between the Hoover Administration and the airlines was found to be without basis. Secondly, Lindbergh's success brought him into the Administration to tackle an area of military capability that was to prove absolutely vital during the next decade. And his advocacy [1] did much to persuade the legislative arm of Government to continue supplying arms to Britain and France after the declaration of war, by repealing the neutrality acts of the 1930s. And twenty years later, his beloved son Charles Junior would fly with distinction in the U.S. Air Corps during World War Three.



May 31

On III Shemu day 27, Ramesses II ascended to the throne of Egypt.
An article from the Happy Endings thread

Ascension of Ramesses IIA fearsome military leader, he built an enormous army of one hundred thousand men and used it to conquer territory across the Levant from Libya to Canaan to Nubia. He also built great cities, temples and monuments. It seemed certain that he would be long as remembered at the great Pharaoh of all, a symbol of the greatness of mankind's rulers. But of course there was one far greater than he, who watched Ramesses II and eventually decided he need to teach the elite leadership of Egypt an important lesson in humility.

And it was in his new capital of Pi-Ramesses that the most transformative event of his rule occurred. Challenged to release the Jewish slaves, his adoptive brother Moses turned his staff into a snake to show him the power of the Lord. Confronted by the undeniable evidence of this powerful demonstration, he embraced Yahweh as the one true God and renounced the false deity Ra.



September 3

It is Sept. 3, 1939. Germany has just invaded Poland, and the British and French have just declared war.
An instalment from the Happy Endings thread.


Happy Ending 51
Chamberlain really brings peace in our time
Eighty percent of the German army is in Poland, and only a small German force guards the border with France.

For once, Prime Ministers Chamberlain and Daladier show some intestinal fortitude. They order the combined French and British armies to march into Germany. The small German force on the French border is quickly overwhelmed, and the British and French are three quarters on their way to Berlin before the German forces can be recalled from Poland.



February 14

It is February 14, sometime in the mid 200's. A Roman priest named Valentine has been imprisoned for marrying Christian couples during the reign of the anti-Christian Emperor Claudius II.
An instalment from the Happy Endings thread.


Happy Ending 52
No candy or chocolates for Valentine's holiday
When he is ordered to stop the ceremonies he reluctantly agrees to do so, sighing that he must render until Caesar the things that are his. Valentine therefore avoids martyrdom, although he goes on practising other Christian rites.

And, of course, St. Valentine's Day never appears on our calendar, as the modern holiday calling for greeting cards, chocolates and romantic dinners.



August 7

It is August 7, 2001, and a young man named Mohammed Atta has taken his second trip to Las Vegas. He naturally assumes that it will be his last, since he plans to blow up American air-planes the following month. To while away the time, he goes to the roulette tables and slot machines.
An instalment from the Happy Endings thread.


Happy Ending 53
Atta cancels attack
But one round of roulette leads him to a multi-million-dollar pay-off, followed by cheers and kisses from his fellow players .. including the pretty females.

One of those females helps him celebrate in his hotel room .. which has naturally been upgraded to a luxury suite. The lady in question might well have enjoyed this assignment, since he was a pretty good looking guy .. and a rich one, too.

Deciding that he can effectively fight his Jihad by donating money to Muslim charities, while also enjoying pretty girls and luxury hotels, he calls off the scheduled suicide flights, while paying off his partners to cancel their own plans.

It might well be that his enemies sent agents to the roulette game, having gotten wind of his plans and thinking that this was a good way to change them. This is especially likely if one agent was a pretty young girl. But anyway you look at it, it was a Very Happy ending not only for Atta, but for the thousands of people who were spared the 9/11 disaster.



March 31

It is March 1869, and Abraham Lincoln is completing his second term. Just as he and Mary had planned, they head for Jerusalem as soon as the votes have been counted.
An instalment from the Happy Endings thread.


Happy Ending 54
Lincoln in Jerusalem: A very, very happy ending
There, they find themselves surrounded by Jewish and Muslim inhabitants. They have all heard of Abraham Lincoln and try hard to make him welcome, as a way of attracting additional newcomers to their Holy Land.

Lincoln, in turn, writes to his friends and supporters, recommending that they visit this holy and fascinating place. Soon newspaper reporters get the message and share it with the world. As a result, American visitors start flocking there. Many of them decide to stay .. enough to make Jerusalem an American colony.

This, of course, enhances the prosperity of their Jewish and Muslim neighbors, who soon start catering to the tourist trade. When the 1894 Dreyfuss Case attracts even more Zionists, they are welcomed, too.

Now a spry 85-year-old, Lincoln encourages the influx by roundly condemning the bigoted French prosecutors in the Dreyfuss Case .. and reminding the world of the great sacrifices made by his own brave and honorable Jewish soldiers .. to the point where Palestine is now known as the "Land of Lincoln".



March 12

In 1938, on this day the tin-pot army of Austrian Chancellor Adolph Schicklegruber marched into the tiny Soviet Republic of Munich. Predictably, the Füehrer's latest antics were greeted by fresh calls for the introducton of the collective security model proposed and then abandoned during the brief "Wilsonian Moment".

Happy Endings 13
Das Kleiner Anschluß
Unlike the outmoded structures of the other victor nations, the American Republic's constitution encouraged a sensible level of consultation between the branches of government prior to executive action. This quickly revealed a shocking new isolationism on the Hill. Lacking a platform of popular support, President Wilson quietly dropped1 his radical proposals for collective security and instead of attending in person dispatched his Secretary of State Robert Lansing to the Peace Conference. After months of drawn-out negotiation, Lloyd George and Clemenceau admitted their worst fears of a twenty-year armistice followed by an even more bloody conflict.

The cause of this cycle was determined to be Prussian militarism which was squarely blamed on Bismarck and his heirs. And so the unavoidable and perhaps inevitable conclusion was that the Prussian German State had to be broken up. The demilitarization of the Rhineland, and the occupation of the coal-rich Saar proceeded without much difficulty. And in fact, many aspects of the break-up went to plan, but only where Anglo-French interests were at stake. Some of the länder even refused to return to the pre-unification monarchies and one such example was Bavaria.

But by this stage, the Anglo-French Governments had decided that a mixture of different philosophies was no bad thing after all as it would "spike" a resurgence of German unity. However the small fly in this ointment was a ridiculous little man with a bad moustache. His romantic dreams of a Großer Deutschland generated concern in European Capitals and a wild level of enthusiasm in Southern Germany and Austria. But it was nothing of substance to really trouble the happy retirement years of Woodrow Wilson and his second wife Edith Bolling. After all, they had only married in 1914, and were able to fully enjoy the long autumnal years after they left the White House in 1921. Unlike Prussian Germany, their happy marriage really was a lasting union under God.



December 16

In 1485, on this day Catherine of Aragon the Spanish Queen consort to King Arthur II of England was born in Madrid.

Happy Endings 14
"A True and Loving Husband"
Due to the English ancestry she inherited from her mother Queen Isabella I of Castile, she actually had a stronger legitimate claim to the English throne than King Henry VII. And therefore, from an early age she was considered a suitable wife for Henry's first born son Arthur because the union validated the House of Tudor in the eyes of European royalty and also strengthened the Tudor claim to the English throne via Catherine of Aragon's ancestry.

Against the odds, this political union was a case of love at first sight when the couple first met on 4 November, 1501 at Dogmersfield in Hampshire. Arthur wrote to his parents-in-law that he would be "a true and loving husband" and told his parents that he was immensely happy to "behold the face of his lovely bride". Ten days later, on 14 November, they were married at Old St. Paul's Cathedral.

Arthur and Catherine were crowned King and Queen of England in 1509, making England a vibrant Tudor monarchy for a new century, protected by an unbreakable bond with their Catholic allies in Spain.



January 7

In 1536, on this day Catherine of Aragon beloved wife to King Arthur II of England died at the Palace of Westminister. She was fifty years old.

Happy Endings 14a
"A True and Loving Husband"
Due to the English ancestry she inherited from her mother Queen Isabella I of Castile, she actually had a stronger legitimate claim to the English throne than King Henry VII. And therefore, from an early age she was considered a suitable wife for Henry's first born son Arthur because the union validated the House of Tudor in the eyes of European royalty and also strengthened the Tudor claim to the English throne via Catherine of Aragon's ancestry.

Against the odds, this political union was a case of love at first sight when the couple first met on 4 November, 1501 at Dogmersfield in Hampshire. Arthur wrote to his parents-in-law that he would be "a true and loving husband" and told his parents that he was immensely happy to "behold the face of his lovely bride". Ten days later, on 14 November, they were married at Old St. Paul's Cathedral.

Arthur and Catherine were crowned King and Queen of England in 1509, making England a vibrant Tudor monarchy for a new century, protected by an unbreakable bond with their Catholic allies in Spain.



November 4

In 1501, on this day Catherine of Aragon met Arthur Tudor. They would later marry, making England a vibrant Tudor monarchy for a new century, protected by an unbreakable bond with their Catholic allies in Spain.

Happy Endings 14b
"A True and Loving Husband"
Due to the English ancestry she inherited from her mother Queen Isabella I of Castile, she actually had a stronger legitimate claim to the English throne than King Henry VII. And therefore, from an early age she was considered a suitable wife for Henry's first born son Arthur because the union validated the House of Tudor in the eyes of European royalty and also strengthened the Tudor claim to the English throne via Catherine of Aragon's ancestry.

Against the odds, this political union was a case of love at first sight when the couple first met on 4 November, 1501 at Dogmersfield in Hampshire. Arthur wrote to his parents-in-law that he would be "a true and loving husband" and told his parents that he was immensely happy to "behold the face of his lovely bride". Ten days later, on 14 November, they were married at Old St. Paul's Cathedral. Eight years later, they were crowned King and Queen of England.



April 10

In 1899, provoked by the blistering satire of his final novel, Russian authorities forced Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy into exile.

Happy Endings 20: Tolstoy a Canadian Life by Ed & Jackie RoseIn writing Resurrection, he had originally intended to aid members of the Dukhobor sect to emigrate to Canada where they could practice their beliefs freely and without persecution. But instead, with the Tsarist Government emboldened1 by the Russian Orthodox Church's decision to excommunicate him, Tolstoy opted to accompany them. It was in hindsight a step that had become inevitable ever since the banning of his Christian anarchist tract The Kingdom of God Is Within You five years earlier.

Also inevitable and also a result of the success of his novel-writing was his marital breakdown. Because his unbalanced union was also a source of tension and conflict - and for a very good reason. After his wife Sonya had transcribed and edited his novels, he ingraciously informed her that he was giving all the proceeds to the poor [3]. With the insensitive delivery of that painful revelation any semblance of marital harmony was destroyed, because in Sonya's eyes Leo had undone the magic of their partnership. The relationship was never quite the same and then a final fracas Sonya made the decision for him and he set off to find a new day in Canada.

But the disastrous Russo-Japanese War changed everything and Tolstoy was able to return to Russia after the Revolution of 1905 overthrew the Tsar. Thanks to Father Gapon, he spent the final happy years of his life in his homeland, and was even able to reconcile with Sonya [2]. This was because in the new Era, women were granted property rights and his wife was afforded her full monied status as co-author of the Tolstoy novels [3].



May 12

In 1944, hurrying back from a lonely fishing trip, twelve-year old J.R. Cash rescued his beloved brother Jack from a whirling head saw in the mill where he worked in Dyess, Arkansas. An installment of the Happy Endings thread.

Happy Endings 26d
Mill House Miracle saves Jack Cash
Jack was a religious child with a calling to the priesthood, whereas J.R. was smitten with popular music. After the war, Jack led prayer drives in the South whilst his brother served in Germany. By the late fifties, he became a minor figure on the Nashville/Memphis Popular Music Scene.

In 1968, Jack set upon a southern prayer drive that included Folsom Prison. Intending to refer to the Mill house miracle as his own second chance, he invited his brother along to sing gospel songs. A memorable evening drew the attention of Senator Robert F. Kennedy who later announced his intention to run for President on a related theme of national reconciliation. At his inauguration, Kennedy asked the Cashes if they would perform right before Elvis Presley's iconic performance of "If I can Dream". Ever the improviser, Presley changed those plans at the last minute by asking J.R. to remain on stage for the picking; it was the beginning of a famous music collaboration that would sweep America into the exhilarating world of the nineteen seventies.



March 19

In 1286, with no surviving children and the line of succession vulnerable to usurpation, Alexander III King of Scots made an irresponsible choice regarding his personal safety. He disregarded the cautious advice of his privy council and instead set out on a dangerous night journey to visit the pregnant queen at Kinghorn in Fife because it was her birthday the next day.
An article from our Happy Endings thread devised by Jackie Rose.

Happy Endings 27:
A Lucky Escape for Our Greatest Monarch
Separated from his companions his ride stumbled in the dark. He fell, landing awkwardly on the edge of a cliff. The good fortune of his escape was highlighted the following morning when his horse was found dead on the shore below a steep rocky embankment.

Not much later, his beloved wife gave birth to the son that would become Alexander IV. He married into the English Royal Family, and the future of an independent Scotland later a favourable union of crowns, was assured.



August 7

In 1001, on this day Otto III, Holy Roman Emperor married Zoe, second daughter of Emperor Constantine VIII.
An article from our Happy Endings thread devised by Jackie Rose.

Happy Endings 28:
The Wedding at Ravenna
The son of the Byzantine Princess Theophana (herself closely related to Byzantine Emperors John I Tzimisces and Romanus II), Otto had introduced Byzantine court ceremonial into the Holy Roman Empire and explicitly attempted to model his state on Byzantine theocratic ideal models.

The marriage was simply the next logical step towards a union of the crowns that would eventually re-unite the East and West Roman Empires. Amazingly, the wedding had almost never happened because Stefania, the widow of Crescentius II had attempted to poison the twenty-year old monarch when she heard that his bride-to-be had disembarked in Puglia. But fortunately, the conspiracy plot was exposed, and the wedding went ahead as planned. To be continued



November 21

It is 1499, and two young men in their mid 20s have been sentenced to death for trying to escape the Tower of London. An article from our Happy Endings thread devised by Jackie Rose.

Happy Endings 29:
Richard IV and Edward VI find a very happy ending
Their attempt was suspicious, to say the least. Rumors are rife that King Henry VII had deliberately tried to trap them into fleeing, and for good reason.

One was Perkin Warbeck, who had led several battles against King Henry, by claiming to be the rightful King Richard IV .. one of the two little princes who had vanished after being taken to the Tower, including the rightful heir to the throne.

The other was Edward Plantagenet, Earl of Warwick, who was undoubtedly the rightful heir, as King Edward IV's nephew. He had been imprisoned since age ten on the orders of King Henry Tudor, the Welsh invader. King Henry had a more pressing motive, too. Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain had demanded that he kill both boys, in order to ensure the safety of their daughter Catherine of Aragon, who was betrothed to the English ruler's oldest son, Prince Arthur.

But King Henry had second thoughts, when he learned that rumors of his wicked plan were spreading among the people, thus arousing the possibility of yet another rebellion against him. Making matters worse for him, his own Queen Elizabeth of York was the little princes' sister.. and the mere suspicion that her husband had killed her brother would not have made for much family harmony.

So 18 months before the escape attempt would have been made, he found another option .. namely, the latest voyage of John Cabot, the explorer whom he had been subsidizing.

With Cabot standing beside his throne, King Henry proclaimed to the two young men that he was sending them with the explorer on his latest journey, to the place that is now Newfoundland, where a priest was also headed to found a Christian community. There, the two youths were further ordered to rule the place as co-regents.

With great relief, both boys pledged eternal loyalty to their king.

Privately, they might have agreed that Newfoundland, by all accounts, was a pretty cold place .. but the Tower was even worse.



August 22

It is 1485, and King Richard III of Lancaster is facing the Welsh invader, Henry Tudor, on Bosworth Field. The tide is starting to turn in Henry's favor .. when Henry's stepfather, Lord Thomas Stanley, surprises everyone by switching to Richard's side, in one of his most dramatic shows of disloyalty. An article from our Happy Endings thread devised by Jackie Rose.

Happy Endings 30:
A Double Happy Ending
He had been planning to support Henry all along, he cries .. but now that he has heard of his own wife Margaret's love affair with her brother-in-law Jasper Tudor, the whole family can go to Hell. He is as good as his word, as he proves by leading his soldiers in charging off the field. Always a sensible man, Henry Tudor soon follows him. With nothing left to lose, Jasper and Margaret declare their love openly and move in together.

This leaves Richard free to marry Elizabeth of York (pictured), the daughter of his brother Edward, the previous king, thus cementing his rule. Since Elizabeth had long been in love with him anyway, it was a happy ending for both couples: Margaret and Jasper and Elizabeth and Richard. No one is sure what became of Henry Tudor.



September 27

It is 1960, and the Kennedy Family are gathered at the patriarchal home to discuss the televised presidential debate. The mood is sombre because that old fooler Dick Nixon and his dog Checkers stole the show again. An article from our Happy Endings thread devised by Jackie Rose.

Happy Endings 31:
Checkers the Dog saves the day (again)
Reluctantly, Father Joe agrees that younger brother Ted can run the West Coast campaign. Nixon, from Yorba Linda, has a strong showing in California, but the Clan decide that a victory in the State might swing the national vote their way. This is something of a dramatic turn-around, Joe had stopped Eunice running for the Congress, and had forbidden Teddy heading out West.

But the fairy tale doesn't quite turn out that way, Nixon and Checkers get to stay in the White House, and Ted doesnt' get to inherit the family heirloom, Jack's safe Senate seat in Massachusetts. Rather than watch Jack live his own political life for him (and after his father's stroke removes parental domination) he decides to "man up" and stay in sunny California. Although his campaign had faltered, he has become something of a local celebrity, and when he reaches thirty, decides to have his own run for the Senate.

Unfortunately for these plans, his wife Joan hates the West Coast, and in particular fears the impact of the wild partying upon playboy Ted. Convinced that they should separate, and she return to Massachusetts, Ted realizes he doesn't just want to be"another Kennedy" and makes a series of changes that turns his life around. Together, they have a long and happy if uneventful marriage until his passing in 2009.



September 30

It is 1967, and Elvis Presley marries June Carter, a two-time divorcee six years his senior. An article from our Happy Endings thread devised by Jackie Rose.

Happy Endings 32:
A Royal Wedding in Memphis, Tennessee
Both Southern musicians had been managed by Colonel Tom Parker and were distantly related, nevertheless their union was anything but inevitable. "Elvis got a crush on whoever was handy. I decided I wouldn't touch him with a 10-foot pole. Lord only knows where he'd been. I think that was a big shock to his ego".

However by the mid nineteen sixties there were at dead ends and unknowingly both moving along the same arc of fate. Even if the King was marrying a divorcee, there was no abdication crisis to worry about. Carter had actually been divorced twice and pursued by even more troubled individuals such as the slim, moody wildcat Johnny Cash who was addicted to drugs. Elvis on the other hand was simply trapped in a flow of formulaic movies and assembly-line soundtracks. It was suggested by Parker that Elvis might benefit from a duet singing Southern belle, and when he heard June's surprisingly rough voice he was instantly sold on the idea of a new direction. Somehow they reached out and found each other (personally and professionally), and the rest is as they say alternate history.



October 30

It is a month, since the government shutdown started at midnight Sept. 30, and the Army still has not been paid. Making matters worse, they are about to be deployed to Syria, to aid the United Nations mission. An article from our Happy Endings thread devised by Jackie Rose.

Happy Endings 33:
A general happy ending
Following a time-honored tradition, they revolt against the government which is failing to pay them. Their generals lead the way ... partly because that will let them rule the country, and partly because they haven't been paid either.

When the soldiers storm the White House and Capitol, the security guards rush to embrace them .. because they have also gone without pay. Taking the President and Congress captive, they exile them to the traditional place of exile .. Paris.

The media are also shut down briefly, with the exception of Fox News ... until the Army realizes that the public is on their side, having tired of all the government shenanigans. So it is a happy ending for the generals, if no one else.



October 19

It is Oct. 19, 1859, and the notorious abolitionist John Brown has led 20 men in a raid on Harpers Ferry in Virginia, hoping to incite a slave revolt. Instead, he is captured by soldiers led by Col. Robert E. Lee and put on trial for treason against the State of Virginia.
An article from our Happy Endings thread devised by Jackie Rose.

Happy Endings 34:
A national compromise on slavery
His lawyers defended him with a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity.

With this crisis passed, Stephen Douglas is elected president by majorities in the North and South alike, with a platform promising a national compromise on slavery.



April 1

It is April. 1st, 1996, and a twenty-three year old White House intern called Monica Lewinsky has been kidnapped by the little known terrorist group Al-Qaeda. An article from our Happy Endings thread.

Happy Endings 35:
April Fool
What the militants actually had in mind was a jaw-dropping demonstration of the sickness of Western decadence. To wit, jamming Al Jazeera with a special broadcast in which Lewinsky (accompanied by her soiled blue dress) would reveal certain delicate facts about the conduct of the President of the United States. Although infidel infidelity were nothing new, even in the White House, some aspects of the revelations would certainly shock both the United States and her Allies. It would be a fine explosion they figured, after all, an outrage that would linger long in the collective memory of the Arab Street.

But the broadcast never happened because Lewinsky executed several members of the cell and then made her leisurely escape. Only then was a further fact revealed: that Monica Lewinsky was a deep sleeper Mossad agent.



October 16

In 1793, former Queen of France Marie Antoinette was pardoned by the revolutionary committee controlling France. An article from our Happy Endings thread.

Happy Endings 36:
The pardon of Marie Antoinette
The debate as to her fate was the central question of the National Convention after Louis's death. There were those who had been advocating her death for some time, while some had the idea of exchanging her for French prisoners of war or for a ransom from the Holy Roman Emperor. Thomas Paine advocated exile to America. Starting in April, however, a Committee of Public Safety was formed, and men such as Jacques H&eeacute;bert were beginning to call for Antoinette's trial; by the end of May, the Girondins had been chased out of power and arrested. Other calls were made to "retrain" the Dauphin, to make him more pliant to revolutionary ideas. This was carried out when the eight-year-old boy Louis Charles was separated from Antoinette on 3 July, and given to the care of a cobbler. On 1 August, she herself was taken out of the Tower and entered into the Conciergerie as Prisoner No. 280. Despite various attempts to get her out, such as the Carnation Plot in September, Marie Antoinette refused when the plots for her escape were brought to her attention.

Fortunately, her sentence was lessoned because it is discovered that she is pregnant; since her husband, King Louis, had been executed some 9 months prior, she confessed that she has been having an affair with her guard in order to secure better treatment. On her release, she is married to the guard, and lives the rest of her life in mild seclusion in Paris.



October 21

It is October 21st, 1805, and Admiral Villeneuve's combined French and Spanish fleets have won a decisive victory off the south-west coast of Spain, just west of Cape Trafalgar. An article from our Happy Endings thread.

Happy Endings 38:
Napoleon's Column
Whereas the British fleet had suffered the disadvantages of a split command, bearing down in two separate lines, the one led by Nelson in the Victory, and the other by Collingwood in the Royal Sovereign. But it was not until November 4, a fortnight later, that news of the disaster reached England's shores aboard the schooner Pickle.

If there was a delicious irony in names such as Victory and Pickle, then the nation was in no mood to savour it. Because the defeat of the Royal Navy opened the door to Napoleon's invasion of England. But in the long run, Villeneuve's victory brought the country into the heart of a centralised, protectionist Europe. It was a glorious triumph that was marked by the construction of Napoleon's Column in Whitehall. Indeed, the toast of Paris where Nelson and his mistress lived the remaining years of their lives in surprising opulence, given the parlous state of the Admiral's fortunes on the eve of battle.



January 26

It is January 26th, 1979, and an aide called Megan Marshack has miraculously saved the life of Nelson Rockefeller the thirty-eight President of the United States [1]. An article from our Happy Endings thread.

Happy Endings 39:
Rocky Lives by Ed. & Stan Brin
"Rocky" had been under unbearable stress ever since taking the fateful decision to covertly order the Iranian Army Corps to get out of their barracks and suppress the revolution sweeping the country [2]. Suffering irregular chest pains, he had been ordered by medical staff to reduce his duties. Nevertheless, he had been working late at his desk in the Oval Office [3] diligently studying intelligence reports from Tehran when he suffered the respiratory failure. Fortunately though Marshack had managed to resuscitate him.

In the following weeks, Marshak was honoured with a Life Saver Award, but of course in the long run, the real winners were the American people. They had the good fortune to be governed by a staunch defender of liberty also an unswerving protector of a strategic ally in the Middle East. Once considered something of a wishy-washy liberal Republican, it was his firm handling of the Attica Prison Riot as Governor of New York State that had cemented his reputation for establishing regular order through decisive executive leadership. And when he reluctantly stood down over ill health and handed over the reigns at the White House to Paul Laxalt, the first tentative steps towards plural democracy had already been taken in Tehran.



July 1

It is July 1st, 1993, and the 42nd President of the United States Ross H. Perot has given away his daughter Carolyn's hand in marriage on the White House lawn. An article from our Happy Endings thread.

Happy Endings 40:
Fairytale Wedding by Ed. & Jackie Rose
A year earlier Ross had considered quitting the campaign in order to avoid protests at the wedding. But instead of this negative outcome, and being a well-renowned win-win problem solver, he had found a perfect solution with Carolyn and her husband whereby the wedding could be delayed for a year and then held in splendour on the White House lawn.

It was exactly these kinds of smart "look under the hood" moves that guided Perot through his transformative two-term Presidency.



November 8

It is November 1578, and the intercessory prayers of the Protestant Cathedral of York have spared the life of Edward Fawkes. God willing, the incomparable proctor and advocate of the the consistory court slowly recovered from the mysterious life-illness that had threatened his life throughout the long autumn months. An article from our Happy Endings thread.

Happy Endings 41:
Miracle of York
Few were more relieved than his wife Edith and their vulnerable young children. They were spared from the clutches of the mother in law's family, all recusant Catholics that would no doubt have forced them to obey the Pope. This indeed was not uncommon to Tudor England, merely an everyday consequence of the knife edge that the religious divide had become in the late sixteen century.

Instead, Edward would live to introduce his spirited second son Guy into the Tudor Court. A natural soldier, he rose to the position of Captain of the Guards, a dashing goatee bearded figure safeguarding the Houses of Parliament. And in this trusted position of responsibility, he repaid God's mercy, fulfilling his destiny by foiling a sinister Popish plot to kill His Majesty. Because in Robert Catesby and his band of Catholic mercentaries, Fawkes heard a terrible echo from his own childhood. From the personal experience of his own enlightenment, he knew that the Reformation had come to England, and it was not to be denied.



January 4

It is Jan 4 1894, and after much deliberation, Czar Alexander III has refused to join an alliance with France. He has been tempted to do so by a large loan that the French had given him to buy arms for the coming war against Japan. But finally, seeing the danger of having to fight against Germany, he returns the money with regret. An article from our Happy Endings thread.

Happy Endings 42:
An imperially happy ending
Twenty years later, Austria and Hungary invade Serbia, following the assassination of the Archduke Ferdinand. Lacking allies in the West, Russia is forced to back down without mobilizing, when the Germans threaten to support Austria. Without the alliance with France, Russia simply could not fight Germany and Austria by herself.

Instead of World War I, there is merely an isolated conflict between Austria and Serbia, ending in a stalemate. It showed the extreme weakness of the Austrians fighting alone and the map of Europe remaining unchanged.

So now the Hapsburgs, Hohenzollerns and Romanovs still rule their respective empires to this day. Since it has not been weakened by two world wars, the British Monarchy maintains its empire as well.



November 14

It is November 1972, and lovers Charles Windsor and Camilla Shand are celebrating the Prince of Wales twenty-fourth birthday. They are pleasantly surprised to discover that his mother, the Queen has relented and invited Camilla to stay at Sandringham for Christmas, although this welcome news is clouded by two issues. An article from our Happy Endings thread.

Happy Endings 43:
Charles tells Camilla to wait for him
Her former tryst with Andrew Parker Bowles has become somewhat embarrassing because he is set to marry Charles' elder sister Anne, and worse Charles is set to go on a long tour of military duty. But he tells her not to worry and she in turn agrees to wait for him.

They marry during the summer of 1974, and three children soon follow in 1976, 1979 and 1982. However fate plays a cruel twist when they are thrust into the monarchy decades before they can enjoy their marriage in some degree of privacy from the media. Because in October 1981 Queen Elizabeth II was assassinated at the Horse Guard's Parade by Marcus Sarjeant. And the couple ascend the throne, just nine years after that fateful birthday celebration. It is the eve of King George VII's thirty-third birthday as the Prince had previously sworn not to be enthroned with the regnal name of Charles III/IV due to the potential digit confusion caused by the Scottish ascendency..



November 23

It is 1933, the Great Depression is ravaging Germany, and World War I reparations payments are making it even worse. With both the Bolsheviks and National Socialists fighting for power, the Kaiser's eldest son Frederick Wilhelm decides it's time to return from the family's exile in Holland. An article from our Happy Endings thread.

Happy Endings 44:
Big Stick Redux
Determined to avenge his father, he stirs up violent anger against America, with his impassioned speeches. In this atmosphere, upstarts like Adolf Hitler are brushed aside, along with his attacks on the Jews.

As a patriotic German, Albert Einstein offers to direct the construction of an atomic bomb. Fortunately for his nation's enemies, an American scientist named J. Robert Oppenheimer is doing the same thing. The result is a stalemate, based on mutual hatred and contempt.

The new Kaiser Frederick Wilhelm is in a good position to allay his country's fears of this powerful foe. One of the most telling incidents takes place at a young girls' reception line, where one of them bursts into tears when her turn comes to kiss the Kaiser's hand.

"Why are you weeping?" he asks. "Because I fear that America will hang you and kill us al1!" Anna wails. With a kindly smile, he answers, "You need not fear America as long as Germany is strong, my dear Miss Frank.



November 24

It is 1965, and on their return from a disastrous USO concert in Saigon, Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys candidly told music journalists "this is the worst tour that I've ever been on" [1]. An article from our Happy Endings thread.

Happy Endings 45:
Hoist up the John B Sail
An acute embarrassment of course yet it also represented a withdrawal opportunity for the Kennedy Administration that had unwisely chosen to maintain Eisenhower-era military advisors in South Vietnam.

With no meaningful support from her European allies (only Australia had made a positive commitment), and the Saigon Government continuing to be notoriously unhelpful and corrupt, JFK was unwilling to defend the country down to the last American. Acting upon the public outcry, he terminated the mission. Significantly, he made it clear that he considered the conflict a civil war rather than a Cold War flashpoint and therefore outside the scope of the "containment of Communism" strategy being pursued by the US Government.



April 16

It is April 16, 1917, and the revolutionaries are ruling Russia. Kaiser Wilhelm II has sent Vladimir Lenin back home from exile in a sealed train, knowing that the Russian people are desperate to make peace and that Lenin is likely to do it, if he can gain control of Alexander Kerensky's government. Sure enough, once Lenin overthrows Kerensky he signs the peace treaty of Brest-Litovsk, giving the Kaiser everything he had asked for in return. An article from our Happy Endings thread.

Happy Endings 46:
The Imperial Happy Ending
Since the Czarina and the Kaiser were cousins, as descendants of Queen Victoria, the Kaiser also added a provision that the imperial family must be sent to him in Germany, before Lenin and his followers were allowed to board the sealed train. Lenin was reluctant to agree, since he still sought revenge for a brother who had been hanged as a terrorist by the Czar's police. Still, he made the agreement, and the imperial family was accordingly sent to Germany, via the Finland Station, before Lenin was permitted to depart.

Lenin had cause to regret his decision, when the "White" anti-communists rallied around the exiled Czar, making it harder for Lenin's government to fight them. The resulting civil war lasted for a decade, before the Russians signed a truce...which did not, however, call for the imperial family's return.

Instead, the Romanovs had joined the Kaiser in his exile at an estate in Holland, once the allies had won. Their exile was made more pleasant through the sale of the crown jewels that the four princesses had smuggled out of their country. While Prince Alexis died of hemophilia before his 20th birthday, the girls found aristocratic husbands.

Considering that the revolutionaries would otherwise have killed the entire family, including the Czar, the Czarina and their five children, it was a happy ending indeed.



February 7

In 1450, the Duke of Suffolk's cunning plan to get the English crown into his own family bore fruition with the marriage of his seven-year old ward Lady Margaret Beaufort to his only son John de la Pole. An article from the Happy Endings thread

Happy Endings 47: The Strange Tale of William de la Pole by Ed, Eric Oppen, Jackie Rose & Mike WhelanOf course there were very good reasons for the actions of "the Most Despised Man In England" (pictured). His forebears had paid the ultimate price for being on the wrong-side of disputes between the ruling monarch and the Lords Appellant. And there was the endless war to maintain Lancastrian France, an utterly pointless conflict that had costs the lives of his four brothers.

And so when William de la Pole returned from twenty years of war-time service he discovered to his dismay that the monarch not only had an acute distaste for the war, he was also hopelessly insane. Overstepping his limited authority as a Peace Commissioner, he became drawn into the organisation of a marriage for King Henry VI. To the outrage of many, the prospective bride was "the She Wolf of France" Margaret of Anjou who was not only unable to provide a dowry but also linked to attempts to relinquish English territories in Maine and Anjou.

However behind the scenes, he was deeply involved in the secret negotiation of an end to the Hundred Years War. Of course this bold initiative required the full support of Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York, another powerful individual who aspired to take the throne. The striking of this accord was further complicated because de la Pole had antagonised the Duke by openly criticised Beaufort's war management in France and indeed his general character as a military leader. Nevertheless he overcame these difficulties and in so doing firmly established his credentials for national leadership. It was a diplomatic master-stroke that turned the whole country in his favour, and in so doing propelled his son onto the throne.



May 1

Bursting into the chapel at their family home in Northamptonshire Anthony and John Woodville prevent the womanising Edward IV from fooling their beloved sister Elizabeth into a secret wedding, a cheap trick he had used countless times before. An instalment from Happy Endings conceived by Jackie Rose.

Happy Endings 48: The King's MistressTheir well-grounded suspicions appear to be confirmed by the announcement of the King's political marriage to Princess Bona of France, the clincher to year long peace negotiations led by Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick. As it transpires this is a significant union because it leads to an alliance between the two nations. And after all, Elizabeth's romantic dreams were widely unrealistic; not only was she a widow many years older than Edward more significant was the fact that ever since the Norman Conquest only one King had married one of his subjects. Also no such consort had been crowned Queen (John had divorced his wife, Isabel of Gloucester, shortly after his accession, and she was never crowned; Henry IV's first wife Mary de Bohun died before he became King).

Nevertheless over the years the King was a frequent visitor to Northamptonshire and Earl Rivers and his sons eventually realized that he really was completely besotted with their sister, "the most beautiful woman in the Island of Britain" with her "heavy-lidded eyes like those of a dragon". They continued a life-long affair shrouded in secrecy while Edward's long rule re-established peace through the country and also in Yorkist France, so perhaps it was for the best that Warwick had passed that anonymous note to the Woodville Brothers.



February 8

It is 1998, and Congress is pressing for the censure and impeachment of President Clinton, following the revelation that he had lied about his affair with Monica Lewinsky, based on the public accusations made by the independent counsel Ken Starr.

Happy Endings 49: Duel CitizensWhat Clinton's critics did not realize, was that he had been an expert marksman back in Hope, Arkansas. So he challenged the investigator to a duel with pistols at ten paces, thus following a tradition that had been followed by President Andrew Jackson and continues to the present day.

After hearing the challenge on television, Starr hastened to publicly apologize and beg pardon from both the President and Miss Lewinsky, thus averting a national crisis and ending the impeachment drive.

The incident served to increase the President's popularity, while Starr was despised and scorned for his cowardice. It all proved, once more, the value of the time-honored American tradition.



January 23

In 1484, a powerful opening speech of Parliament was delivered by the Bishop of Lincoln John Russell. But the survival of the revolutionary ideas that he set out on this fateful day was entirely due to the narrow-fought Yorkist victory which raged at Bosworth Field some eighteen months later. An article from the Happy Endings thread

Happy Endings 50: England finds its Lost Coin at Bosworth FieldServing in his official capacity as the Chancellor to Richard III of England, Russell defined a breath-taking proto-democratic vision for the new Parliament by quoting from the "Parable of the Lost Coin". In so doing, he not only berated the rule of Richard's brother Edward IV, but took a sweeping view of three decades of civil unrest. In short, he suggested that England was a mess and Richard was going to sort it out. An early indication of this programme of change would be a statute that outlawed benevolences, a corrupt malpractice created by Edward IV that allowed for extra-Parliamentary taxation by "requesting" gifts of money from wealthy subjects. This action not only gave England back to the people, but by releasing the merchant classes set the stage for an earlier colonisation of the Americas [1].

Or what woman, if she has ten silver coins and loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbours, saying, "Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin which I had lost!" [Luke 15:8-9]
However Russell's warm words would have counted for absolutely nothing had the Lancastrians dynastic challenge succeeded. But fortunately, Richard III won the Battle of Bosworth field that finally ended the War of the Roses and also closed the book on the turbulent period known as the "Middle Ages". His ten thousand men were divided under the command of himself, the Duke of Norfolk, and the Earl of Northumberland. Henry opposed him with only 5,000 men. Waiting on the wings with 6,000 men were the Stanleys, brothers Thomas and William, who were forced into loyalty under Richard by the imprisonment and threatened execution of Thomas' eldest son, George. As the battle became thick, Richard found himself betrayed by the hesitating Northumberland and decided to lead the charge against Henry himself. In the gamble, Richard and his knights became separated from the main force, and the Tudors pressed upon them.

William Stanley decided that the time was right to strike. He drove for Richard, signalling his army to save the king and serve as reinforcements. With the second charge, the battle was won for Richard and the House of York. Henry Tudor was slain in battle. Tradition tells that Richard, looking over the body of Henry, mumbled, "Treason, treason, treason, treason, treason".

Having been satisfied with the loyalty of the Stanleys, Richard released Thomas' son and rewarded William with the lands seized from Northumberland as punishment. Richard would go on to rule until 1507, marrying Anne of Lancaster and pacifying his populace to achieve a return to peace for England. He was well known as a beneficiary to the church (though rumours said his gifts were out of guilt for evil deeds past and present). He would be succeeded by his son Richard IV, and the Yorkist line would continue.



June 26

It is 1998, and to wish the happy couple the very best of British good luck, the bride's former husband, Charles Windsor, has ordered a spectacular flyover by the Royal Air Force in honor of the newlyweds, Dodi and Diana Fayed. The climax is a dazzling manoeuvre with three of the jets arching in the formation of the Prince of Wales's Feathers, the heir apparent's heraldic badge. Rose-coloured letters in smoke spelled out the motto "Ich Dien" (I serve) dating back to the time of Edward, the Black Prince.

Happy Endings Part 1
The Very Best of British
This generous display of goodwill has followed more than a decade of acrimony. Charles, Prince of Wales, had married Lady Diana Spencer 17 years earlier, in a "fairy-tale wedding" that was little more than a sham. On their wedding night, he had apparently called his long-time mistress Camilla Parker-Bowles, to assure her that she was still his only love. Rumors soon spread that Diana had found a lover of her own. Despite the birth of two royal sons, Charles and Diana soon shared a divorce that was as spectacular as their wedding had been.

Diana's romantic history was not over yet. Photographers spotted her lounging on the deck of a yacht belonging to Dodi Fayed, an international playboy and Hollywood producer, and it was soon the picture seen 'round the world. Dodi's "Chariots of Fire" won the Academy Award as Best Motion Picture, while featuring a Jewish hero of the 1924 Olympics.

The famous couple made further headlines by surviving a near-death crash in a Paris tunnel, where the paparazzi photographers had pursued them. Dodi held Diana's hand while the fire brigade cut them out of the crushed vehicle, and the couple was married six months later.
This article is one of a series of standadlone articles forming part of thread developed collaboratively with the romantic author Jackie Rose whose work can be viewed at the Extasy Books web site.



November 6

In 1479, on this day future Queen Joanna of England was born in Toledo, Spain. She was the third child and second daughter of Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon of the royal House of Trastámara.

Happy Endings Part 10
Many blessings of Joanna and Arthur
By the time she was of age to be married, the dynastic wars in England were over. To move the country forward in the face of renewed threats from France, King Henry VII decided to build upon the Tudor and Yorkish alliance. His primary aim was to prevent the French from supporting potential pretenders (most notably Perkin Warbeck) to the throne. And so he sought the support of Queen Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand of Aragon ("Ferdinand the Catholic"). When his son Arthur was two years old, a marriage with their second youngest daughter, Catherine of Aragon was arranged for him as part of the Treaty of Medina del Campo.

Yet Isabella and Ferdinand were in no hurry to have their daughter married, and, although the treaty had been made, they were open to other options. Ferdinand was especially aware that Tudor rule was threatened and sent Pedro de Ayala as ambassador in Scotland, where Warbeck had found support. After Warbeck had been hanged and the Earl of Warwick, another potential threat, beheaded in 1499, the rule of Henry VII stabilised. The marriage to Prince Arthur could then proceed although these carefully laid plans were almost destroyed when the Prince of Wales almost perished from consumption. Fortunately, Joanna saved his life, and while their marriage was blessed with children, her younger sister Katherine was not so fortunate. She suffered from infertility and a tortured marriage. Her megalomaniac husband Philip the Handsome would dominate everyone on the continent reducing the power of Catholic England to a mere vassal state within a truly global Spanish Empire.
An article from the Happy Endings series conceived by Jackie Rose.



December 16

It is  December 16th 1916, and and the monk known as Grigori Rasputin has been invited by Prince Felix Yusupov to a wild party at the Moika Palace.

Happy Endings Part 11
Rasputin Rescues the Romanovs
He abruptly cancels his plans when a message arrives from the Empress. It tells him that an Okrana secret policeman has come to warn her that the British secret service has been plotting with Prince Yusupov to kill Rasputin.

With the Czar commanding the troops, the Czarina Alexandra has been acting as regent. Now she is horrified by the secret police report, that the British agents have decided to get rid of the monk, because he is persuading her to convince Czar Nicholas to make peace with her native Germany.

Rasputin's influence is certainly very great, since he is able to stop their son Alexei's bouts of hemophilia. (His power apparently came through hypnosis, combined with common-sense advice to let the boy rest.).

At any rate, the Russian people have long since turned against the war, which has led only to defeat and starvation. They are also reviling the Empress with rumors that she is a German spy, as well as Rasputin's mistress.

But her first thought is to save "our friend" (as she calls Rasputin), from any more assassination attempts. At once, she surrounds him with her family's famous Black bodyguards.

She also fires off a telegram to her husband, urging him to rush home. When the Okrana agent tells him about the English assassination scheme, he is so filled with outrage that he sues at once for peace with Germany and the other Central Powers.

He soon has reason to be glad he did. While the war had been turning the people against the royal family, the armistice brings on the same wild public rejoicing that greeted the 300th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty a few years earlier.

About the only people who disapprove are the Bolsheviks, who had been hoping that the war would lead to a revolution. Instead, Vladimir Lenin stays stuck in Switzerland, while Joseph Stalin continues his career of robbing banks. As for Prince Yusupov, he is lucky to be able to flee in disguise to London.

The imperial family's popularity grows during World War II, when the Czar rallies his people during the Siege of Rasputingrad, which helps bring about the German defeat.

So now, under the rule of Czar Nicholas V, the Russian Empire seems likely to be governed by Romanovs for another 300 years. And of course the national anthem will always be "God Save the Czar!"



March 18

In 1869, on this day the future British Conservative Prime Minister Arthur Neville Chamberlain was born in the leafy West Midlands town of Edgbaston. Founded in the first millenia as the "village of a man called bold sword", by the late nineteen century Edgbaston was an affluent surburb on the outskirts of Birmingham where the trees begin.

Happy Endings Part 12
Where the trees begin
Educated at the elite Rugby School, he was sent to the Bahamas to rebuild the family fortune. But the plantation was a dismal failure, and he soon returned from this "faraway place of which we know little". After working in business and local government, he followed his father and older half-brother into politics becoming a Member of Parliament in 1918. Being trusted as a safe pair of hands he was rapidly promoted to Minister of Health and then Chancellor of the Exchequer. When Stanley Baldwin retired in May 1937, Chamberlain took his place as Prime Minister.

The architect of the adjustment policy, he travelled to Munich to negotiate a "grand settlement" between the victor and the resurgent reformist powers. Although Anglo-France had dictated foreign policy during the 1920s, it was now time to bring Germany and Italy back inside the European Security Model. This required the resetting of a delicate balance of global interests between the Anglo-French retention of Great Power status and the ceding of selective territories to satisfy the nationalist interests of Germany and Italy. For creating this new "concert of Europe", he was rightly hailed as a successor to Metternich and Castelreagh, but in truth his framework was a modern adaptation of Victorian era thinking. Tragically, at the height of his prestige, he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. He died in November 1940 and within months, the world would be plunged into a new great power crisis.

Due to the vast size of the British and French Colonial Empires, Chamberlain saw very clearly the challenges of global imperial defence ("We are a very rich Empire, and there are plenty of adventurers not very far away who look upon us with hungry eyes"). Even after the post-war return of Germany's African Colonies, the limited Germano-Italian overseas possessions permitted a European concentration of forces; whereas a year before Chamberlain's death over 90,000 British troops were deployed in the "troublesome" Middle East. Now, a generation who only wanted "peace in our time" would have to confront the irresistible rise of Japan. And with their working classes largely ambivalent about the Empire, the Anglo-French elite would somehow have to make some painful cessations of their own precious overseas possessions in the Far East. At the League of Nations in Geneva, the situation was summed up with a chuckle of self-satisfaction by Benito Mussolini, Che cosa viene intorno, va in giro ("What comes around, goes around").



December 30

In 1499, on this day future Queen of England Mary Boleyn was born in Blickling Hall, the family seat in Norfolk. But she grew up at Hever Castle, Kent alongside her less famous siblings Thomas and Anne (the wife of Percy of Northumberland).
An installment from the Happy Endings thread

Happy Endings Part 15
Henry VIII's Second Wife: Mary Boleyn
Because the Tudors was locked in conflict with elements the nobility, her origin amongst the "new men" of self-acquired wealth played well in the Royal court. Accordingly she was sent to the French court in the household of the queen, Henry VIII's younger sister Mary Tudor who was betrothed to King Louis XII.

A blond, blue-eyed, curvy beauty that was the era's belle idéale, she was greatly desired by the Valois monarch's son François I. However in 1515 Louis died, and the Tudor Household was recalled to England. And François's loss was King Henry VIII's gain. They remained happily married until her tragic death age just forty-three, having two children Henry and Catherine. Surely there was some irony in this choice of names, because of course the Pope refused to grant Henry a divorce for Catherine of Aragon, and their relationship caused a schism in the English Church that lasts until today. But then you can't have everything..



July 19

In 1543, in a tragedy for the nation, the Queen of England Mary Boleyn died aged just forty-three.
An installment from the Happy Endings thread

Happy Endings Part 15a
Henry VIII's Second Wife: Mary Boleyn
She was born in Blickling Hall, the family seat in Norfolk. But she grew up at Hever Castle, Kent alongside her less famous siblings Thomas and Anne (the wife of Percy of Northumberland). Because the Tudors was locked in conflict with elements the nobility, her origin amongst the "new men" of self-acquired wealth played well in the Royal court. Accordingly she was sent to the French court in the household of the queen, Henry VIII's younger sister Mary Tudor who was betrothed to King Louis XII.

A blond, blue-eyed, curvy beauty that was the era's belle idéale, she was greatly desired by the Valois monarch's son François I. However in 1515 Louis died, and the Tudor Household was recalled to England. And François's loss was King Henry VIII's gain. They remained happily married until her tragic death age just forty-three, having two children Henry and Catherine. Surely there was some irony in this choice of names, because of course the Pope refused to grant Henry a divorce for Catherine of Aragon, and their relationship caused a schism in the English Church that lasts until today. But then you can't have everything..



May 20

It is 1865, and the Civil War has just ended.

Happy Endings Part 16
Death of a War Criminal
The world is outraged to hear of the atrocities committed by the Confederate general named Nathan Bedford Forrest.

Indeed, some of his own men were so horrified that they revealed how he had ordered them to execute Negro prisoners of war. His attitudes might have been shaped by the fact that he himself had been a slave trader before the war, but of course that was no excuse.

Needless to say, he was tried and hanged as a war criminal. While he had been helping the form the Ku Klux Klan after the Confederate surrender, its sympathizers were now afraid of suffering the same penalty, so the new organization never got started. And thank goodness for that!



December 31

In 1720, on this day the Jacobite Pretender Charles Edward Stuart was born in the Palazzo Muti, Rome.
This article is a reversal of the Jackie Rose story Hard Man which focuses on Captain Francis O'Neill

Happy Endings Part 17
Hard Woman saves the Forty-Five Rebellion
Aged twenty-five he launched a bold attempt to restore the House of Stuart. Because in 1745 a five thousand man Jacobite army landed at Moidart in the Outer Hebrides. But of course it took a woman to save the forty-five rebellion from abject failure - the incomparable Highland rebel Flora MacDonald.

Hopes had built up rather quickly; at the Battle of Prestonpans they had soundly defeated the only government army in Scotland. But their hapless commander General John Cope would soon be replaced by the murderous Duke of Cumberland and the mood in the camp would drastically change. In despair the Young Pretender had left the still undefeated Jacobite Army in the hands of his trusted companion, Captain Francis O'Neill. Planning to flee Scotland forever, the Prince sought the incomparable Highland rebel Flora MacDonald for her assistance only to discover that the MacDonalds were secretly sympathetic with the Jacobite cause. She convinced the Prince to rejoin the Jacobite Army by promising to organize reinforcements from her own Clan. With fresh resolve, he inspired the "forty-five" rebels with a fiery new leadership that turned the tables on the Hanoverians.
The full novel is available for download at the Extasy Books web site.



December 8

In 1826, on this day Queen Victoria's lover and second husband John Brown was born in Crathie, Aberdeenshire.
This article is part of the Happy Endings thread.

Happy Endings Part 18
Mrs Brown's Ghillie Lover by Ed & Jackie Rose
He went to work as an outdoor servant (in Scots ghillie or gillie) at Balmoral Castle, which Queen Victoria and Prince Albert leased in February 1848 and purchased outright in November 1851.

Because of the growing size of their young family, Prince Albert increasingly took-on monarchical responsibilities as the Queen lost her powers due to her pregnancies. A once passionate relationship was fundamentally wrecked by this domination, and Victoria frequently withdrew herself in fury whilst Albert was reduced to posting notes of apology under her locked door.

John Brown saw all of this, and what is more the Queen welcomed the distraction of his company. They began a passionate love affair that had to be conducted in utter secrecy. But almost inevitably, a discovery was made, beginning with a mysterious written note in John's hand-writing, containing an odd remark that something had been missing in this harsh world, but finally, it had been fulfilled [2].

Needless to say, the "Mrs Brown Scandal" rocked the country, forcing Queen Victoria to choose between asking Albert to divorce her (and remaining monarch), or eloping and living in obscurity as Mr & Mrs Brown. Either way, she would keep her Ghillie Lover so it was a happy ending for the lovers after all, if not for her cousin Albert who would return to his former status as a minor German Princeling. After her abdication, the crown went to her eldest son, Edward the Seventh..who soon rocked the country with so many scandals that his mother's were soon forgotten.



March 28

It is 1334 BC, and Pharaoh Akhenaten has just died without a son.

Happy Endings Part 19
Pharoah Moses
He is succeeded by Prince Moses, his sister's adopted child. Since Moses enthusiastically shared Akhenaten's new religious views,which replaced the old polytheism with a belief in Aten the One Sun God, the late Pharaoh had chosen his nephew for the throne.

The new Pharaoh Moses-aten continued to worship Aten while requiring his countrymen to do the same. Since the Hebrew slaves also worshipped one God, Moses set them free, knowing that they would be his most enthusiastic supporters. To make things simpler for these simple folks, he condensed the hundreds of Egyptian commandments down to a list of Ten.

And that is why the Faith of Aten is still followed throughout all of Egypt, and indeed the entire Middle East.



March 24

In 1746, on this day George Talbot the Capitaine de frigate of Le Prince Charles Stuart managed to throw off pursuit from the HMS Sheerness assuring the safe delivery of £13,000 in gold, arms and other supplies to the Jacobite Army in Inverness.

Happy Endings Part 2
The Lad that's Born to be King
Their second rebellion was approaching a bloody climax during that fateful spring. Still undefeated in the field, the Jacobite Army was a menace north of the border, but since the retreat from Derby, no longer threatening to restore the exiled Stuart Line by regaining the stolen crown for Bonnie Prince Charlie. With his funds dwindling fast and the British Army hard on his heels his "Forty-Five" rebellion would have been doomed without the French gold.

Instead, the rebellion played out onto the Autumn. This later climax on more honourable terms subsequently encouraged another set of revolutionaries of the "Seventy-Five" to invite him to become their "King of the Americas". Which was by no means to understate the pivotal role of the Hard Woman his wife, the incomparable Highland rebel Flora MacDonald.
This ending is a gender reversal of the Jackie Rose novel Hard Man which focuses on Captain Francis O'Neill and is available for download at the Extasy Books web site..



March 1

It is March 1, 1932, .. and the nation is stunned to learn that Charles Lindbergh's infant son has been kidnapped.
An installment from the Happy Endings thread

Happy Endings Part 24
Lindy is Lucky Again
Everyone breathes sigh of relief when the child is returned unharmed, after the ransom is paid. He later grows up to be as skilled a pilot as his father .. and that is saying a great deal, since "Lucky Lindy" is well known for having flown non-stop across the Atlantic in 1927, at age 25.

After the kidnapping, he is more famous than ever .. and more in demand as a speaker on the future of air-plane flight. It will, he believes, include a larger role for air combat in wartime, and urges America to prepare for any conflict that may come. His warnings grow increasingly serious as Germany starts to re-arm.



May 22

In the time of Caesar Augustus, all the people of Israel are ordered to return to their native cities to be taxed. Joseph and his pregnant wife Mary try to follow the command, so she goes into labor in Bethlehem. He tries to find her a room at the inn, but since the rooms are already filled up the innkeeper sends her to the stable.
An installment from the Happy Endings thread

Happy Endings Part 25
Joshua the High Priest
*** REMOVED AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST ***



September 29

In 1967, on this day Johnny Cash & June Carter sung "Jackson" at the Ralph Emery Show on WSM radio.
An installment from the Happy Endings thread

Happy Endings Part 26:
Knight in Rusty Armour 2
For various reasons their unforgettable duet performance was no accident. The screenplay of "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf" had inspired lyric writers Billy Edd Wheeler and Jerry Leiber and their song first appeared on The Kingston Trio album "Sunny Side!" released in 1963. But their re-interpretation of Edward Albee's depiction of the breakdown of the marriage of a middle-aged couple was given a sharp new resonance by the Cashes. Beneath the surface was a terrible sadness. Because June had already been married twice, and John once. But unlike the song, the fire hadn't gone out of their marriage, quite the opposite. There was no shortage of passion in their self-described "ring of fire" but June had refused to marry him for a number of reasons. Stung by the social mores of the time relating to children conceived by multiple fathers, and aware of his addiction problems, she repeatedly refused to his offer of marriage. But of course the addition problem disguised deeper issues, he was unloved, and suffering from self-worth. He was in fact trying to kill himself, had written his own death penalty and was dressed for the funeral. His music was an expression of his tormented anguish.

And for John, June's rejection was crushing, it was a terrible sadness that he explored in "If I was a Carpenter". Because after the tragic death of his elder brother in a table saw accident, his father had told him the wrong brother had died (in fact John and his mother had premonitions and had begged Jack not to go to work). He spent much of his adult life wearing black as if attending a funeral, becoming increasingly addicted to drugs. He was repeatedly busted, and developed a deep sympathy for prisoners. But of course Jesus meets everyone at the point of their need, and so it was with the Cashes. Because they were both seeking redemption, and in each other, they found it, marrying on the 1st March 1968. They lived together for thirty-five years, dying months apart. And John fought off his drug addition. In the 1970, they had a child, John Carter Cash. That was their happy ever-after love story, and it would have profound consequences for justice, redemption and humiliation, aspects of the human experience that the Cashes knew all too well. Because if he could be saved, then perhaps he could help others to have a second chance as well.

They toured together at American prisons raising the issue of mistreatment. And then two breakthroughs came. Firstly, the election of Jimmy Carter, a relative of June. This allowed John to progress discussions on prison reform that had begun in 1970 with Richard Nixon (pictured). And his home in Hendersonville, twenty-five minutes north of Nashville was in the Congressional District of Al Gore, Jr. (Gore Snr. was also connected to June from her earlier performances with her legendary family on WSM radio). Three years before their respective deaths, Al Gore, Jr. was elected President, committing himself to a state-by-state program of repeal of the death penalty. Despite the resistance of many, he succeeded. It was the triumph of humanity that he had fought for his whole life, made possible by June who had helped him "Walk the Line". Because as the great man once said, something had been missing in this harsh world, but finally, it had been fulfilled.



September 12

In 2003, on this day American singer-songwriter, actor, and author John R. "Johnny" Cash died in Nashville, Tennessee. Aged seventy one, he had been in bad health for many years. Nevertheless with his second wife June Carter Cash, he worked tirelessly to repeal the death penalty in the United States. An installment from the Happy Endings thread

Happy Endings Part 26a:
Birth of Johnny Cash: a Knight in Rusty Armour 2
During his childhood his equilibrium was shattered by the tragic death of his beloved brother Jack. Unfairly blamed by his father, he fell into a vicious cycle of self-hate and addiction that had threatened to destroy him. Despite June's love he never really escaped from these problems, but he did try to reach out seek redemption for other kindred spirits.

Despite the sorrow they lived together mostly in happiness for thirty-five years, dying months apart. And John did finally fight off his drug addiction after numerous busts and clashes with authority. In 1970 they had a child, John Carter Cash. That was their happy ever-after love story, and it would have profound consequences for justice, redemption and humiliation, aspects of the human experience that the Cashes knew all too well. Because if he could be saved, then perhaps he could help others to have a second chance as well.

They toured together at American prisons raising the issue of mistreatment. And then two breakthroughs came. Firstly, the election of Jimmy Carter, a relative of June. This allowed John to progress discussions on prison reform that had begun in 1970 with Richard Nixon (pictured). And his home in Hendersonville, twenty-five minutes north of Nashville was in the Congressional District of Al Gore, Jr. (Gore Snr. was also connected to June from her earlier performances with her legendary family on WSM radio). Three years before their respective deaths, Al Gore, Jr. was elected President, committing himself to a state-by-state program of repeal of the death penalty. Despite the resistance of many, he succeeded. It was the triumph of humanity that he had fought for his whole life, made possible by June who had helped him "Walk the Line". Because as the great man once said, "something had been missing in this harsh world, but finally, it had been fulfilled".



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