I keep thinking this may be The Two Georges, but I can’t find my copy anywhere.

I’m fairly sure this was from an alternate history where the US was still part of the British empire. I think this scene took place in Boston, which would have been appropriate, but I can’t remember if it was something Bostonians do, or everybody in the US.

Basically, everybody sprinkles a pinch of salt into their tea in remorseful remembrance of the failed rebellion.

I don’t remember anything else, I just remember this scene. Men sitting around a fire, sprinkling the salt, raising their cups to the Queen.

What book is this from?

  • 1
    The Two Georges doesn't have anyone sprinkling or pinching salt into their tea.
    – Valorum
    Commented Sep 28, 2018 at 9:07
  • 1
    @Valorum well, I’m glad that’s ruled out at least.
    – Broklynite
    Commented Sep 28, 2018 at 10:09

1 Answer 1


This might be Tunnel Through the Deeps (Harry Harrison, 1972, later republished as A Transatlantic Tunnel, Hurrah!) -- in which Captain Augustine Washington (a descendant of the traitor George, who was executed when the British defeated the American revolutionaries) is the top engineer on a tunnel project running along the floor of the Atlantic from England to a terminus in Boston.

It's been close to forty years since I read the book, and I honestly don't recall whether there was tea salting -- but other things someone is likely to remember are use of coal dust instead of petroleum as fuel, even in gas turbine engines that power helicopters, the fact that the tunnel required a means of compensating for spreading at the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, and Washington having to deal with sabotage as well as his family's reputation and the engineering problems of building a tunnel thousands of miles long under thousands of feet of water.

  • 1
    Hm, I haven’t read Transatlantic Tunnel Hurrah for twenty years or more, I’ll take a look and see if that’s it. Good suggestion even if it isn’t correct.
    – Broklynite
    Commented Sep 28, 2018 at 15:41
  • Are there people salting their tea?
    – Valorum
    Commented Sep 28, 2018 at 15:42
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    As I said, @Valorum I don't recall -- it's an alt-history and Boston is important in it.
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Commented Sep 28, 2018 at 15:45
  • @Valorum not sure but from what I recall from the book it sounds like something that might happen
    – Broklynite
    Commented Sep 28, 2018 at 15:46
  • @Broklynite - I'm just looking at it now. There's no mention of salt in the entire novel
    – Valorum
    Commented Sep 28, 2018 at 15:51

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