At FenCon, I moderated a panel on how all history is, more or less, Alternate History. The point of this was that history is expurgated, biased, and generally written by the winners(or the literate people).
One of the things that we discussed was that a lot of history is ‘chosen’ to be skipped over.
Generally people who are illiterate, poor, or powerless aren’t going to appear in history books. For most written history, the ‘powerless’ group included women. It includes servants, serfs, slaves and peasants.
Last night the PBS series “Upstairs, Downstairs” started up again. When the original series debuted back in the 70s, the producers were afraid viewers wouldn’t want to watch a show about the lives of servants–they only wanted to see shows about the weatlhy and sparkly people of the world.
Wow, things have changed over the last 4 decades. People watch the Jersey Shore now, which covers people who don’t even have jobs at all (do they??). That’s a group that I kinda wish History would choose to skip. Sadly, I don’t think it will….