Fascinating possibilities. Henry as a captive of the Ottomans is a story waiting to happen.@Leo Welles
What a wonderful article! I know next to nothing about British history, and you made it marvelously approachable and interesting.What I truly enjoyed was how you wove in events from elsewhere on the continent to provide context. In particular, your recounting of the battle of Nicopolis--the highpoints of one of my favorite historical figures, Bayezid I-- was excellent. I would like to ask a quick question, actually, involving the aftermath of Bayezid's victory. What if Henry survives not only the harrowing combat at Nicopolis, and the plague afterwards ala Johannes Schiltberger? Schiltberger was basically the German version of Marco Polo--surviving Nicopolis, captured by the Ottomans and joined their ranks, then survived Ankara and joined Timurlane, in the process going through a wide-sweep of central asia before returning home.
I just wonder how much more interesting it could be if Henry managed to survive and follow Schiltberger. Maybe he's strike up a friendship or acquaintanceship with Stefan the Tall, or manages to wheedle his way back to England?
Again, I don't think this will be a huge needle-mover on the stage of history. The battle of Ankara almost certainly still happens the way it does, but perhaps Henry becomes a force in local politics rather than returning to England--the Byzantines (I know they never called themselves that but so goes convention) would certainly want a good general for hire.
I started a thread a while back about what happens if Bayezid I takes Constantinople in 1402--and got some fascinating replies. While we're alternate-historying, what if Henry was there when it fell?