I am pretty sure this was a novel, but I can't pin down the time when it might have been written (though it was likely between the 1980s and early 2000s). As I recall the plot, tourists were taken back in time by guides to see places and witness important events (one of the darker versions was the Black Death era).

I also remember that they tried hard not to change history and so the guides had to hide from their future selves.


Tour guides hiding from themselves is a detail mentioned in Robert Silverberg's "Up the Line" (1969). As per Wikipedia:

Silverberg's narrative includes some cleverly worked out details about the problems of time-travel tourism. For example, the number of tourists who over the years wish to witness the Crucifixion of Jesus has increased the audience at the event from the likely dozens to hundreds and even tens of thousands.

Time-tour guides re-visiting the same event must also take care not to scan their surroundings too closely, lest they make eye contact with themselves leading another tour party.

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    Possible duplicate of scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/181147/… – user14111 Nov 24 '19 at 21:53
  • Wasn't there an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer in which the vampire Spike said that if every old vampire who claimed to have witnessed the Crucifixion had actually been there, it would have looked like Woodstock? (I.e. hundreds of thousands of spectators.) – Lorendiac Nov 25 '19 at 1:09
  • And Up the Line does mention "Black Death tours". – John Rennie Nov 25 '19 at 12:26

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