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Thoughts on Outlander season 2 Finale

Before I take the somewhat risky journey back into the often volatile world of Outlander, I just want to share a few other thoughts and update you on my absence. As many of you know, I have taken a break from posting in order to focus on my family history research. Because of my work schedule, family commitments and events, I currently have little time to devote to my personal passions such as the family history, history in general, and this blog. 

Many of you are also aware that this spring, I took a much needed vacation to Britain in order to explore some of that history I am so passionate about. The journey was not without it’s moments of frustration and even panic. It was a journey of self discovery and soul searching. During the trip, there was a point when in the middle of that soul searching and panic, I reached out to who ever might be listening above or beyond this plane and asked for some guidance. It was in those moments of silent conversation with myself and those I could feel around me that I was reminded of my ties, my connections to all of those ancestors who came before me. It was an odd moment of reflection or revelation that I should take some time to refocus on what was truly important to me, take time to pause and change my direction or my path. It’s been a few months since that trip and I have found myself more driven and determined to work on my family history. That research has pretty much taken over what little free time I have. The direction of the research also changed in that I am no longer quite so interested in the far distant and ancient past- though I am still intrigued by it. Now the focus of that research is more one of a slightly more recent past in which my ancestors all made the choices and decisions to make the journey to a new land and a new beginning in America. They came from England, Wales, the Netherlands and Germany in search of that freedom that this new country would offer them. Some came for religious freedom but others came because there was little left for them in their homeland. I find myself now interested even more in those individual stories of survival in this new land. I have come to a point in the research where I feel like I can rest a bit from it and now sort through their stories and their journies to eventually share them here.

Some of you are probably wondering what on earth this all has to do with Outlander? Well, quite simply, it has everything to do with Outlander because in reality, Outlander is just such a story- an ongoing story of how and why a family came to be in this new America. It is an epic saga of one family’s journey, of their life, of the choices they make along the way and the reasons for those choices, of the people who become a part of their world and influence the paths they each take in life. It is in some ways a reflection of our own family histories. We each have stories of the past locked away within our family histories… granted, hopefully ours do not include time travel, standing stones and other such intriguing fantasies, but if we search through our family histories, we will all most likely find some of those well kept, well guarded secret skeletons in our closets that me may or may not be comfortable in the discovery of.  

My recent research has inspired more of an interest in the Colonial history of America, from the earliest times when my Puritan ancestors made the difficult decision to immigrate, the later years of industrial upheaval in England when other ancestors lost their economic livelihoods and made the journey out of economic necessity, through the period of the Revolution for independence here when those ancestors had to choose sides- you might think or assume that should have been an obvious no question about it decision but if you look deeper into those lives you will find that it was truly a difficult decision for many of them. As I learned more about my own ancestors and their lives, I was drawn back to the stories that Diana Gabaldon tells of that time period through the lives of Jamie and Claire Fraser and their family legacy.

For the most part, I have tried to remain outside of the realm of Outlanderia after the first season’s debut. I did this for a few reasons. First of all, while I did enjoy the first book of the series, I would not say that I was all that much of die hard obsessed fan in the beginning. In fact, in retrospect, had I read it when it originally came out and had to wait years for the next installment, I probably would not have bothered picking up the next book. Because I read it more recently and the next book was available on sale, I went ahead and read the second one just to find out what happened… I was not overly impressed or enthused with that one either but by then I was intrigued and getting a bit sucked into the overall story and people in it. So, of course since the third book was readily available, I thought I might as well just read it. I can honestly say that while I was not all that enthused with the Pirate aspect of Voyager, the rest of that book totally sucked me into the world of Outlander. From then on I admit I became somewhat of an obsessed fan of the books. I will say that my obsession in tame compared to that of many other fans.

When Starz took on the challenge of presenting this saga to us, I was as excited as anyone at the prospect of seeing the story come to life. I did enjoy that initial introduction to the story but as it progressed, I found myself struggling with some aspects of it. One of those aspects I struggled with was the overwhelming tide of Outlander fandom and storms of aggressive heated and sometimes confrontational debate over show versus books, readers versus non-readers. Then there is the continuous ongoing flood of debate, controversy and intrusion into actors’ personal lives- which in my personal opinion takes away from being immersed in the character they are portraying. Another issue for me was of course the fact that I was not as interested or invested in the first story or even the second story other than in how they lead up to the rest of the stories.

One added issue for me with the first season was that I can honestly say that I am probably one of the minority of fans who does not look at this series as a romance/love story of Claire and Jamie. For me, that is really almost secondary compared to the rest of what is involved in this saga. As I watched season one, I had the feeling that it was becoming or would become more of a romance story and I really was just not interested in seeing it go that route. As a result, I stepped back out of the raging storms of Outlander and chose to remain for the most part, a silent observer.

I did not impatiently await or endure any typical droughtlander in anticipation of season 2 because well, because as I’ve already mentioned, it was not one of my favorite books anyway so I had no real emotional investment in how it would be presented other than in how it would be presented in relation to future seasons. I was happy to see that it did not go the route of being the “breathtaking” romance of Jamie and Claire. It was a fairly realistic representation of what they went through during that time and I for one appreciate that! I am not going to go into all of my thoughts on the entire season here but I do have to say that I think I enjoyed it more than season one. I am also not going to address the changes and deviations made from the book to the show. They have already been hashed over and debated to no end by everyone. I understand why the changes were made and personally I am looking forward to seeing what differences the future brings between the two stories. I’ve tried hard to separate the show from the books but find that having read the books, it is almost impossible not to make comparisons between the two. I am enjoying the differences that the show is presenting and I look forward to seeing how it takes the story along  possible alternative paths. I am looking forward to seeing how the story plays out with some changes.

****Spoilers, Yes there are spoilers! This is your warning!”

season2 finale3

Through the Stones or not... One must stay, one must go for the sake of innocents

Through the Stones or not… One must stay, one must go for the sake of innocents

For now, I am just going to give my personal thoughts on the finale and the introduction of my two favorite people- Roger and Bree! I will readily admit that I was and am emotionally invested in the story from this point on and I was concerned about how these two characters would be represented. I also admit that I do have some  initial reservations about Sophie Skelton and whether she can fully portray Bree as I know her in my head… Then again, I have to remind myself that I had these same reservations about Catriona Balfe in the beginning and she has completely won me over! So, with that in mind, I am giving Sophie benefit of doubt and going with a feeling that she will eventually find her footing and capture that essence of Bree that Ron D Moore and others must believe she’s capable of doing. I did find that I was more comfortable with her performance and portrayal after watching the episode a second time with a more open mind and a thought towards that overall awkward situation that she finds herself in.

Bree on better terms with Claire

Bree on better terms with Claire

Roger and Bree at Fort William

Roger and Bree at Fort William

Don't be dragging him into this fantasy!

Don’t be dragging him into this fantasy!

I did see some glimmers of that inner Bree so I am going to assume that Sophie has actually managed to give us a fairly accurate portrayal of that younger Bree caught in the difficult and awkward situation that she was placed in at the time… As I’ve said, I’ve liked Bree from the beginning. I never saw her a spoiled brat who treated her Mother so awful. She was a young woman who as Claire mentioned, was just like her Father- stubborn to no end with a fiery temper. She is also a young woman who suddenly discovers one of those skeletons in the closet, discovers that her parents have lied to her for her entire life. Put yourself in Bree’s shoes for a few moments and imagine that your own Mother told you such a story? Would your reaction really be so much different than hers was? Would you have immediately just have accepted such a story and said, “Ohhh this is all so exciting and wonderful for all of us!”  My one thought while watching this all play out on screen was actually that I wished Bree had shown more of that temper! I was waiting for her to completely explode and destroy the room in that fit of uncontrolled rage and frustration over the entire situation.

If it hadn't been for the battle of Culloden OMG Stop just stop... I was not bored

While so many others are venting and bashing on spoiled Bree, I’m sitting here enjoying her outbursts and her evolving sarcastic humor. I watched it all play out and had the same thought as I did with the book.  I thoroughly enjoyed the way they managed to merge the book events with the limits of the show with Bree’s thought and suspicion that something was not exactly right with her parents’ relationship and that there was something, some incident that they had kept secret. When people stay in a bad relationship “for the children” and assume that their children do not know something is wrong, they are not giving their children enough credit…Children sense things and usually know far more than we are willing to admit. Bree loves both her parents but she knew instinctively that there was something not quite right with their relationship.

Bree: Sometimes it seems like you didn't really love him.

Bree: Sometimes it seems like you didn’t really love him.

Bree My Mother lives in another world2

As to the character of my dear Roger Mac… I initially had a few doubts about Richard Rankin portraying him but that is due to the image I have stuck in my mind of him from the books. After the first few moments of watching Richard’s performance, I was already seeing that other image merge with the new image of Roger- so well done Richard Rankin! You’ve managed in one episode to assure me of your ability to transform yourself into my Roger Mac. I need to add here that I put off watching the finale because I was in the middle of re-reading the Fiery Cross which involves some very serious life struggles for Roger.  I knew I was going to have a difficult time regrouping from those events that have such a profound life altering affect on Roger so I waited until I was finished with the book before watching. I have to say that seeing Roger in the show helped ease my left over sadness. To see him awkwardly trying to impress Bree, to watch the beginnings of his and Bree’s story made me smile! An added reminder here for others who had some difficulty with this portrayal of Roger… I’m not really sure what you may have been expecting but Richard Rankin presented us with just exactly what Roger is at this point in his life, a university history professor, a rather reserved and quiet young man who was raised by a minister. Roger is a work in progress and Richard Rankin shows us that. He stumbles, he falls, he fails, he is not some perfect Highland Warrior type and he knows this. Richard Rankin gives us that somewhat imperfect guy who is immediately infatuated with Bree and can not hide it very well. He has also captured that quirky sense of humor and dry wit that he and Bree will share as time goes on. 

We meet Roger and Fiona

We meet Roger and Fiona

Roger's rat satire

Roger’s rat satire

roger describing frank he was a snappy dresser wore his hat down over one eye

roger describing frank he was a snappy dresser wore his hat down over one eye

I think we found your incident

No stay it's your house after all

No stay it’s your house after all

Roger Ummm what don't look at me like that cause really I think you're crazy too I'm just trying to be polite about it So you're saying my ancestors are a war chief and a witch..2. Roger it's not important if I believe it or not she believes i2t

My Mother's insane Hmmm a sentiment echoed by daughters everywhere.... no mine really is

One other performance I want to give my highest praise and appreciation of is that of Catriona Balfe in her transition to a much older, wearier and somewhat wiser Claire. My only comment to this older and wiser Claire would be to those watching the situation with her daughter play out… Really, what did you think Bree’s reaction would be to such a story? Did any of you honestly think or assume that on being told such a story, anyone would react any differently than Bree… or for that matter Roger. Of course their immediate reaction is that the woman is insane. Bree is horrified that her Mother has apparently went off the deep end while Roger is a bit more restrained in his reaction but is trying to hold it together for benefit of Bree. 

 

Claire raises her glass to the Reverend

Claire raises her glass to the Reverend

Claire on her own mission to remember that other world Claire visits Culloden and adds her own thoughts

Yes, Claire’s visit to Lallybroch left me in tears

visions of Jamie at Lallybroch

But, I did have one other thought when I saw the condition of Lallybroch… please not the very small for sale sign by the steps. 

lallybroch circa 1968

sending Fergus to Lallybroch for two purposes...

How do I explain that I traveled through time and got pregnant without making myself sound like a lunatic

Really what did you think the reaction would be?

Really what did you think the reaction would be?

 

 

I was moved to tears by Claire’s haunted memories of the past, and the other thing I was personally moved by was the narration of the events at Culloden… that was Tobias Menzies/Frank’s voice was it not?

Claire walking through Culloden field while what sounds like Frank's voice narrates the event

Claire visits Culloden while Franks voice narrates the events that took place

Clan Fraser

 The remaining events of the past played out as I expected- Claire was not at the battle, she could only recall events leading up to that point- we should see the actual event unfold in bits and pieces in future seasons. I did cry as she remembered sending Fergus off to Lallybroch with the deed and for his own safety. And in my mind, I was saying my own goodbye to Murtaugh with much sadness. I was even moved to some tears over the demise of Dougal and his gut wrenching feeling of ultimate betrayal from Jamie. Yes, Jamie was acting in self defense and protecting Claire, and yes Dougal made more than his own share of bad decisions that led to this action, but his loyalty to the cause was indisputable and Jamie knew that. 

I'll guide the men to safety but ken this then I'll return to die with you

You've betrayed us all of us

You’ve betrayed us all of us

Dougal: I'd rather be hung drawn and quartered than be known as a traitor to the cause and my king

Dougal: I’d rather be hung drawn and quartered than be known as a traitor to the cause and my king

Dougal's despair

Now, having this book and season finished, I have to admit that I am suffering a bit of droughtlander if only for the fact that I am so looking forward to Voyager and, to Drums of Autumn. I am thrilled that we’re assured of seeing at least these next two seasons because for me this where the adventure of their life truly begins to unfold. I even look forward to that nasty encounter with a much changed Geillie Duncan. Speaking of Geillie…

Gillian Edgars future psychopath

Geilli of course believes you need a human sacrifice...

Geilli of course believes you need a human sacrifice…

And she's off to make history...

A few last thoughts to keep in the back of your mind while waiting for the future… I’ve always believed that Frank knows far more than we think, and hopefully the show will give us some that- at least in flashback form. 

letter from Frank asking rev to quit searching for Jack He's not the man I thought he was

letter from Frank asking rev to quit searching for Jack He’s not the man I thought he was

Frank knows more than we think and some of it has to do with Roger’s story…

roger's plane again

 

 

 

Beyond Crag na Dun: Crag na dun Time Tour options!

 

 

Achhhhh, alright, Mrs. Graham has requested that we post this advertisement here along with additional information on her business?

 

 

 

craigh_na_dun_time tours

Mrs. Graham is of course the housekeeper for Reverend Wakefield of Inverness, but she has a number of other small business interests as well. She is the leader of the local chapter of Druidic Dancers and Callers, runs a part time business of fortune telling- for more information on personalized tea leaf readings contact her at her private residence in Inverness, and it seems that she is the owner of a small but thriving tour business that specializes in very specialized and unique travel packages. She was quite upset with our initial insistence that Crag na dun does not exist. She has went so far as to threaten us with a libel suit and states that our information could damage her business as well as her professional reputation.

Because of this pending litigation, we feel obligated to give Mrs. Graham equal space in which to defend her claims and thereby promote her business…

Mrs Graham tries to tell Frank

Mrs. Graham insists that Yes, indeed Crag na dun does exist but that it’s secret location is a crucial key to the success of her business. She compares the secrecy of location to that of secret recipes and formulas used by Chefs, food, beverage and pharmaceutical manufacturers. For some time, Mrs. Graham has run a small tour agency that specializes in a very unique type of travel package. Recently, her business has become so popular that she had to take on a number of affiliates and partners to keep up with the enormous demand for these tours.  She is happy to announce that the business has become a huge success, so much so in fact, that even with the addition of these affiliates, they are unable to fulfill some of the requests.

Crag na dun Time Tours would like to apologize for the delays and backlogs in meeting some of their customers’ inquiries and requests. If you are having difficulty contacting them, please be patient and understand that they are making every attempt to expand their business to meet your needs. They would also like to advise that at this time, due to an extremely high volume of travel requests to 1700’s Scotland, they are unable to accept any more reservations for that time period. The waiting list is already quite lengthy and the company has temporarily put a hold on any further travel to that time frame. An added advisement concerning this time frame, and the trips in general: Please read your pre-travel package and contract thoroughly before traveling. Crag na dun Time Tours does not promise or guarantee in any way that you will meet or encounter specific individuals… namely one James Malcom Mackenzie Fraser or any of his various relatives. It seems that a few customers have returned from their trips rather disgruntled and demanding their money back… Crag na dun time Tours has a no refund policy which is spelled out very clearly in the contract!

The company would like to take a moment here to inform travelers that they have refined their travel techniques over the years and successfully managed to break the 200 year time constraint that has plagued travelers for years. They are now able to send you as far back as any stone’s original building. They would like to advise however, that there is a great deal of risk the further back one goes, and they can not make any safety guarantees should you choose to go all the way back to the very beginnings.

The company does regret that it can not provide more 1700’s trips right now but is offering discounts on some other packages that might be of  just as much interest to travelers. While they can not send you to the mid or later 1700s, they do have some limited packages available for late 1600s-early 1700s…this time frame would put you in the era of the first Jacobite Risings and one other somewhat famous rebel… Rob Roy MacGregor?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rob_Roy_MacGregor

rob-roy rob roy 2 Rob roy2 rob_roy_13

They are running a special on early 1300’s packages right now which include the time period of  some other famous Scots, Robert the Bruce and of course, William Wallace.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_the_Bruce

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Wallace

Robert_The_Bruce_Crowned_King_of_Scots Robert_I_and_Isabella_of_Mar Robert the Bruce

braveheart

In addition to these packages, the company is running some special promotions in honor of their newest affiliate, Castlerigg Stone Circles near Keswick, England! The Castlerigg circle and nearby town of Keswick have a long and rich history dating back to 3000 BC. Their varied history includes pre-history Druidic times, Roman occupations, Picts, Angles and Saxon invasions, Viking conquests and early Christian monks and monasteries as well as William the Conquerer’s son, William II.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keswick,_Cumbria

lakes castlerigg cumbria

king arthur movie king arthur movie2 King-Arthur-2004-king-arthur-875459_1000_674 king-arthur-sagaci-sassoni saxons

Moragsoorm long boat Lindisfarne-ep2 vikings-linus-roache-history vikings_gallery7_4-P vikings_gallery7_2-P

Now hopefully this blatant plug for Crag na dun Time Tours will satisy Mrs. Graham and she will drop her pending litigation against us… Please take note, Mrs. Graham that we have even changed the title of the article to include a plug for your company!

 

 

 

First of all before we embark on this journey, we all need to be very clear on one important point. Crag na dun is a fictional Stone Circle created by Diana Gabaldon specifically for the Outlander series! It does not exist anywhere other than in her very creative imagination and the pages of the book. If you are planning to book a tour which includes a visit to “crag na dun”, please be advised in advance that the “crag na dun” you will be visiting will only be a representation of that place.

excerpt from Outlandish Companion regarding whether craigh na dun is a real location.

excerpt from Outlandish Companion regarding whether craigh na dun is a real location.

 

The Stones depicted in the show are Styrofoam and built as part of set design for location shooting.

craigh na dun in show3 Outlander 2014 OUT-101_20131011_EM-0630.jpg

What we are going to explore is some of the many real Stone Circles and ancient sites throughout Scotland and Britain. We will also delve into some other options for time travel… yes, there a great many of them out there! It is speculated an rumored that one could make the trip using various different methods? We’ll touch on a few of them later.  Lastly, we will look at some other time periods that one might end up in when traveling… since that is a truly massive endeavor, we will limit the travel to time frames within the vicinity of Standing Stones or circles in more ancient Britain.

 

Let’s start our journey with the places that Diana mentioned in her references to Craigh na dun.  She mentions Castlerigg, the Clava Cairns near Inverness, and Tomanhurich hill. Now, we are all aware that the mythical craigh na dun is located in the highlands of Scotland somewhere near Inverness? The first circle mentioned is not in this area, but well worth looking into.

 

Castlerigg Stone Circle

 

Castlerigg stone circle is located  in Keswick in  Cumbria  North west England. One of  around 1,300  stone  circles  in  the  British  Isles  and  Brittany, it  was constructed as a part of a  megalithic  tradition that  lasted from 300  to 900 BCE, during  the Late Neolithic and  Early Bronze Ages.

Aside from the more famous Stonehenge, Castlerigg is a site that most of us would immediately identify with when we think of Stone Circles.

You can find more information on it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castlerigg_stone_circle

 

CastleriggStoneCircle(SimonLedingham)Jul2005 Castlerigg_A_Outlier Castlerigg The_Wonders_of_the_World_in_Nature,_Art_and_Mind_Robert_Sears_1843

It is located near Keswick, Cumbria northwest England, so it would not be a plausible location for Craigh na dun. You can see it’s location on the map below, with the Keswick area starred.

Cumbria on map kenswick marked with star

castlerigg-stone-circle2 Druidical_Circle_near_Keswick_in_Cumberland

As I mentioned, while it is not a location for Craigh na dun, it is an excellent representation of a Stone Circle. You might want to keep this site in mind if you prefer to travel back in time to England rather than the highlands of Scotland! It is still well formed with many of the Stones remaining, if that has any bearing on accuracy in determining one’s destination to the past? In fact, it is said that the number of stones is constantly changing. There is a tradition that it is impossible to count the number of stones within Castlerigg; every attempt will result in a different answer. This tradition, however, may not be far from the truth. Due to erosion of the soil around the stones, caused by the large number of visitors to the monument, several smaller stones have ‘appeared’ next to some of the larger stones. Because these stones are so small, they are likely to have been packing stones used to support the larger stones when the circle was constructed and would originally have been buried. Differences in opinion as to the exact number of stones within Castlerigg are usually down to whether the observer counts these small packing stones, or not; some count 38 and others, 42. The ‘official’ number of stones, as represented on the National Trust  information board at the monument, is 40. 

If you could put this site in some context to places and events within the Outlander series, it would be of interest in that is lies in the Lakes district where Jamie Fraser resided as a groom after his release from Ardsmuir Prison. Helwater Estate is located within the Lakes district. It’s location is also in a reasonable vicinity to Northumbria and Hadrian’s Wall, where Roger Wakefield’s Father, Jerry MacKenzie disappeared during World War II while testing a plane for Frank Randall and MI5, the British Intelligence force. 

If one wanted to think about it’s other possible time travel connections to the more ancient past, it is considered much like Stonehenge, a most ancient Druidic worship site. If we look at the nearby village of Keswick and it’s history we can piece together the area’s history from those ancient and unknown druids to it’s strategic importance during Roman occupation with Hadrian’s Wall being in the western part of the county. There are Roman road passing by the present day town.  Several Christian saints preached the Gospel in the north of England in the late 6th and early 7th centuries AD; in Keswick and the surrounding area the most important figures were  St Herbert of Derwentwater and his contemporary St Kentigern.  The former, the pupil and friend of St Cuthbert of Lindisfarne, lived as a hermit on an island in Derwentwater, now named after him.  Kentigern, who lived and preached in the area before moving to Wales, is traditionally held to have founded Crosthwaite Church,  which was the parish church of Keswick until the 19th century. 

Keswick’s recorded history starts in the Middle Ages. The area was conquered by the Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Northumbria in the seventh century, but Northumbria was destroyed by the Vikings in the late ninth. In the early tenth century the British Kingdom of Strathclyde seized the area, and it remained part of Strathclyde until about 1050, when Siward, Earl of  Northumbria, conquered Cumbria. In 1092 William II, son of William the Conqueror, marched north and established the great baronies of Allerdale-below-Derwent, Allerdale-above-Derwent, and Greystoke, the borders of which met at Keswick.   In 1181 Jocelyn of Furness wrote of a new church at Crosthwaite, Keswick, founded by Alice de Romilly, the Lady of Allerdale, a direct descendant of William II’s original barons. In 1189, Richard I granted the rectory of Crosthwaite to the Cistercian order of Fountains Abbey.

During the 13th century, agricultural land around the town was acquired by Fountains and Furness Abbeys. The latter, already prosperous from the wool trade, wished to expand its sheep farming, and in 1208 bought large tracts of land from Alice de Romilly. She also negotiated with Fountains Abbey, to which she sold Derwent Island in Derwentwater, land at Watendlath, the mill at Crosthwaite and other land in Borrowdale. Keswick was at the hub of the monastic farms in the area, and Fountains based a steward in the town, where tenants paid their rents.  Furness also enjoyed profitable rights to the extraction of iron ore.

Now, knowing some of it’s history, you will be a bit better prepared should you decide to use Castlerigg as your time travel portal. If it is extremely powerful, and you are well versed and equipped in the navigation of travel, this portal could land you in the time of Druids, put you close to a Roman Outpost along Hadrian’s Wall, deliver you into the hands of Viking conquerors, or place you in close proximity to early Normans or Christian Monks… take your pick but choose wisely because all of those times could be quite dangerous for an unknown traveler.

 

The second place mentioned by Diana Gabaldon is Clava Cairns near Inverness. This the one more familiar to Outlander fans and followers. 

Clava Cairns near Inverness

The Clava cairn is a type of Bronze Age circular chamber tomb cairn, named after the group of 3 cairns at Balnuaran of Clava, to the east of Inverness in Scotland. There are about 50 cairns of this type in an area round about Inverness. They fall into two sub-types, one typically consisting of a corbelled passage grave  with a single burial chamber linked to the entrance by a short passage and covered with a cairn of stones, with the entrances oriented south west towards midwinter sunset. In the other sub-type an annular ring cairn encloses an apparently unroofed area with no formal means of access from the outside. In both sub-types a stone circle surrounds the whole tomb and a kerb often runs around the cairn. The heights of the standing stones vary in height so that the tallest fringe the entrance (oriented south west) and the shortest are directly opposite it.

Where Clava-type tombs have still contained burial remains, only one or two bodies appear to have been buried in each, and the lack of access to the second sub-type suggests that there was no intention of re-visiting the dead or communally adding future burials as had been the case with Neolithic cairn tombs.

These Stone sites around Inverness would be the most plausible locations for Craigh na dun as they are also located close to Culloden.

Culloden battlefield, a few miles to the east of Inverness attracts a huge number of visitors every each year. But only a few of those visitors realise that only a mile to the south east lies a very different link with the past, every bit as evocative as Culloden and in many ways more tangible, despite dating back to around 2000BC.

The Clava Cairns lie not much more than a cannon shot away from Culloden, and Jacobites fleeing the carnage of the battle may well have passed this way. Yet it is worth remembering that the seemingly huge distance in time back to the very different world of Culloden, some 250 years, is just one sixteenth of the distance we’d have to travel back in time to meet the builders of these cairns.

http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/inverness/clavacairns/index.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clava_cairn

2_clava-mc-03_III_05_stone-III_nickb_surrounding-middle-cairn_tma_37429 Balnuaran of clava Clava Cairns clava cairns2 clava cairns3 clava cairns4 Clava20East20Cairn20nr20Inverness-Archaeology- cupandring splitx

 

The third site mentioned by Diana is Tomnahurich Hill.

Tomnahurich   Hill


Tomnahurich Hill – which  means hill  of the  yews -is a rounded tree covered hillock on the outskirts of Inverness, the hill has a wealth of traditions associated  with it, and it is famed as an abode of  the fairies. A modern cemetery now  covers the  hill.

The most enduring tradition connected with the hill is that fiddlers (or a fiddler) were lured into playing at fairy revelry, and emerged after one night beneath the hill to find that hundreds of years had passed in their own world. The story has two basic forms, in one a solitary fiddler falls asleep on the hill and wakes up in an underworld palace. He is made to play all night for the entertainment of the fairy queen, and finally awakes on the shores of the River Ness, later to discover that a hundred years have passed. The other story features two fiddlers and is outlined below:

The Fiddlers of Tomnahurich
Two travelling fiddlers were visiting Inverness looking for places where they could play, while searching for a suitable venue they met an old man in strange clothes, who asked them if they would perform for him. They agreed and followed the old man to the wooden hill of Tomnahurich, just as the sun slipped out of view over the Western horizon. There was an opening in the side of the hill through which they followed the old man into a brightly lit cavern hall, where a great feast was underway. The feast was attended by a host of people, all dressed in colourful finery, and each seeming to have an air of enchantment and beauty about them. They sat down at one of the many tables and preceded to enjoy the fine wine and the rich food served before them.

Tomnahurich HillTomnahurich Hill When it came the time for dancing they played their fiddles and the party got into full swing, each fiddler playing better than they had ever played before. Finally, in what seemed like no time at all, the feast was over and it was time for the fiddlers to leave. Their noble company thanked them, and the old man who had led them into the hillside paid them with a bag of silver and gold coins. The fiddlers left the hill in a fine mood, and walked back towards the centre of Inverness. As they neared the town they saw that everything had changed, where there was once dense woodland buildings now stood, as if they had appeared overnight. All the people they met along the way were dressed in strange looking clothes, and poked fun at the fiddlers ‘old fashioned’ clothing.

The fiddlers decided that they had been enchanted in some strange way and made the return journey to their town. When they arrived they were dismayed to find that everything they knew here had also changed; their homes were no longer occupied and they recognised no one. In despair they ran into the local church where the local priest was in the midst of delivering a sermon. As soon as the priest spoke the word of God both fiddlers crumbled to dust in front of the eyes of the horrified congregation.

The difference in time between this world and the world of the fairy races is an important folklore motif found in many tales about the otherworld. The way the unfortunate fiddlers crumbled to dust after returning to their own world is also often found in folk tales such as that of King Herla.

There are many more traditions associated with the hill, Thomas the Rhymer is said to be buried beneath it, or to live within it, ready to lead an army of men and white steeds to rally Scotland in its hour of need. In Celtic myth Fion trained his dog to lead two of every species of animal around the hill in pairs to unravel enchantment by an Irish enemy.

Directions: The hill is just off the A82, to the West of the River Ness.

http://www.mysteriousbritain.co.uk/scotland/invernesshire/featured-sites/tomnahurich-hill.html

https://graveyardsofscotland.wordpress.com/2014/01/20/fairy-hill/

Besides Thomas the Rhymer’s supposed connection, the Brahan Seer is also connected to this Fairy hill, now cemetery. So, while there are no Stone Circles to be found here, you may still be able to travel through time at this site due it’s Fairy connections… I would be hesitant about using this one however, as the Fairy connection might even more risky than just time travel? I do suppose though if one was brave enough to try it, it might be an enlightening experience. 

305BrahanSeer

tomnahurich-graveyard-inverness-83 tomnahurich-graveyard-inverness-11 tomnahurich-graveyard-inverness-19 Tomnahurich Hill

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_the_Rhymer

Of course we can not bring up Thomas the rhymer without mention of the fairy realm!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fairy

Thomas the rhymer be Katherine Cameron

Thomas the rhymer be Katherine Cameron

The Eildon Hills where Thomas the rhymer supposedly met the past

The Eildon Hills where Thomas the rhymer supposedly met the past

In some legends, Guinivere is referred to as a fairy

In some legends, Guinivere is referred to as a fairy

faerie_forest__the_radient_pool__by_makinmagic-d4q70ka 640px-SophieAndersonTakethefairfaceofWoman 800px-Johann_Heinrich_Füssli_058 11107 Sir_Joseph_Noel_Paton_-_The_Quarrel_of_Oberon_and_Titania_-_Google_Art_Project_2

 

The next site on our journey keeps coming up in any search for Craigh na dun or Standing Stones so I am going to include here as well. If you search the internet for Craigh na dun, one of the first sites listed is a link to Megalithic Portal and Callinish4.  The link is a bit of a let down as it is just one quick picture and an answer to the query of what Craigh na dun looks like?

Callinish  Standing Stones

 

http://www.megalithic.co.uk/article.php?sid=1146411369

callanishiv1a

The photo posted on Megalithic Portal was impressive and led us to visit the Callinish Stones directly!

The Callinish Standing Stones are located on the Isle of Lewis and are one of several stone sites on that island. The Isle of Lewis is located in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland.

The Outer Hebrides (Scottish Gaelic: Na h-Eileanan Siar, IPA: [nə ˈhelanən ˈʃiəɾ]) also known as the Western Isles and the Long Island, and as Innse Gall in Gaelic is an island chain off the west coast of mainland Scotland.   The islands are geographically coextensive with Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, one of the 32 unitary council areas of Scotland. They form part of the Hebrides, separated from the Scottish mainland and from the Inner Hebrides by the waters of the Minch, the Little Minch and the Sea of the Hebrides. Scottish Gaelic is the predominant spoken language, although in a few areas English speakers form a majority.

Most of the islands have a bedrock formed from ancient metamorphic rocks and the climate is mild and oceanic. The 15 inhabited islands have a total population of 27,400  and there are more than 50 substantial uninhabited islands. From Barra Head to the Butt of Lewis is roughly 210 kilometres (130 mi).

There are various important prehistoric structures, many of which pre-date the first written references to the islands by Roman and Greek authors. The Western Isles became part of the Norse kingdom of the Suðreyjar, which lasted for over 400 years until sovereignty was transferred to Scotland by the Treaty of Perth in 1266. Control of the islands was then held by clan chiefs, principal of whom were the MacLeods, MacDonalds, Mackenzies and MacNeils. The Highland Clearances of the 19th century had a devastating effect on many communities and it is only in recent years that population levels have ceased to decline. Much of the land is now under local control and commercial activity is based on tourism, crofting, fishing, and weaving.

Sea transport is crucial and a variety of ferry services operate between the islands and to mainland Scotland. Modern navigation systems now minimise the dangers but in the past the stormy seas have claimed many ships. Religion, music and sport are important aspects of local culture, and there are numerous designated conservation areas to protect the natural environment.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outer_Hebrides

hebrides-map callinish stones

map isle of lewis2 map isle of lewis lewis mapka callinish stones

The Callinish Stones are one of the most famous Stone sites in Scotland and closely comparable to Stonehenge in England.  They date back as far as 3000 BC. 

There were limited excavations in 1980-1 which provided some information on the development of the site. The first traces of human activity are indicated by a broad ditch (no longer visible above ground) which appears to have belonged to some structure or enclosure.  This may have been ritual, but could instead have been domestic.  In the centuries around 3000 BC, however, the site was turned over to agriculture which obliterated most of the earlier traces.   After this, the site was allowed to grass over for a time.

The stone circle was set up between 2900 and 2600 BC.   It is not clear whether the stone alignments were constructed at the same time as the circle, or later.  Some time after the erection of the stones, a small chambered tomb was inserted into the eastern part of the stone circle.   The many pottery fragments found indicate that the tomb was used for several centuries.  These pottery fragments included not only the local Hebridean pots, but numerous sherds of beaker vessels (dating to around 2000-1700 BC) and sherds of grooved ware.

Around 1500-1000 BC the complex fell out of use and was despoiled by the later Bronze Age farmers.  Fragments of pots appear to have been cast out of the chamber.  This may have been just ordinary agriculture, but it may conceivably have been ritual cleansing.  There appears to have been a later rebuilding of the tomb, but this may have been for domestic use as there is no evidence for any later ritual use of the monument.  Between 1000 BC and 500 BC the stones were covered by a thick layer of turf. It is estimated that the place was abandoned around 800 BC.  Only in 1857 was the overlying 1.5 metres of peat removed.

callinish stones2 callinish stones3 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA callinish stones6 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA stones-of-callanish-lewis1

The Callanish Stones consist of a stone circle of thirteen stones with a monolith near the middle. Five rows of standing stones connect to this circle. Two long rows of stones running almost parallel to each other from the stone circle to the north-northeast form a kind of avenue. In addition, there are shorter rows of stones to the west-southwest, south and east-northeast. The stones are all of the same rock type, namely the local Lewisian gneiss. Within the stone circle is a chambered tomb to the east of the central stone.

Centre stone

The central monolith stands 0.8 metres west of the true centre of the stone circle. The stone is 4.8 metres high, 1.5 metres wide and 0.3 metres thick.  The largest sides of the stone are almost perfectly oriented to the north and south. The monolith has the shape of a ship’s rudder and probably weighs about seven tonnes.

Stone circle

The stone circle consists of thirteen stones and has a diameter of 11.4 metres. The stone circle is not a perfect circle, but is a ring with a flattened east side (13.4 metres north-south by 12 metres east-west). The stones have an average height of three metres. The ring covers an area of 124 square metres. This is quite small compared to similar circles, including the nearby Callanish II which is 2.5 times as large.

Northern avenue

The avenue connects to the stone circle from the north-northeast. The avenue is 83.2 metres long.  The avenue has 19 stones remaining: nine stones are on the eastern side, ten on the western side.  The largest stone is 3.5 metres high and stands on the western end of the row. The two rows are not exactly parallel to each other but fan out: at the north end the rows are 6.7 metres apart, while the distance between the rows is 6 metres at the south end.  From the circle the height of the stones decreases towards the middle of the avenue; from there the height increases again. The stones of the eastern side of the avenue have only three-quarters of the height of the stones on the western side.

Stone rows

As well as the two stone rows of the avenue, there are three stone rows connecting to the circle. One comes from the east-northeast, one from the south, and one from the west-southwest. The east-northeast row today consists of five stones and is 23.2 metres long.  The southern row consists of five stones and is 27.2 metres long.  The west-southwest row consists of four stones and is 13 metres long.

None of the stone rows is aimed at the centre of the stone circle. The east-northeast row is aligned to a point 2 metres south of the centre; the south row points to 1 metre west of the centre and the west-southwest row points to 1 metre south of the centre.

Chambered tomb

 Chambered tomb

Between the central and the eastern monolith of the stone circle is a chambered tomb 6.4 metres long.  This was built later than the stone circle and is squashed in between the eastern stones and the central monolith.

There is another stone cairn just on the northeast side of the stone circle.  It has been reduced to ground-level and the outline can barely be traced.  It is not necessarily an original part of the site.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Callanish_Stones

Callanish I is just one of over twenty megalithic sites on Lewis.

The stones are intricately connected to the landscape, as with many megalithic ceremonial complexes.  in the case of Callanish I, the stones share  an intimate relationship with both the range of hills known as the ‘sleeping beauty’ or the ‘old woman of the moors’. When the moon reaches it’s southern extreme each 18.6 years it is seen to rise from behind the sacred hill range and skim the horizon for four hours till it gently sets again behind the Harris hills. This range of hills are as much a part of the monuments as the stones themselves.

http://ancient-wisdom.co.uk/scotlandcallanish.htm

The Callenish Stones, their history and their location make them an excellent candidate for any type of  ancient time travel. A few things to consider about traveling through at this site… They are probably quite powerful and would most likely take you very back in history.  There is most likely a Druidic connection to them, as with many of the circles? If you are choosing this site, you should prepare for the travel by brushing up on your most ancient Gaelic languages along with your Gaelic and Celtic history. A study of ancient Norse traditions and their migration to this area would be highly advised as well. When I talk about ancient Norse, I am not referring to the Viking migration… I am referring to the Norse migrations that took place even earlier than that!

https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/?s=Norse+migration+to+Scotland

 

Now, obviously with over 1300 ancient Stone site throughout the British Isles and Brittany, there is no possible way that we can touch on all of them here! I am going to present two more sites that I feel are important and worth considering as possible transport points for any time travel destinations that you might have. I am not going to touch on Stonehenge here because it is so obvious and famous that it really needs no further detailed exploration by us!  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stonehenge

As you can see on the maps, Stonehenge is located in southern England and if you are a well experienced and trained time traveler, you could probably use this portal to get to any time period in England that you are interested in traveling to!

stonehenge Stonehenge-Map-United-Kingdom-2la3ar5 StonehengeMap

 

If you are looking for another spot that might be connected to Outlander, I would highly suggest that you head to the isle of Orkney. There is much mystery surrounding this isle in the books. It is speculated that Geillis Duncan was involved in archaeology research there along with Rob Cameron.

Rob Cameron and the Orkneys Echo in the bone

Excerpt from Echo in the bone regarding Rob Cameron’s connection to the Orkneys

 

There are rumors that Master Raymond may have some connection to the isle as well! Diana Gabaldon has given clues to Master Raymond’s past in sharing some of her writings on her facebook page. She also commented on her interest in Orkney Isles in an interview with National Geographic.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/08/140808-outlander-scotland-orkney-islands-stonehenge-neolithic/

 

Orkney Islands

 The Orkney Islands have a long and colourful history. It is no exaggeration to say that the isles are a place where this history remains a part of everyday life.

Every corner of the islands has its ancient monuments, most of them in a remarkable state of repair.

For thousands of years, people have lived and worked in Orkney.

From the stone age Orcadians, who left a legacy of monuments that continue to inspire today, through to the Vikings, who took the islands in the ninth century and made them the centre of a powerful Earldom and part of the kingdom of Norway, and beyond.

The Orkney islands are covered with monuments that stand as constant reminders of the events and people that have gone before.

Houses and tombs dating back 5,000 years share the landscape with Bronze Age cemeteries, standing stones, 2,000 year old brochs, viking ruins, medieval churches and Renaissance palaces.

Our history is therefore not something that exists only in schoolbooks, or in the thoughts of academics.

Orkney’s history and heritage is everywhere – an intricate tapestry of events stitched into the very fabric of the islands themselves. Orcadians have a connection with this history – events that were witnessed by their ancestors many generations ago.  The past is alive and remains part of everyday life, albeit unconsciously.

http://www.orkneyjar.com/history/

Skara bra orkney Orkney island skara brae map Skara bra orkney orkney_1 Orkney standing stones

The entirety of Orkney is filled with ancient sites which deserve much mention but for right now, we will concern ourselves with Standing Stones and Stone Circles. On the main island you will find the Ring of Brodgar.

Ring_of_Brodgar,_Orkney

The Ring of Brodgar (or Brogar, or Ring o’ Brodgar) is a Neolithic henge and stone circle in Orkney, Scotland. Most henges do not contain stone circles; Brodgar is a striking exception, ranking with Avebury (and to a lesser extent Stonehenge) among the greatest of such sites.  The ring of stones stands on a small isthmus between the Lochs of Stenness and Harray. These are the northernmost examples of circle henges in Britain.  Unlike similar structures such as Avebury, there are no obvious stones inside the circle,  but since the interior of the circle has never been excavated by archaeologists, the possibility remains that wooden structures, for example, may be present. The site has resisted attempts at scientific dating and the monument’s age remains uncertain. It is generally thought to have been erected between 2500 BC and 2000 BC, and was, therefore, the last of the great Neolithic monuments built on the Ness.  A project called The Ring of Brodgar Excavation 2008 was undertaken in the summer of that year in an attempt to settle the age issue and help answer other questions about a site that remains relatively poorly understood.  The results of the excavation are still preliminary.

The stone circle is 104 metres (341 ft) in diameter, and the third largest in the British Isles.  The ring originally comprised up to 60 stones, of which only 27 remained standing at the end of the 20th century. The tallest stones stand at the south and west of the ring, including the so-called “Comet Stone” to the south-east.  The stones are set within a circular ditch up to 3 metres (9.8 ft) deep, 9 metres (30 ft) wide and 380 metres (1,250 ft) in circumference that was carved out of the solid sandstone bedrock by the ancient residents.[7] Technically, this ditch does not constitute a true henge as there is no sign of an encircling bank of earth and rock. Many archaeologists continue to refer to this structure as a henge; for example, Aubrey Burl classifies the ditch as a Class II henge; one that has two opposing entrances, in this case on the north-west and south-east.

The ditch appears to have been created in sections, possibly by workforces from different parts of Orkney. The stones may have been a later addition, maybe erected over a long period of time.

Examination of the immediate environs reveals a concentration of ancient sites, making a significant ritual landscape. Within 2 square miles (5.2 km2) there are the two circle-henges, four chambered tombs, groups of standing stones, single stones, barrows, cairns, and mounds.[9] The immediate area has also yielded a number of flint arrowheads and broken stone mace-heads that seem to date from the Bronze Age.  Although its exact purpose is not known, the proximity of the Standing Stones of Stenness and its Maeshowe tomb make the Ring of Brodgar a site of major importance. The site is a scheduled ancient monument and has been recognized as part of the “Heart of Neolithic OrkneyWorld Heritage Site in 1999.

The Orkney Isles are connected to the Norse migration and are mentioned in more ancient texts by the Romans as well.

Nordic rites

 Invaders from Scandinavia reached Orkney by the 9th century, bringing a complex theology that they imposed on the preexisting Orcadian monuments; at least according to local legend. For example, the Ring of Brodgar and the Standing Stones of Stenness were allegedly known as the Temple of the Sun and Moon respectively.  Young people supposedly made their vows and prayed to Wōden at these “temples” and at the so-called “Odin Stone” that lay between the stone circles until it was destroyed by a farmer in 1814.  Others view these fanciful names with scepticism; Sigurd Towrie suggests that “they were simply erroneous terms applied by the antiquarians of the 18th or 19th centuries – romantic additions, in the same vein as the infamous “Druid’s Circle” and “Sacrificial Altar”.”  At the very least, several of the stones at Brodgar contain runic carvings that were left by Nordic peoples.  These include the name “Bjorn” and a small cross as well as an anvil.
One other important site to mention in regards to the Orkney Isles is Skara Brae. While it is not a Stone circle, it is one of the most ancient sites on the isle and probably one of the most intriguing and fascinating sites for any historian!
Orkney island skara brae mapSkara bra orkney
skara brae5 skara brae4 skara brae3 Skara bra orkney
The history and research of Skara Brae are so interesting and there are so many unknown facts surrounding that even I would love to travel through time to see it’s past!
Further excavations followed and, between 1928 and 1930, the dwellings we see today were released from their protective cocoons. At the time, the village was thought to be an Iron Age settlement, dating from around 500BC — but this was no Pictish village.

Radiocarbon dating in the early 1970s confirmed that the settlement dated from the late Neolithic — inhabited for around 600 years, between 3200BC and 2200BC.

There is no way that I can cover all of the history and research going on at Skara Brae here but it is so important that you really should check it out!

You may have noticed that all of these sites have connections to a far more distant past than Claire or other travelers in Outlander were able to go to… other than possibly, Master Raymond or Comte St. Germain. References were made in the Novella, The Space Between, of both of them having traveled further into the past- though just how far, we are not sure of as yet? Or, it could be a case of them traveling back and forth between more ancient pasts and futures. The standard ability within Outlander was cited as about 200 years, though it was thought that perhaps the use of stones, fire or other such tools might take one further? There was also a thought that one could travel easier if they had a particular person set in mind when making the trip. That could be confusing and not so reliable though either. Roger Wakefield had the thought of his son, Jemmy- Jeremiah MacKenzie when he set out on one of his travels… he inadvertently ended up in the far long past where his Father, Jeremiah MacKenzie was!

I believe that we need to consider the thought that it would be possible to travel all the way back to any time that the specific Stone site was already there. Most of the sites are truly ancient so that includes a vast amount of time to choose from. In planning one’s trip back to the past, it is important to be well versed in the various stones and or other tools that might refine one’s destination time. I would not advise a casual trip yet at this time as most of us do not know enough about those tools so it would be difficult at best to precisely determine when we would land?  The majority of us also do not have the time travel genetic trait that those in Outlander are endowed with, so travel through the Stones might not be our best option at this point.

In the beginning of this journey, I did mention that we would touch on a few other options that might be available as far as time travel. Let’s discuss one of those theories now, since it does involve ancient sites in Scotland and it also makes reference to some of the Standing Stones and circles.  for this exploration, you will need to set aside your Outlander frame of reference and belief system because we are going to look at from a completely different focus. While this exploration of time travel approaches it from a different perspective, the results are still the same in that you land back into a long ago past.

This journey involves another of ancient sites in Scotland- one that perhaps does not get quite so much famed attention as others- but should! We are going to visit Dunadd Castle and Earthworks. Dunadd, (Scottish Gaelic Dún Add, ‘fort on the [River] Add’), is an Iron Age and later hillfort near Kilmartin in Argyll and Bute, Scotland and believed to be the capital of the ancient kingdom of Dál Riata.

Originally occupied in the Iron Age, the site later became a seat of the kings of Dál Riata. It is known for its unique stone carvings below the upper enclosure, including a footprint and basin thought to have formed part of Dál Riata’s coronation ritual. On the same flat outcrop of rock is an incised boar in Pictish style, and an inscription in the ogham script. The inscription is read as referring to a Finn Manach and is dated to the late 8th century or after.

Dunadd is mentioned twice in early sources. In 683 the Annals of Ulster record: ‘The siege of Dún At and the siege of Dún Duirn‘ without further comment on the outcome or participants. In the same chronicle the entry for 736 states:  ‘Aengus son of Fergus, king of the  Picts,  laid waste the territory of Dál Riata and seized Dún At and burned Creic and bound in chains two sons of Selbach, i.e. Donngal and Feradach.

The site was occupied after 736, at least into the 9th century. It is mentioned twice in later sources, suggesting that it retained some importance. In 1436, it is recorded that “Alan son of John Riabhach MacLachlan of Dunadd” was made seneschal of the lands of Glassary; the chief place of residence of the MacLachlans of Dunadd lay below the fort. In June 1506, commissioners appointed by James IV, including the earl and bishop of Argyll, met at Dunadd to collect rents and resolve feuds.

The site is an Ancient Monument, under the care of Historic Scotland, and is open to the public.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunadd

http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/kilmartin/dunadd/index.html

argyl 1024px-Dunadd-Hillfort-DescriptiveAndMap 1024px-Dunadd-Hillfort-CarvedPathway 800px-Scotland_Dunadd

The area of Kilmartin and Dunnad are rich in Celtic history and have connections with the Norse migration, the Picts early residence in the area, the migration from Ireland/Erin to Scotland, as well as Druidic history. If one wanted to learn more about how all of those events interconnected and shaped the future of Scotland, one would certainly want to explore the history of this area!

We are able to do this with the assistance of another time traveler who made the trip back to Dunnad’s highpoint shortly before it’s destruction and takeover by the Picts.  Maggie Griggs makes the trip back in time in Veil of Time  by Claire R. McDougall.

Veil of Time

A compelling tale of two Scotlands-one modern, one ancient-and the woman who parts the veil between them.

The medication that treats Maggie’s seizures leaves her in a haze, but it can’t dull her grief at losing her daughter to the same condition. With her marriage dissolved and her son away at school, Maggie retreats to a cottage below the ruins of Dunadd, once the royal seat of Scotland. But is it fantasy or reality when she awakens in a bustling village within the massive walls of eighth-century Dunadd? In a time and place so strange yet somehow familiar, Maggie is drawn to the striking, somber Fergus, brother of the king and father of Illa, who bears a keen resemblance to Maggie’s late daughter. With each dreamlike journey to the past, Maggie grows closer to Fergus and embraces the possibility of staying in this Dunadd. But with present-day demands calling her back, can Maggie leave behind the Scottish prince who dubs her mo chridhe, my heart?

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18144050-veil-of-time

Now, while the area of Dunnad and Kilmartin are filled with ancient Stone circles and Standing Stones, Maggie did not make use of them for her trip through time. They were an integral part or mechanism for her travel though as she had not experienced the time travel previously to her visit to Dunadd as an adult.  Also, the Druidess priestess and others she met in the past seemed to feel that the Stones were responsible for her travel as well as for any number of other events. Maggie was suffering from a number of traumatic events in life and decided to spend some time by herself in an isolated cottage at the base of the Dunnad hill fort.  She is working on her doctoral thesis- on the history of Witchcraft in Scotland and trying to finish it before facing a life altering and possible mind altering major operation to cure her of her epileptic seizures. It seems that the combination of the seizures and what ever mystical properties might be at this area are initially the trigger to send her back through time to the year 735 when Dunnad was at the height of it’s importance in history.

Maggie’s account of her travel through time- whether in her mind, or in actual travel- is an excellent in depth account of  early history that includes Druids, Picts, Norse, Scots, Irish and also the early Christian Monks as they all fought to maintain their long histories and gain control of this area. It provides a well thought out and highly detailed description of  the epileptic seizures and their affects on one’s brain. The book also brings up the controversial thoughts on the idea of time itself and whether it would even be possible to travel through time. It leaves one with thoughts of whether she had actually traveled or whether she was experiencing it all in her mind and fabricating it. She came back from each trip though knowing far too many little known facts about the history of the area to have simply imagined it all as she first thought.  One possible explanation- in my mind- is that in some ways it felt as though she was experiencing a form of past life regression or dreams. While many would argue that the past life regression theory would not constitute time travel, my personal thought is that it is indeed a form of time travel, in the most personal of ways.  Many people scoff at the notion of reincarnation or past lives, but as far as this discussion goes… it is no more impossible, improbable or implausible than the entire notion of time travel!  As far as this form of travel goes, it would be limited to those times and places which we have already experienced at some point and there would be no opportunities to truly change the outcome of that history? Unless of course, we went as Maggie did, and retained some of our present time consciousness.

What ever your personal thoughts on all of it are, I would still recommend that you make the journey with Maggie back to the pre-history days of Dunnad. The historical information within the book is well documented and researched, and it provides us with a highly detailed picture of the place. As to her work on her thesis in the present day, I was just as fascinated with that research as with the history of Dunnad!

site record for dunadd fort

standing stone sites near Dunnad

standing stone sites near Dunnad

Kilmartin pre-history tour

Kilmartin pre-history tour

Kilmartin ancient grave slabs

Kilmartin ancient grave slabs

ancient footprint at Dunnad

ancient footprint at Dunnad

Standing Stone at Dunnad

Standing Stone at Dunnad

carved rocks at Dunnad hill fort

carved rocks at Dunnad hill fort

dunadd-fort4 Dunadd_Seat_of_Dalriatic_Kings_by_younghappy

dunadd fort water well dunadd boar carving

Dunnad artifacts

Dunnad artifacts

Dunnad artifacts

Dunnad artifacts

Dunnad artifacts

Dunnad artifacts

artifacts from dunadd excavations 1024px-Dunadd_Fort_Pictish_type_boar_carving

 

stone with cup and ring marks near by Dunnad

stone with cup and ring marks near by Dunnad

 

Now you have some idea of  places  that you could feasibly travel through the Stones on the British Isles, if using the Stones is your preferred method of travel. Maggie Oliver provided us with another possibility for travel options… I am of the opinion that you would not necessarily need to be afflicted with Epilepsy to experience this method? Possibly, you just need to go deep into your mind dig through what’s there hiding and then place yourself in some area that calls to you for the subconscious reason that you should answer that call? It would be a matter of placing yourself at the right place and then letting your mind focus on where and when it wants to go.  There are so many numerous other options mentioned out there that it would be impossible to list them all! Some options require being involved in a traumatic event that places your current life in danger, thereby reeling you into some past, “safer” life… though from everything I have read, that “safer” past is always debatable and highly questionable! Other methods of travel depend on natural phenomenon or disasters as a trigger mechanism, once again rather dangerous and with little means of control over when you leave, and no control over where and when your destination is! There are theoretical methods which involve the use of machines for transport… if you happen to find one of these, please let the rest of us know! And, of course, some methods involve spells, magic and the help of fairies… again, if you find those, please let us know so we can sign up!  So, it would seem that as far as plausibility goes, the Stones or the mind travel connections might actually be your safest chance!

 

Once you have made your decision to go, you need to think about your destination… both the when and the where would be highly advisable! As I’ve mentioned before, Various time periods around any given site could land you in vastly different circumstances. You should do as much research as possible  into the history of what ever site you choose.  This way, if your timing is not quite as accurate as you expected, you will at least have some idea what you are facing in the area.  This guide is specific to the British Isles, so you should prepare yourself by knowing as much as possible about the history of the British Isles- from the earliest pre-history of when the Stones were presumably created, through the various time periods significant to a Stone site’s general area. You could theoretically encounter anything from early stone age, to Druids, Picts, early Norse inhabitants, Roman conquerors,  Angles and Saxons in conquest, later Viking conquests, on to  Norman invasions, any number of upheavals and unrest as later rules sought control over the Isle… It is a vast array of historical events that you could mistakenly arrive in and you should be somewhat prepared!

My observations have led me to the thought that it always the unprepared ones who have the most difficulty and at times cause the most calamity or chaos… One other thought to remember? Do not go with assumptions or ideas that you are going to change the course of history! That idea seldom works has the most potential for harm to yourself or your future… you do plan to eventually return to the future, don’t you? Well, then again, maybe not… maybe this is going to a permanent move for you. If it is going to be permanent though, that does not mean that you should have no regard for the future of everyone else!

 

This concludes our guide to Stone Sites and travel options. For those of you still debating on an era to travel to, I will be providing an additional information session on some early time periods that you might be interested in viewing. In our next upcoming guide to the early history, we will be exploring the Norse migration into England…. No, not the earliest Norse migration into outlying Scottish Islands, but the later migration of the Vkings. There is a difference, and we will focus on the Viking experience! The best way to experience it is to immerse yourself in it from their point of view!

http://www.history.com/shows/vikings

vikings_ragnar_4-P vikings_gallery9_1-P vikings_gallery8_3-P vikings_gallery_1_4-P rollo vikings__infographicvikings_season1infographic_final

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

history of Claire Elizabeth Beauchamp!

Spoiler Alert: Please be advised that as with all of my Outlander articles, this article contains information  from all of the books!

 

I was going to wait with this case but a number of people have recently brought up the question and the puzzle of Claire Beauchamp Randall Fraser’s history and ancestry, so I have decided to provide some sort of answer. I am not going to delve into any of her recent history, her character analysis or anything like that. That information is all readily available if one reads all of the Outlander books and or watches the Outlander series! What I will try to do is piece together various bits of information provided by Diana Gabaldon in her Outlandish Companion 1 book. I will use that information to go a bit further back in tracing Claire’s known ancestry. Hopefully by the time we are finished, we might have a better understanding…or not…of her history. What we will probably end up with is even more questions!

Claire Elizabeth Beauchamp

 

 

  When I read through the Outlandish Companion, I found it fascinating how Diana wove her characters so deftly into real family lineages and ancestries, finding some small window of  opportunity to fit them seamlessly into the fabric of each line.  For more information on her detailed research on this aspect, I highly suggest that you read her Companion book! This first edition contains information on the books up through Drums of Autumn.

Outlandish Companion

http://www.dianagabaldon.com/books/outlander-series/the-outlandish-companion-vol-1/

I am so happy to share too that she is working on  a Companion II which is rumored to be available some time next spring.

http://www.dianagabaldon.com/books/outlander-series/the-outlandish-companion-vol-ii/

 

Now, back to Claire’s history and what I found so interesting about it? Without reading Outlandish Companion, most of us would assume that Claire’s ancestry or lineage is unknown but that is really not the case. Claire is most likely unaware of it because she was raised by her mysterious uncle Lamb, who died before he could share her ancestry with her.  As I read through her short family lineage, I was struck by two things in particular. first of course, was the fact that she had a detailed family history at all and that it was more English than French? I assumed that there would be more of  an obvious French connection or tie in because of the surname and because of events in the books that seem to tie her in some way to a French history. That may indeed come at some point in the future, but for now, I must work with the information available to me.  The second thing that sparked my personal interest was a reference in the Companion’s history of her to Richard III, King of England.

Excerpt from Diana Gabaldon's Outlandish Companion

Excerpt from Diana Gabaldon’s Outlandish Companion

 

 

For those of you who do not know anything about Richard III, You can find basic information on him here

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_III_of_England

He is probably most famous for the way in which he managed to become King after his brother Edward’s death, and of course his involvement in the disappearance of the Princes in the tower.  Much of  the earlier portions of my ongoing story revolve around this mystery and those involved in it. I used it as a taking off point for part of my time travels with the early Royals.

There is a great little book about the mystery and the suspects, which you can read a preview of here:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19055218-cold-case-reopened

Cold case Princes of the tower

It is one of the most famous or infamous unsolved mysteries still waiting for some answer!  I was so intrigued by it that I could not resist weaving it and all of the suspects into my story line. Now, in my story Richard made a secret pact with the Vampyre faction, who knew of a way to spirit the boys away but not kill them outright. In this way, Richard was able to honestly say that he had no hand in killing the boys and had no idea what happened to them. You can read some of my story about the Tower mystery starting here:

https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/04/02/eleanors-journal-entries-46-the-tower-mystery-part-2/

 

Now, you might see why I was so intrigued by the mention of Richard III and the boys in the tower in Claire’s family history!

 

As I mentioned previously, we assume that Claire’s past family history is unremarkable, mundane and not all that interesting or worthy of comment… We also assume that Claire is just plain Claire Beauchamp with no ties or connections to nobility or rank.  Whereas Jamie can trace his family ancestry far back, holds a title of Laird in his own right, Claire is just Claire, an average everyday commoner from the 20th century. She has no idea and probably doesn’t really care about what her Uncle Quentin Lambert Beauchamp was working on at the time of his death.  Now, from what little we know about Uncle Lamb, I find it a bit odd that he would care about this ancestry and title either? For some reason though, he was interested in seeing it restored, maybe it was his way of  giving Claire her family identity and rightful title. Perhaps he thought that with her marriage to Frank Randall, this history and title would have some meaning, value and importance in her future or the future of her offspring.

Quentin Lambert Beauchamp was a noted archaeologist and historian who spent much of his time traveling the world at various ancient locations. His interests were more of ancient ruins and history than in more recent things such as British Peerage and lost titles? He raised Claire after her parents’ deaths in a car accident and did not share any important family history or information with Claire while she was growing up. Maybe he thought, as many of us do, that there was plenty of time ahead for that.

Lambert Quentin Beauchamp Claire's uncle young Claire

Growing up with Uncle Lamb, Claire lived a highly unconventional life that would hardly suit her for the blue blooded life of nobility or landed gentry even of the 1940s. When she met and married Frank Randall, a well respected Historian with an interest in the more recent British history, her unconventional bohemian lifestyle would have to change. He was a part of that more upper class refined gentry and would have found Claire’s ancestry and lineage of great interest. Claire met Frank while he was working with Uncle Lamb on some ancient French Philosophy work, so apparently Uncle Lamb and Frank were colleagues and probably friends. As far as we know, Lamb did not share Claire’s family ancestry with Frank- if he did, it has never been mentioned.

Let us get back to Claire and that mysterious family ancestry… We can assume at this time that, at the time of his death Uncle Lamb was working on having the extinct title of Lord St. Amand restored and as his heir, Claire would thereby be heir presumptive to the title, making her Lady St. Amand. So, unbeknownst to Claire or anyone else at the time, she really was a Noble Lady of high rank and standing! Will this fact ever come into play at some later point, and is there any significance to it? We will have to wait and see if this has any importance at a much later time.

This is a copy of the very basic family tree for Claire Elizabeth Beauchamp.

Beauchamp family tree

excerpt from Diana Gabaldon’s Outlandish Companion

Claire Beauchamp was born to Henry Beauchamp and Julia Moriston on 20 October 1918. Her parents died in a car accident when she was only five, and Claire was adopted by her uncle, Quentin Lambert Beauchamp, an archaeologist and historian whose work took him all over the globe. He attempted to enroll her at an English boarding school, but she stubbornly refused to attend.

“Faced with the necessity of prying my chubby fingers off the car’s door handle and dragging me by the
heels up the steps of the school, Uncle Lamb, who hated personal conflict of any kind, had sighed in
exasperation, then finally shrugged and tossed his better judgment out the window along with my newly purchased round straw boater.” – Claire, Outlander (Chapter One)

Claire consequently spent her childhood traveling the world with her uncle while he worked, becoming accustomed to fairly primitive conditions. She later claims that her first kiss was at the age of eight, in Egypt with the dragoman’s nine-year-old son.

Claire’s Marriage to Frank

Claire met Frank Randall, a historian, when he came to consult her uncle about his work. They were soon married, and spent a brief two-day honeymoon in the Scottish Highlands, followed by only a few months together before the outbreak of World War II. Claire and Frank were separated for most of the war. Frank trained as an officer in MI-6, and Claire as a nurse. Both served their country in their respective roles for the duration of the war. Once the war was over, Claire and Frank, reunited, decided to go on a second honeymoon in Scotland to reestablish their marriage in 1946. They stayed at Mrs. Baird’s bed-and-breakfast in Inverness, a city in the Scottish Highlands situated near an ancient stone circle called Craigh na Dun.

These are the basics of Claire’s ancestry that we are aware of right now. I mentioned earlier, and Claire had thoughts on it as well, that her family lineage must go back to France in some way due to her surname? Well, yes it does… but it is extremely far back!

Claire Beauchamp1

excerpt from Diana Gabaldon’s Outlandish Companion

Her earliest documented ancestor was one Hugh De Beauchamp, who was originally from Normandy, arrived in England with William the Conqueror, was of course loyal to William and was well rewarded for it.

http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Beauchamp-115

Biography

Amongst the most eminent Normal families in the train of the Conqueror was that of Beauchamp, and amongst those that shared most liberally in the spoils of the conquest was Hugh de Beauchamp, the companion in arms of the victorious Norman, who obtained grants to a very great extent from his triumphant chief, as he appears at the general survey to be possessed of large estates in Hertford, Buckingham, and Bedfordshires, was the founder of this illustrious house in England. This Hugh had issue, Simon, who d. s. p.; Payne, ancestor of the Beauchamps of Bedford, that barony having been conferred upon him by William Rufus; Walter, but some doubts have been thrown upon the question of his having been son of Hugh, Sir H Nicholas stating him to have been “supposed of the same family”; Milo, of Eaton, co. Bedford; Adeline, m. to Walter le Espec, Lord of Kirkham and Helmesley, co. of York.

So, in the beginnings of Outlander when Claire used her maiden name and came up with the “plausible” story that she was on her way to relatives in France…She may have had some but it would have required quite a jump through the Stones to go far enough back to find them!

You can follow the descendant branches of Hugh De Beauchamp on the above link if you are interested in tracing the genealogy further- as with all family trees it gets highly confusing at times!

For our purposes, we are going to jump ahead in the genealogy to  Richard Beauchamp/St. Amand 1453-1508. He went by St. Amand as that title was bestowed upon his Father, William Beauchamp when he married Elizabeth de Braybrook St. Amand.

Richard St. Amand

http://www.geni.com/people/Richard-St-Amand/6000000011687004545

William Beauchamp St. Amand

http://www.geni.com/people/William-Beauchamp-St-Amand/6000000011686883011

Elizabeth de Braybrook St. Amand

http://www.geni.com/people/Elizabeth-St-Amand/6000000011687307453

Richard St. Amand had only one child, and illegitimate son, Anthony St. Amand.

Richard, 6th Baron Beauchamp De Saint-Amand of Wilts, England was 3 1/2 when his father William died and 38 when his mother died. He was convicted by the “Act of 1484”, but soon pardoned. He was made a Knight of King Henry VII about 1485, perhaps during the coronation. He received a grant of property forfeited by his stepfather, Roger in March of 1485. Richard was appointed Keeper of Blackmore Forest, Wilts, as “Sir Richard Beauchamp” in 1486. In 1488, he was commissioner of Musters in Wilts and in 1501 he was an officer supervising the official welcome of Katherine of Aragon. In 1504 “Richard Beauchamp, Knight, Lord St-Amand” served as Steward of Malborough, Wilts. he had no children by Dame Anne but did have a “natural son”, Anthony, by his lover, Mary Wroughton about 1470. He made his last will and testament on June 14, 1508 and died in July 1508. Some probate papers spell his name “Lord Seynatamand”. He was interred in the Black Friers’ Church near Ludgate, within the City of London.

With Richard’s death the Amand title would be extinct as he had no legal heirs to it? His son, Anthony St. Amand was illegitimate so would not be in line to inherit the title or the lands that went with it.

http://www.geni.com/people/Anthony-St-Amand/6000000011687256217

Uncle Lamb however was able to prove however that an heir or heiress did exist but was covered up by the family in their attempts to avoid much unwanted scandal at the time. He found some long hidden evidence of Anthony having married a relative of the family.

Excerpt from Diana Gabaldon’s Outlandish Companion

 

What is interesting to note here is Anthony’s biography? It states that eventually after his death, the family left for France… So, in reality or retrospect, Claire did have more recent family connections in France but she would not necessarily have found them by searching for Beauchamps, but rather St. Amands!

Are you thoroughly bewildered and confused yet? Yes, researching one’s genealogy does have a way doing that! This small portion Claire’s genealogy does not even touch on what possible other connections she has to say, far more ancient times in France, or how the Beauchamp name might link her to others in the story? Then, of course there is the mysterious link or genetically inherited connection she has to other time travelers through out the story. 

Outlander ship

One of those is the strange Master Raymond, whom she meets when she and Jamie are living in France. A more in depth investigation of Master Raymond and his mysteries will be coming in the future!

Another one is the “Witch” Geillis Duncan, who mistakenly believes she is a witch because of her ability to travel through the Stones.

gillian and the stones3

For an in depth look at Geillis Duncan, you can read the following articles

https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/10/31/geillis-duncan-the-beginnings-of-madness/

https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/10/31/geillis-duncan-the-witch-within-comes-out/

https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/11/09/geillis-duncan-unraveling-her-web/

 

Besides these two key time travelers, there are a number of others who are interconnected in some way by their inherited abilities which is directly dependent on their genealogy. Some of those of course are Claire’s daughter, Bree and Bree’s husband Roger. Roger is a descendent of Geillis Duncan so we would assume that is where he inherited the genetic trait from? But, as many of us are well aware of… Never assume anything with Diana Gabaldon.  Diana creates so many twists and turns that all we can really do is make a half educated guess as to the direction she might go!

Two remaining people of interest in all of this web of genealogy and connections are the Comte St. Germain and one other suspicious and rather obscure person of interest. We have previously touched on St. Germain’s connections in our investigation of Geillis Duncan, and he will most likely come up again in our future investigation of Master Raymond. 

It  might interest you to know that as with so many of Diana’s characters, the Comte St. Germain was a real person with interests in the Occult?

le_comte_de_saint_germain

comte st. germain2

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Count_of_St._Germain

 

You can find additional information concerning him and his connection in the Novella, The Space Between. The other person of some suspicion is a man by the name of Percy Beauchamp. He comes into the forefront in My Own Heart’s Blood with his own secretive agenda, of which we are still not quite certain of other than his search for Fergus. His story and connections are not exactly clear. He was a step brother to Lord John Grey, as well as having a more personal relationship with him. Beauchamp is the surname of his wife’s family in France? He is in search of Fergus because he believes that Fergus is a missing heir to that family… So, that would put Fergus with some sort of hypothetical connection to Claire?  At this point we have always considered Fergus as an orphaned waif that Jamie rescued, raised and treated as a son. There is as yet no connection or mention of Fergus knowing anything about the secrets of Claire’s identity or her abilities.  As far as we know, Fergus displays none of his own abilities in such a way but then again, as far as we’re aware, he’s most likely never been near to any Stone Circles or ancient places that might trigger his ability?  One clue about his genealogy or his genetics and their connection to any of these travelers comes with the birth of his younger son. His younger son, Henri-Christian is a dwarf. Now, while this may not appear on the surface as anything significant, we need to look at some evidence or facts surrounding dwarfism. In many cases, it is an inherited gene.

Types

  • Not all forms of dwarfism are caused by genetic disorders. Dwarfism can result from insufficient growth-hormone production, a low-functioning pituitary gland or other deficiencies in the endocrine system. One of the most common forms of dwarfism is achondroplasia: This is an inheritable disorder that affects the formation of cartilage in the long bones of the body. About 70 percent of dwarfism is achondroplastic. A person with achondroplastic dwarfism has a normal-sized head and trunk but disproportionately sized limbs.

Inheritance

  • There are 46 chromosomes in the human genome. Chromosomes are arranged in 23 pairs; each pair contains duplicate genes or alleles that code for a specific trait, like eye color or hair texture. The first 22 pairs of chromosomes are called autosomes. The last pair contains the sex chromosomes—X or Y—and determines the sex of the individual. Achondroplastic dwarfism is inherited in an autosomal-dominant pattern; in this case, “dominance” is just a term that describes a pattern of inheritance in which one gene can suppress the expression of the other in the allelic pair. This means that one achondroplastic dwarfism gene is enough to cause the disorder

Read more : http://www.ehow.com/about_6322434_inheritance-dwarfism_.html

 

There is much mention of Master Raymond being a dwarf, and if you read the Space Between, there is much discussion there of Dwarf families or sects in Paris during the times when Master Raymond and Comte St. Germain  were living there.  Once you put these bits and pieces together, it seems quite plausible or possible that although Fergus himself did show any sign of dwarfism, he may have carried the gene for it, passing it down to his son. If you follow along those lines, it also gives you cause to hypothesize or guess that there is some possible genetic link between Fergus and Master Raymond or his many descendents.  Those thoughts and speculations, however will be followed up at some later point in our investigation of Master Raymond.

 

For now, we are only concerning ourselves with Claire’s ancestry and genealogy as we know of it.  With that being said, I think we have covered as much of it as we can at this time!

 

So, in conclusion to our study of Claire’s ancestry and lineage, I would like to now introduce her with the title which her Uncle Lamb was working so hard to restore for her?

Claire Baroness St Amand Claire a lady2

 

 

The Title that he was working on having restored was the Baron of St. Amand. After his death, Claire would become Baroness or Lady St. Amand. You may feel free to address her as either, but please do remember that she is indeed a Lady in her own right, rank and blood!

Ohhhhh, one last small detail or question…. In my search of all things Beauchamp, I ran across this Grimoire, labeled the Beauchamp Grimoire?  Just a random musing on which of her ancestors might have owned such a thing? 

A grimoire /ɡrɪmˈwɑr/ is a textbook of magic. Such books typically include instructions on how to create magical objects like talismans and amulets, how to perform magical spells, charms and divination and also how to summon or invoke supernatural entities such as angels, spirits, and demons.  In many cases, the books themselves are also believed to be imbued with magical powers, though in many cultures, other sacred texts that are not grimoires, such as the Bible, have also been believed to have supernatural properties intrinsically; in this manner while all books on magic could be thought of as grimoires, not all magical books should.

While the term grimoire is originally European and many Europeans throughout history, particularly ceremonial magicians and cunning folk, have made use of grimoires, the historian Owen Davies noted that similar books can be found all across the world, ranging from Jamaica to Sumatra, and he also noted that the first grimoires could be found not only in Europe but in the Ancient Near East.

Beauchamp grimoire

Beauchamp grimoire

Ohhhhh My Goodness, I forgot to include another piece of Claire’s Ancestry!

Some of Claire's ancestors, Thoma De Beauchamp Earl of Warwick with wife Katherine Mortimer.

Some of Claire’s ancestors, Thoma De Beauchamp Earl of Warwick with wife Katherine Mortimer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Geillis Duncan: The Beginnings of Madness

 

Warning! If you have not read all of the books including the novella, The Space Between, this article will contain numerous spoilers!

gillian and the stones3

Before we start our visit with Geillis Duncan and get to know her better…that is if you are brave enough to want to know her better? As scary as she is though, she is a very important part of the ongoing legend of Outlander. There are still a number of secrets and mysteries about this woman and her life. For those of you who are not familiar with her, I will try to give you a bit of background information on her.

In trying to wrap one’s mind around Geillis Duncan, and the number of other aliases she assumes over the years, I think it’s important to start with who she was originally and the time she started out in?  We know very little about her early years growing up and what might have caused her to become the obsessed and crazed woman that she ended up as. When one is investigating and profiling someone such as Geillis, it is important to attempt to fill in those blanks as much as possible? She is one of those cases where we have to ask ourselves, Was she born with some emotional or mental instability or did something in her past cause her to snap? Now, very few people are actually born with a mental instability that would cause such behaviors and actions as Geillis exhibits, so we might normally rule that possibility out? In the case of Geillis, however, we will leave that possibility open because we know nothing of her ancestral lineage at this time other than one very important fact. She is capable of travelling through the stones, so something in her blood line and her genes has produced that ability…Could there be some mutation along those lines that would also pre-dispose her for madness?

first let us look at who she started life as and when she lived…Geillis Duncan is simply an alias that one troubled (yes, that’s putting it nicely and mildly) young woman, Gillian Edgars assumed when she decided to escape her life in 1960’s Scotland. Gillian Edgars was not having such a great life during that time!  She was a highly intelligent and strong willed woman. Gillian was driven, determined, passionate and focused on her studies and on the current events surrounding her in the 1960’s. Unfortunately, she was also stuck in what she must have assumed was a dead end marriage to a lazy and worthless drunk who did not understand or care about the things she thought were so important. Now, we do not know whether her husband, Greg Edgars was always that way, or whether the times, the general turbulence and living with Gillian drove him to it? We’ll probably never know that because Gillian took care of the situation in what was the beginning of her madness.

Gillian Edgars was passionate, intense and obsessed with the things she believed in and studied. Those things included history-mainly that of the Scottish Jacobite risings and Bonnie Prince Charlie, archeology-namely standing stones and circles, and of  course, Witchcraft! Her husband, Greg also mentioned her involvement with the Scottish Nationalists and the Society of the White Rose, two organizations working toward Scottish independence. He tells Roger that Gillian is obsessed with Bonnie Prince Charlie and often has others around to talk about what if his rebellion had succeeded.

http://www.scotland.org.uk/history/devolution 

Claire eventually came to believe that Geillis/Gillian was suffering from insanity caused by syphilis? My personal take on her is that she was already bordering on insanity as a young woman when she took her first trip through the stones. What else would explain her doing away with her first husband, and future ones even before Arthur Duncan in the ways that she did. Gillian Edgars firmly believed in the cause of the Scottish National Party and Society of White Rose and was obsessed enough with it to go to any length in order to see it succeed. She also believed so fully in the powers of Witchcraft that she assumed those powers could guide her through time, through the Stones in order to change history. In her all consuming determination towards that end, she obviously felt that her husband was expendable? Why wouldn’t he be… at the time, she didn’t plan on coming back so no one could place any blame on her for the action. It would be the ultimate unsolvable murder!  There were a few things that Gillian did not get quite right in her research and her subsequent travels. Her research of the Stones, and the “spells” led her to the belief that she must have a human/blood sacrifice? In that requirement, she used her unsuspecting husband?  In reality, if she were one of the  “Auld” Ones but didn’t know it, she would have been able to travel back anyway, no “witchcraft” involved! She also, of course did not count on any witnesses to her crime or her travel. 

Gillian did do a great deal of in depth research on the Stones and the rituals that pertained to traveling through them. She kept a notebook filled with her research notes, which Claire eventually found and kept to show Roger and Bree.

gillian's notebook1 gillian's notebook2

Claire steals Gillian’s notebook from the institute and learns Gillian’s plans. The three of them go to Craigh na Dun on Beltaine eve to stop her, but by the time they reach the stones, Gillian has set her husband on fire as a sacrifice. They watch as Geillis, dressed in 18th century clothing, disappears into the cleft in the stones. Roger is nearly pulled into the stones and Claire is knocked unconscious. Even Brianna hears the stones and realizes that her mother’s story was true.

 

standing stones gillian goes through the stones

 

It’s obvious that Gillian had been planning her trip for some time.  What is not so clear is why she chose to leave when she did? Of course, she did plan the trip according to when she assumed the Stones would be open, but she could have gone at some earlier or later point in the year? According to the legends, the time passages through the Stones would be most open to travel at specific times of the year that coincided with ancient Pagan holidays relating to sun and moon phases, solstices and equinoxes.

http://www.catanna.com/paganholidays.htm

 

Yule/Winter Solstice around December 21st / Winter Solstice on or near December 21st Yule / Winter Solstice on or near December 21st
Here in the northern hemisphere, nights get longer and days get shorter until the day of the Winter Solstice when the cycle reverses. The word Yule comes from the Norse Jul meaning wheel. On this darkest of nights, the Goddess becomes the Great Mother and once again gives birth to the Sun God. This is a fire festival so celebrate with a Yule log in the fireplace, candles on the table and lights on the tree. Evergreens, holly, ivy and mistletoe, symbols of fertility and everlasting life, remind us that the cold darkness of winter will eventually give way to the warmth & new growth of spring.

Imbolc / Imbolg / Candlemas – February 2nd
Imbolc means, literally, ‘in the belly’ (of the Mother) and in the womb of Mother Earth new life is truly stirring. The young Sun God is growing and his strength is beginning to be noticeable. If you look closely, you may notice a snowdrop or a crocus pushing its way out of the still-cold earth. This is traditionally a day of purification, of sweeping out the old to make room for the new… both physically and emotionally. Celebrate by lighting LOTS of candles to encourage the young Sun; if you like to make them yourself, this is an auspicious day to do it. As nuts and seeds symbolize new beginnings, enjoy some sesame cookies or nutbread while visualizing yourself co-creating a loving, joyous & prosperous future.

Ostara – Spring Equinox – on or near March 21st
Named for Eostre the Teutonic Goddess of New Life, Ostara is the first day of Spring. Light and darkness are in balance, but the light is growing stronger as days continue to grow longer. The Young Sun God continues to mature and grow; small tender leaves appear on the trees, young buds are swelling and, here in New York, cheerful white and yellow daffodils are already in full bloom. The Life Energies are building quickly now and the very air seems to vibrate with promise. Celebrate by coloring eggs, an ancient symbol of fertility.

Beltaine / Beltane / May Day – May 1
From the Irish Gaelic Bealtaine meaning Bel-fire (the fire of Bel, Celtic God of light) Beltaine is primarily a fertility festival; the Land represented by the Goddess is now ripe and fertile and the Sun God expresses His Love for Her. Celebrate by establishing a woodland or garden shrine and gathering flowers to adorn your living space… and yourself!

Midsummer / Summer Solstice – on or near June 21st
Midsummer is the longest day of the year. It’s not harvest time yet, but Mother Nature is impressively lush. The veil between the Faerie realm and our world is thin so don’t be surprised if you catch a glimpse of an otherworldly someone on Midsummer’s Eve! Celebrate with a bonfire and if you’re into herb magick, any plants gathered at this time are particularly powerful. Or just stroll through a park or woodland area and bask in the glory of our natural world.

Lughnasadh / Lammas – August 1
Even though Lughnasadh occurs at the warmest time of the year, it marks the time at which days become noticeably shorter and so is considered the starting point of the autumn quarter of the year. The autumn season contains three harvests, and Lughnasadh is the first of these, the time when the first corn harvest is cut. The name is derived from Lugh (pronounced ‘loo’), a Celtic deity of light and wisdom. At Lughnasadh, bread from the first harvest was eaten in thanks. Baking, sharing& eating bread is a wonderful way to celebrate this holiday and if you can, attend a Renaissance Faire, Medieval Festival or Highland Games competition. The jousting matches and caber & sheaf tosses were no doubt inspired by that aggressive war god Lugh.

 

MMabon/Autumn Equinox around September 21st – or near September 21
Mabon is the time of the second harvest, when fruits are ready for collection. The land is showing clear signs of the journey towards winter – leaves are beginning to turn and birds are gathering for migration. Mabon is a time to consider which aspects of your life you wish to preserve and which you would prefer to discard. This is the Pagan Thanksgiving, a time to appreciate and enjoy the fruits of your labors. Commemmorate Mabon by making wine, feasting with friends, planting bulbs to bloom in the spring and put out feeders to help those brave birds who don’t migrate get through the long winter ahead.

Samhain, All Hallow’s Eve, Hallowe’en – October 31
This is the Last Harvest and New Year’s Eve to the ancient Celts. Being “between years,” it is considered a very magical time, a day when the veil separating the the physical plane and spiritual realms is most permeable. This is a good day to practice divination: scrying, Tarot readings and Rune casting are all particularly effective. The practice of donning costumes… especially scary ones… grew out of the ancient fear of evil spirits passing through the veil along with the benevolent ones and pumpkin carving evolved from the practice of painting hideous faces on gourds to keep “gouls and goblins” away from the home. Samhain is also a day for honoring our ancestors and one of my favorite rituals is the Dumb Supper… laying an extra place at the dinner table for those who have passed over to the Summerlands.

witches calander wheel1

Gillian made her trip at Beltane, May 1st. Had her intent always been to go on this particular date, or did she rush into her trip for some other reason? We know that she was asking questions about the Stones. Fiona, Mrs. Graham’s grand daughter and Roger’s housekeeper mentioned that other young woman who reminded her of someone… Roger with his green eyes that so resembled Gillian’s, asking for information. Was Gillian aware that someone, such as Claire, was suspicious of her? Did she rush her preparations because of this? Or was there some other reason that she left in a bit of a rush as she seemed to? And, why did she feel the need to use her husband Greg as a sacrifice in such a horrific way? We know little of their relationship other than Greg was a drunk and didn’t agree much with her radical ideas and friends.  Yes, possibly she just chose him out of convenience at the time. Perhaps she came home to find him drunk and passed out as usual, and decided with no care, concern or remorse to use him as her needed sacrifice? Or was there something deeper within their relationship that caused her to use him and destroy him in such a vengeful way? Was he abusive towards her, did he pose a threat to her in some way? Did he know something of her activities or plans with her revolutionary radical group of  friends, did he at some point threaten to tell of  what ever plans they might have been coming up with? Of course, we’ll probably never know those answers but they are plausible explanations or theories which we can not really rule out? If she was cold, calculating and unconcerned enough as to casually use him as her torch, then she was certainly already well on her way to the rather depraved and insane soul that she became later.  Gillian was generally a thorough researcher and planner, and it just seems to me that while she was somewhat prepared for the trip, her leaving when and how she did felt somewhat rushed?

 

Now, as to why she chose the place she did, after having researched any number of other places… It is speculated at some much later time that she was part of an archeological project at one of the most ancient of all and perhaps most powerful circles, on Orkney Isle. It was there that she might have met one of the other Scottish Nationalists and revolutionaries, Rob Cameron?  One would think that she would have preferred to use those Stones as her portal instead? I believe she might have if she were not stuck where she was at the time? So, she chose the closest, most convenient sight that she could find and hoped for success.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/08/140808-outlander-scotland-orkney-islands-stonehenge-neolithic/

Standing Stones of Stennes on mainland of Orkney, Scotland

 

There are two other puzzles concerning Gillian’s planned trip to the past via the Standing Stones at Crag na dun? The first, of course is the time frame? According to the legends and her research, Gillian would have known that in general the timing was given as about 200 years. She wanted to go back far enough in time ensure the success of the Jacobites and change the future of Scotland. It was 1968 when she decided to go back, so theoretically she should have landed somewhere around 1768. This time frame would have put her too late, so she had to have been hoping that she could guide herself further back than that with the added stones and what ever other spells or such she assumed would help her… most likely she was counting on the added benefit of poor Greg’s sacrifice to aid in this matter? We can not be sure of exactly how far back she did land, but she was there as early as about 1738 when Roger and her son, William Buccliegh MacKenzie meet her?  She has already been there for some time,  enough time to have killed another unfortunate husband and be on her way to doing away with husband number 3…there could have been more, these are just ones we know about! So, her thoughts and theories of being able to exert some control over the time landed in seemed to be partially correct. She would have wanted to go far enough back to give herself time to prepare for the rebellion of 1745 and she managed to accomplish that much, though it probably was not as close or as accurate as she would have wanted. But, better to be too early than too late!

The other puzzle surrounds where she was shortly after her arrival, or at least when Roger and William find her and piece together the story? She left through the Stones at Crag na dun near Inverness, so she should have been well placed in or around Inverness at that point in the past. Why then, did Roger and William find her at Cranesmuir, near Castle Leoch and the MacKenzies?

Outlander locations

Logically thinking, she would have been in a far better position to prepare and plan from Inverness than from the more remote location of Cranesmuir? If she wanted to make a difference,  influence the outcome and success at Culloden, why then did she make her way to Cranesmuir instead? Was it some lack of pre-planning on her part? Was it that she thought she could more easily find a way to fit in a more out of the way place and find a gullible next husband?  We don’t know those answers either, but we do know that her descendants, Roger and William ended up paving the way for her introduction to her future victim, Dougal MacKenzie!

OUT_107-20140522-EM_0050.jpg Dougal and Geillie2

 

 

Now we at least know how Gillian Edgars came to be one Geillis Duncan in the past! Ohhh, before we go on, we should add one last bit of interesting coincidence? When Gillian traveled to the past, she changed her name to Geillis, and we know that she married a fairly important man in the town of Cranesmuir. Arthur Duncan was the procurator fiscal, which really had nothing to do with finances as it would seem by the term.

Outlander-103-Exclusive-Lotte-Verbeek-as-Geillis-Duncan-and-John-Sessions-as-Arthur-Duncan-

The office most likely originates in the Roman-Dutch and French manorial or seignorial administrator (Dutch procurator-fiscaal, French procureur fiscal), who, as the fiscal in the title suggests, was originally an officer of the sheriff (the local law enforcement officer and judge) with financial (fiscal) responsibilities: the procurator fiscal collected debts, fines, and taxes. However, such responsibilities had been eclipsed in the course of the 18th century by their duty as prosecutor in the sheriff court with the passage of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1701. In this capacity they gave concurrence in private prosecutions and prosecuted on behalf of the Crown. The Sheriff Courts (Scotland) Act 1867 gave procurators fiscal full responsibility in law for prosecution of all criminal acts in Scotland.  Originally the fiscal was the sheriff’s official and tenure of the office was at the pleasure of the sheriff. With the decline of private prosecution the fiscal came to be regarded more and more as under the control of the Lord Advocate. In 1776 the government  started to pay procurators fiscal to take precognitions and in 1907 the right of appointing procurators fiscal was transferred to the Lord Advocate.

So, she was a “witch” married to the law enforcement/judge in town and covered her personal practices by operating an herbal remedy shop. Very clever and calculating on her part? The interesting part though is that when she married Arthur, she became Geillis Duncan. By some sheer coincidence, there was another Scottish  witch by the name of Geillis Duncane in history?  Now, the thought pondering question is this… Gillian Edgars being the historian and obsessed person that she was, would probably have researched any number of witch references and stories and would most surely have come across this one. She was also one who would have seen the coincidence and probably would have looked at it as some sign in her decision to put efforts towards becoming another Geillis Duncan? Perhaps she might have looked at it as a way to honor a former fallen and persecuted Witch… but, really she should have taken it as an omen of her own future in becoming another Geillis Duncan!

https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/the-real-geillis-duncane-persecuted-witch-of-scotland/

 

It should be quite apparent by now  that Gillian Edgars aka Geillis Duncan was highly mentally unstable long before Claire showed up at Castle Leoch and made her acquaintance! Claire was far too trusting and gullible in the matter of Geillis Duncan. Of course, it was understandable that Claire was not thinking quite rationally at the time, having just survived her own ordeal with the Stones. She was terrified, and alone in a strange time and place… When she encountered the seemingly innocent and friendly Geillis, she was desperate for a friend, any friend with whom she could at least have some sort of conversation and let her guard down just a bit. In Claire’s frazzled mind, Geillis was harmless, another healer of sorts who she could learn something from? Geillis, however had other things on her own mind, and became increasingly interested and probably suspicious of Claire’s language and behaviors. Something was not quite right about this new woman in her town, her chosen territory and she needed to know more about Claire. Namely, she needed to know how much Claire knew, and what kind of a threat Claire was to her plans! So, being the devious one that she was, Geillis set about befriending the unsuspecting Claire.

outlander Geillie and Claire

 

 

It should be noted that Geillis was most likely desperate for some half way normal conversation and casual friendship as well.  She was not the most well liked person in the village and a number of people did already suspect her of some sort of Witchcraft and or evil doings! Jamie warned Claire to stay away from that Geillis Duncan, she was a wicked one. Murtagh warned her as well that no good would come from meeting with Geillis, and the nightmare that Claire had about Mrs. Fitz calling her a Witch could more appropriately have been Mrs. Fitz’s reaction to her association with Geillis!

 

Before we move on the rest of our in depth investigation of  the one now known as Geillis Duncan… you may be wondering what is going on with the back up support person that I hired to accompany me on this journey?  His initial impressions of the woman known as Gillian/Geillis were along the lines of Wow… She is one hot Witch!

lottie verbeek now lotte verbeek3 Jack_Nicholson_em_Melhor_Impossvel

 

However, after reading her background information, he appeared to have some misgivings and second thoughts on his agreement to help me in this assignment?

Favim_com-9945

He started muttering and ranting on about some previous experience with good looking Witches that turned out rather badly for him in the end?

witches of eastwick4 jack nicholson witches of eastwick1 jack witches of eastwick7 jack witches of eastwick2

witches of eastwick5

 

I really thought he would be able to handle this, but now I am just not sure if he will be able to pull himself together enough to be of any help to me!

jack witches of eastwick3 jack witches of eastwick4

A Blessed and Happy Samhain to all of the Witches and other Pagans!

samhain2 (2)

samhain2

 

Please join us later if you dare, to find out more about Gillian/Geillis’  continued journey into madness!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Frank Randall The Final Chapter

previous post: https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/10/11/outlander-the-matter-of-frank-randall-part-2/

Just a reminder, this does contain many spoilers for all of the books right up to Written in My Own Heart’s Blood!

Okay, Frank and I both had far too much Whiskey last night and the discussion got rather more personal than was intended! We decided that perhaps it might be better to continue it at some other time? We’re both suffering  from a bit of a headache this morning!

Frank with a headache

Maybe some fresh air would do us some good? I casually suggest this to Frank, adding that I would love a tour of  the area being that I am not from around here. Frank agrees, not seeing what the harm could be in a drive through the countryside.

Of course, being the workaholic that he is and ever the well prepared and proper Englishman, he brings along his notes and his hat!

Frank on the way to crag na dun

Outlander 2014

And, we’re off  on a lovely outing to spend the day wandering the sights of  Frank’s Scotland… Yes, he does assume that this is just a spur of the moment idea of mine. Little does he realize that I recovered fully from my over indulgence of the previous night, and am now determined to keep this fact seeking mission under my control!  I woke up early and set myself a clear agenda of what I must find out today, whether Frank cooperates is of  course an entirely different matter? Hopefully though, we can get through this and come out with more information than his usual non-committed evasive answers.

 

We start the day with an early morning stop to enjoy the water side view and get some strong coffee. Frank looks and acts like he may be in dire need of it before heading out on the road with me! I try to keep the conversation light and avoid any mention of my true intentions for this trip. He is quite polite and thoughtful as he inquires as to what I might like to see?  Perhaps as long as we’re in the city already, he suggests that I might like a tour of some of the museums or such?  Well, yes I guess that might be interesting but could he give me more of a personalized tour based on his expertise and background as a History Professor? I’ve heard that his lectures were always quite interesting and often contained items and ideas of the personal history that helps us all to relate more to the past…

tobias frank

Frank is as most times, well guarded and cautious, wondering what I am referring to?

tobias frank6

“Ohhhh I’ve just heard how you manage to bring history to such life with your lectures on the more common items of use and décor from the past?”  I  watch his face for clues as I mention a lecture where he presented some objects from his personal collection… a bottle of perfume, and small miniatures that so closely resembled Claire.

Guerlain Bleue, Frank's favorite scent and one that Claire often wore

Guerlain Bleue, Frank’s favorite scent and one that Claire often wore http://perfumesmellinthings.blogspot.com/2014/05/coup-de-foudre-guerlains-lheure-bleue.html

          

L’Heure Bleue / L’Heure Bleu – the perfume Claire was using to smooth down her hair the night Frank saw the ghost staring at her in her window.  Claire notes it is Frank’s favourite.  L’Heure Bleue is an actual perfume by Guerlain. It is spelt without an ‘e’ at the end of ‘bleu’ in Outlander which is incorrect both in terms of French grammar and as a misspelling of the actual perfume. (Outlander, chapter 1). In the dream that Claire has of Frank giving a lecture, Frank again states that L’Heure Bleu is  his favourite perfume (DIA, chapter 10)

“A Lady,” he said softly, cradling the last of the portraits in his palm, shielding it for the moment. “With brown hair curling luxuriantly to her shoulders, and a necklace of pearls. Undated. The artist unknown.”

 It was a mirror, not a miniature.  My cheeks were flushed, and my lips trembled as Frank’s finger gently traced the edge of my jaw, the graceful line of my neck.  The tears welled in my eyes and spilled down my cheeks as I heard his voice, still lecturing, as he laid down the miniature, and I stared upward at the timbered ceiling.

 “Undated. Unknown. But once…once, she was real.”

 (DRAGONFLY Chapter 10, “A Lady, With Brown Hair Curling Luxuriantly”, p. 152 in the hardcover)

 

miniature of woman

Credit and thanks to Outlandish Observations for the imagery and the information! http://outlandishobservations.blogspot.com/2012/08/repost-dragonfly-imagery.html

frank's lecture3

Frank gives away nothing but remains thoughtful as he ponders my comments. “So, what you’re saying is you would prefer to see my personal history collection than that of the generic museum pieces? Unfortunately, I do not have the collection available right now, otherwise I would be more than happy to oblige you on that!”

tobias frank3

Ohhhhh smooth, Frank, very smooth on that evasion! Well, Let’s forgo the museums, shall we, and just head out to the country! Frank laughs and points to the car, “Well, let us just do that then, I am sure that you have some particular spot in mind? I can see that you are quite as devious and determined in your thoughts as even I might be and it’s obvious that you have not given up on your goal!”

As we drive out to the more rural area and enjoy the beautiful scenery, Frank asks a bit warily where I would like to go first? He is resigned to the fact that I do have an agenda which includes grilling him on any number of rather touchy subjects. So, when I glance over at him and respond with my destination, he just nods his head and sighs. “I thought perhaps we could head up to an ancient kirk I’ve heard much about, you might know of it? St. Kilda’s kirk, I believe it’s called?”

He softly answers while driving through the winding roads, “Yes, I am well acquainted with the place as I know you are well aware of, so no need to play games about it.” As he drives one handed, easily managing the country roads, I look over and notice that the wedding ring on his finger. I can not help but feel some compassion for this man who has been accused and suspected of so much… yes, even by me, but in reality has done little to warrant those harsh thoughts other than be the man of a time he was born to? In fact, he has done far more positives than many men of his time would have done.  He accepted a wife’s return from the grave and another man’s arms, tried to make a life together with her and the daughter that he came to love as his own, did his utmost to protect them both from what ever secrets the past and the future might use to destroy them… all the while knowing full well that his wife did not truly love him as she loved someone else. He spent countless year of marriage competing with that ghost from the past. Knowing from personal experience, I can relate well to the fact that it is almost impossible to compete with a dead loved one. I close my eyes during the drive and think my own silent thoughts on how he must feel in this situation. I have been in a similar situation to both Claire and Frank, and can feel the pains of both their hearts. That, however does not dissuade me from this mission of wanting to know more. I can not let it interfere with today’s journey!

frank's wedding ring

We ride on in silence for a time, each of us lost in our own thoughts.  I quiet my mind by looking out at the views. The past come alive as we drive and I see the landscape surrounding me.

Scottish-Countryside4 Scottish-Countryside2 scottish farm house3 scottish countryside3 scottish countryside

Frank turns off on to a side road, then explains that we will have a bit of hiking to get to the old kirk.

road to logie kirk logie kirk path

(Excerpts from Dragonfly in Amber in which St Kilda’s kirk is described)

St kilda kirk1 st kilda2 st kilda3

I assure Frank that I’m fine with a hike, in fact I’m looking forward to it. I am excited to see this ancient old kirk with it’s important history!

*Please note that St. Kilda’s Kirk as mentioned in the books is a fictional creation of Diana Gabaldon’s. For our representation here, I am using Logie Kirk located outside of Stirlingshire.

http://www.instirling.com/walks/logmap.htm

http://www.visitscotland.com/en-us/info/see-do/logie-old-kirk-p669361

 

As we hike up the path, I take time to reassure Frank that I understand what a difficult this visit probably is for him. I want him to know that what ever else may be speculated on by others, I believe his reasons for placing the gravestone here were well intentioned.  We arrive at the site and I am overwhelmed with the view of such history in front of me. After spending a little time exploring the old kirk, we head over to the cemetery.

Logie Kirk

Logie kirk2 Logie kirk3 Logie kirk4

The walk through the cemetery is haunting, eerie and yes, a little unsettling for both of us.

logie kirk13 Old logie kirk3 logie kirk10

 

Upon finding the graves we came here in search of, we are both at a loss for speech at the moment. There is no need for words in this quiet of reflection.

Old Logie kirk2 logie kirk9

 

 

tobias frank5

Finally, he turns to me, gives me a look of determination and says stoically, “Well then, go on with your questions. What ever it is you think you need to know, I’ll try to answer as best I can.”

I sigh sadly, I am rather at a loss for words still… I truly do feel for him, my heart hurts along with his right now and I feel guilty for dredging this all up again but, will carry on as I think it’s important for him to talk about it to someone? I am quite sure that he’s never been able to talk much about it to anyone, save maybe the Reverend Wakefield? Fine then, that’s where I’ll start, with the Reverend! That seems a middle ground and safe point for the time being…

“Some of the accounts and references mention the fact that you and the Reverend Wakefield became very close friends. In fact, Roger mentioned that Reverend often brought his church group up here to maintain the grave yard and the graves.  When Claire returned and everyone thought she was delusional and possibly crazy…including you, I might add? But, you didn’t really believe she was, did you? Because you quickly and quietly asked the Reverend to research all of it and see what he could find out.  I have to wonder too, about that odd Mrs. Graham? She is the one who told you about the Stones, and she was one of those Druid Dancers…

Mrs Graham tries to tell Frank

outlander-premiere-stone-circle-dancers-starz

“When Claire disappeared, you scoffed at Mrs. Graham’s suggestion and probably thought she was a crazy old crone? But, you did have second thoughts on the idea because we know you made that trip back to the Stones. I think you already had your own suspicions even then, but couldn’t say them out loud because of course then you would look crazy as well! No one has ever made mention of your years while Claire was gone. That is all just coming to light now. I have to wonder, did you go back and talk to Mrs. Graham again, possibly taking her more seriously the next time? Did she happen to tell you about her visit with Claire and the reading of her fortune?

Mrs Graham and Claire

“It just seems to me that maybe during those years while she was gone, you did do a lot more research in secret and knew far more than you could say or admit when she returned? I really wonder now how much all of you knew? You, the Reverend, and Mrs. Graham, how many secrets did you keep to protect those you all cared about?”

Frank and Reverend Wakefield Frank and Reverend Wakefield2

 

Frank doesn’t answer me right away, just sits there with head in hands. After a time he responds quietly, “Yes, we kept secrets to protect those we cared about. Is that so wrong?”

I nod my head and sigh, “No, we all keep secrets whether we admit it or not, whether small or large, to protect those others, or to avoid hurting them in some way. I understand that Frank, and I certainly don’t judge you for them. I would imagine that when you discovered some of your information, you realized just how much more there was going on and what a danger there was to your family. I also do understand that you can’t share all of it even now, the danger still exists, doesn’t it, for those you care so much about?”

Frank nods in agreement, “I did my best to prepare them for it, but I couldn’t come right out and tell them everything, could I? Who would have believed me… I don’t think even Claire would have believed me then, she would have assumed I was even crazier than people assumed she was! No, the key to keeping everyone as safe as possible was, I believed, to prepare them but not let them know? I thought it was one of those situations where the less one knows, the safer one is?” He shrugged in frustration, “Maybe I was wrong… but, as I said, I did what I felt was right at the time and I stand by my decision.”

I feel I have to ask him another question about secrets and mysteries while we’re on that subject. “Frank, do any of these secrets that you felt you had to keep have to do with the Fraser prophecy and the Brahan Seer? As a historian, I’m sure you know about the myths and legends of the Brahan Seer, so what I am asking is, do you believe in any of it and how much do you know about it?” I pause a moment and watch his face turn grim.

We know that Bree eventually found a letter from you warning of some grave danger that she could be in. I have to think that this is all tied to that prophecy somehow?

Frank shows his frustration and comes close to losing his temper with me. “Of course it’s all tied together! Why the Bloody Hell do you think I am worried about my family? I can’t tell you any more right now because I just do not know a lot more about it but yes they are all in danger due to that Damnable Prophecy, whether I believe in it or not is irrelevant, someone believes in it and is out to harm my family because of it!”

Additional information on the Brahan Seer and his prophecies, along with more discussion on Fraser Prophecy:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brahan_Seer

http://outlanderbookclub.freeforums.org/ol-series-fraser-prophecy-t896.html

 

 

 

Some time later we walk back through the grave yard, stopping at the grave of  Jonathon Wolverton Randall. Both of us stare down at it and shake with some invisible chill still hanging in the air. “After all of your research on him, do you know how or why he came to be here in this cemetery?” I ask and then add, “And, why on Earth would you think it appropriate to place the stone for Jamie and Claire here in the same place? Excuse me if I sound a little harsh, but really, don’t you think that was more than a little cruel to do to Claire? I mean, I could understand your frustration and even some resentment with her but if you wanted to get back at her in some way, I just think this was carrying a grudge way too far!”

Frank at the Stones

Frank’s reaction is one of  long lingering frustration and pain, “First of all, I have no idea how or why he ended up here! Second, excuse my language but in the words of my wife…Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ! If the woman had chosen to tell me all of the disgusting and gory details rather than keep silent in her attempt to forget the whole thing and go on with her life, Do you honestly think I would have put it here? Damn it all to Hell, I am not a Bloody Time Traveler. Even in my extensive research, I can only find what is actually written down about people.” Frank is angry now and begins to voice his long held frustration over much of the situation. “All I ever knew of the man was that he was a well respected British officer who died doing his duty to his Country .  Culloden was indeed a tragic event for the Scottish people, but one can not forget that many of those British Soldiers were only carrying out orders in time of war? I could only assume that this ancestor of mine was doing that since I was not privy to those most important details like Claire was!” 

frank3

Frank goes on and admits grudgingly, “Yes, I was angry with Claire, I resented that love and that life she had with her Jamie… But, do you know what I was most resentful and bitter about? It wasn’t even about her and Jamie… it was that I felt like the gift of  Time Travel was rather wasted on her? She never did care much about the importance or the details of History, never really understood the great gift she held in her soul, to be able to travel through time, experience and witness all of it? When she returned, she just wanted to forget all of it, didn’t want to be reminded of it. She was never interested in my life’s work, my passion and didn’t want to share it with me. Maybe if she had shared more of it with me, I would have shared more with her?  I know it’s all water under the bridge now, but it still hurts, the way things turned out…”

 

“Bloody Hell, Damn her for not telling me all of it… And, Damn him for constantly haunting me! Do you have any idea what it is like to discover and realize that some ancestor that you admired and held in such high esteem was in reality a cruel, sadistic and Hellish sort of Bastard? Then to wonder, even though his blood is not directly yours, whether that capability or trait runs deep within you… or God help us, in one of your family. To constantly fight a battle within yourself to maintain complete control of your emotions, for to let go in any way might signal that he does exist somewhere in you? To live with that constant fear now…” He shudders and tries to shake off the presence of Jack Randall. “I guess, perhaps Claire was right in not mentioning it to me? Now, I wonder too how she managed it herself, all of those years of knowing, of being with me and seeing some reflection of him?”

haunted at the grave

 

We walk away from the stone and breathe much easier. Soon we find ourselves back at the stone for Claire and Jamie.

logie kirk9

 

“Okay, Why… Why put it up here in an out of the way place where no one would ever see it, save you and of course… the Reverend?  Of course you did it for a reason, but people want to know, Frank? People want to know why you kept it hidden from Claire? And, from Bree… but, you knew they would find it one day, didn’t you, otherwise why put it up anywhere in the first place?”

At the mention of  daughter Bree, Frank reached out and ran a hand slowly over the Stone. “I did it for her, for Bree… Everything I’ve done, I’ve done for her and her future, what ever she decides to do with it.  Everything that each of us comes down to that. We keep our secrets, we change our lives, give up our dreams and our lives if we have to in order to give our children a life, a future. Hopefully, they will remember us fondly with love, know that we loved them beyond all else, they will remember what we’ve taught them and they will carry that with them to pass it to their children? In the end, we are the history- the past, they are the future and we do what we must to ensure that future for them.” He brushes a tear out of his eye as he continues. “All of our lives and our stories are connected, woven into each other’s, the past, the present and the unknown future. Our children, whether they be of our blood or our heart keep us connected for better or for worse… I would hope that it would always be for the better, but that does not always happen. In our case, despite all of our differences and our resentments of each other, despite the secrets we kept, we all did what we thought was best for Bree? Jamie gave her and Claire up to ensure that safety and future for them, Claire gave up Jamie for the same reason… and what did I give up? My loss of a devoted and “happy” wife who would love me as much as she loved that other person seems quite insignificant when compared to what they gave up?  I gained the most of the situation. I received the greatest gift of all, a child whom I loved with all of my heart, whom I never wanted to see hurt in any way. I would lay down my life to protect her and keep her from harm, but as every parent knows, you can not protect them from life completely?  I knew that one day, Bree would search for answers, I hoped her path would lead her here and she would see this. Claire and I agreed, whether it’s right or wrong is really not up for debate… we agreed to keep the secret, thinking it was best at the time for Bree. I think we knew in our hearts that she deserved the truth and this was my way of starting that process. I knew that Claire would one day go back to her ghost that has haunted us from the beginning.”

the highland ghost frank-in-rain-by-kath-powell

 

“That ghost of James Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser has been with me since the first night I saw him! I know that he is not going away until he is sure that his family is safe, his honor and his legacy is shared? Claire is a part of that, as is Bree and her children… For what ever reasons, I am a part of it as well? It  was and is my destiny to protect them into the future… I owe him an unending gratitude for the gift of Bree.

 

Frank’s  heart wrenching cry this time was not for his long lost wife, but for his daughter and all of the pain that he could not protect her from? “It started here in the Highlands for all of us, the hurts, the haunts, the ghosts and the  Demons within… but where will  it end?”

Frank yelling more

Claire and Culloden

Photo credit to Daniela Lippke via twitter!

 

 

I gently lead Frank away from all of it.  “Frank, for you, it has all ended… You have done your part, what you needed to do, and whether it was right or wrong is not for any of us to judge? You need to go on and rest at ease with the fact that while Claire might not have loved you the way you loved her, she did love you? And, Bree will always love you, carry your memory and heart within her, and she knows that you loved her. That is all anyone can wish for upon their passing, the knowledge that they were loved and they made a difference in someone’s life. All of the rest is of no consequence in the end!

frank-leaving-the-stones2

Excerpt from Fiery Cross in which Bree thinks of Frank

Frank in Fiery Cross pg 209

frank's letter in Fiery Cross

 

As we walk away together into the mists, I touch his hand and smile, “If it’s any consolation, Frank, I didn’t bother with another  rather minor little detail that people seem so insistent on debating and bickering over?”

Frank in the mist

He gives me a half hearted pondering look and asks, “Ohhh and what would that be?”

“Ahhhh, that would be that age old question of whether you cheated on Claire? I am not going to delve into it because really, it makes little difference whether you did or not? If you want to talk about it before we leave… if it seems to be some matter on which you feel a need to clear your conscience, then by all means feel free to clear the air? I am of the personal opinion that perhaps you did but, as I said, it makes little difference. I have a document  from herself, Diana Gabaldon in which she clearly comes to your defense on this matter.  There are many, though, who dispute her theory and explanation on this subject and they insist that you treated Claire so badly as to cheat on her?  My response to that is, she did cheat on you as well didn’t she, even though she had a Priest’s atonement and absolvement for any such sin. I understand that you and she did not have a perfect relationship in your years together after her return and you may have turned elsewhere seeking some sort of physical or emotion that she couldn’t give you. I am not condoning it or approving it… that is a highly personal matter for you and Claire to work out someday? I will provide Diana’s transcript for anyone interested in her view on the situation. And, as I mentioned, if you choose to divulge anything now, it will not be held against you later!

https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/diana-gabaldons-defense-of-frank-randall/

 

Frank’s response… No words, no heartfelt explanation of denial or excuses…

tobias frank2 Frank admits to three

Well… I guess we’ll just leave it at that then and wonder if that means what we think it does?

 

Ahhhh and that concludes our visit with Frank Randall… if anyone should need him, he will be on that other side,  involved in what might be a rather lengthy air clearing discussion with his wife and their other spouse, James Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser otherwise known as the ghost in the night! Hopefully, they can all avoid any discussion with the spirit of Jonathon Wolverton Randall!

the highland ghost

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Outlander: On the matter of Frank Randall part one

The matter of Frank Randall  part one

 

The matter of Frank Randall… namely, the matter that this once almost forgotten about, rather seemingly insignificant minor character has somehow managed to create such an enormous amount of attention? From those who absolutely hate the man, to the mildly indifferent all the way to those who are defending him so ferociously.  This mysterious man has become the subject of wild controversies, conspiracies, accusations and any number of other debates. How did one man with such a limited story line and few public appearances such as in the ongoing Starz series become such a hot topic all of a sudden?  I have not been all that much of a Frank fan (realistically, there was not all that much to base a judgement on in the earlier stories!) until recently. I began to change my opinions of him after reading A Leaf on the Wind of all Hallows. Then after viewing the last episode of the show, Both Sides now, which took a new direction with Frank’s character, I started to seriously rethink my entire opinion and assumptions of this man.  Is it because Tobias Menzies, fine actor that he is, has breathed such additional life into this man? Well, that could be a partial reason!

Tobias menzies as frank

Is it because of the turn the show took, leading us down a new direction with Frank, or is it the combination of all these factors that have added to my suspicions about Frank Randall knowing far more than we think he did. To be honest, I want to think that I would have come to these suspicions on my own without the show and Tobias. Since they have left an indelible impression, I can not leave them out of the mix so I must go with the thought that it was the combination of all three leading me on my quest to find out more about this man!

I set off on my own search for answers from the often elusive and not quite forthright Frank Randall. I have questions and Dammit, I want a bit more than “That is classified, Do you have a need to know?” the usual standard and pat answers that the military- past or present tend to give out.

Frank on the way to crag na dun

After a tremendous amount of searching, I finally caught up with him and managed to corner him long enough to ask a few pertinent questions…

Frank4

 

So, Frank, are you aware of what a heated debate there is over your actions and your inner character?

frank6

frank gives me a wary look and mumbles something about having been quite busy of late with demanding research and such. He then adds, “Why would there be any question of my character? I have excellent credentials and my work speaks for itself.”

 

Ahhhh ummm yes, Frank I am aware of that. I am not questioning your work… well, not yet anyway? You are aware that people are questioning not your professional work, but your personal life, your history and your behaviors on family matters?

 

Tobias Menzies

Frank strikes a rather defensive pose and replies, “I fail to see where my personal family life is anyone’s business but my own and my family’s!”

Well, Frank seeing that your wife’s life and yours now as well have been splashed across the world in books and television, people are asking questions and wanting answers… If you would agree to sitting down with me and answering a few of those questions, it might help in squashing some of the rumors that are rampantly flying about?

Hmmm I seem to have hit a nerve, Frank has gone a bit frosty on me and I am feeling a slight chill in the air around us. His answer to my suggestion, “And, what sort of rumors would those be, might I ask?” He’s glaring at me now and I’m not really sure I want to go on with this?

tobias-menzies_ian-fleming_any-human-heart

He quickly resumes control, sighs and apologizes for his minor lapse. “I am quite sorry, I fear I am a bit over worked lately and not handling my stress well. I do have some serious family matters to attend to. Please do go on and explain these rumors?”

frank1

 

Well, now I am a bit off kilter as well and wishing for a spot of tea or some good whiskey… and I don’t even drink whiskey! “Ahhh Well, you do know Frank that because of the book’s and the show’s popularity you are quite suddenly in the lime light and are the topic of much speculation over who you are, what you’ve done, what you’ve said and how you’ve treated your wife, that darling of the media who can do no wrong in many eyes. Now that the show has aired you in a new light, there is even a huge debate over that. You are everything from a forlorn tragic figure to a philandering husband and possibly even a racist on top of everything else. In addition some have compared you to your ancestor, Black Jack Randall saying you have the same dark demons within? Others accuse you of being rather cold and unemotional towards Claire, not affectionate to her… ummm being a sort of Cold fish so to say in the bedroom? Now, to be honest with you, I do not see you as that cold fish! And, I am reasonably sure that Claire did not either!

Frank with Claire2 Frank with Claire

claire and frank10

Frank clears his throat, gives a strangled cough and mutters, “Well that is a relief, I suppose even though she still chose that other chap over me!”

14_frank_frogs

Frank digest my comments and then reluctantly agrees to discuss some of his life with me.

Tired Frank

 

In light of the difficult conversation ahead, we retire to the bar to discuss it over many drinks!

Frank needs something stronger than tea

Let’s start from the beginning, shall we? These simple questions should be easy enough for you to answer…such as your full name, date and place of birth…

But, sadly Frank can not get through even these! Other than his name, Frank Wolverton Randall, he replies that those other two are classified? He did supply his parents names though,  Jonathan Randall & Nora Sheffield. He very calmly states his profession as History Professor/Historian. I bring up his military profession and he slams down another shot of the whiskey as though wanting to avoid this portion. “Yes, during the war I was attached to MI6 working with the British Intelligence unit.”  His face suddenly takes on that cooler distant and somewhat harder look… one I assume he thinks will still my prodding about that time. After having had a few of my own shots though, I am not deterred!

Tobias Frank2

I choose to confront Frank with this head on, knowing full well that military connections and networks such he was involved in at the time do not just fade away and disappear because one retires from the military. His comment was as I expected, “That’s classified and of course I would not be at liberty to discuss any of that even I were so still involved.” I nod my understanding but bring up one other fact that is now known.

“So, Frank, tell me a bit about the event with Jeremiah MacKenzie? That event is out in the open now people are speculating about your involvement and what you might now know about any of it. This time, I have the upper hand, Frank chokes on his drink and becomes very slightly flustered at the mention of Jeremiah MacKenzie. 

 

Introduction to Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows

excerpt from Leaf on Wind of All Hallows 1

excerpt from Wind of  All Hallows, meeting between Frank and Jeremiah MacKenzie.

wind of all hallows6

 

Frank supplies his standard pat answer of  that being a classified mission and how he was of course not at liberty to discuss any of the specific details. Yes, I was expecting that… but I needed to remind him of something else quite important, or perhaps enlighten him if by some odd chance he was not aware of it? I chat for a bit about minor unimportant things such as his friendship with Reverend Wakefield.

Frank and Reverend Wakefield2 Frank and Reverend Wakefield

While in Inverness, Frank visits a Mr. Bainbridge, a solicitor with an interest in local history, and the Rev. Dr. Reginald Wakefield, a vicar who also has an interest in history. Frank is particularly interested in records concerning his ancestor Jonathan Randall, who was a captain of dragoons in the 18th century. While we’re chatting about the Reverend, I casually mention that little nephew of the Reverend’s… Roger isn’t it?

Wee Roger arrives Wee Roger sing

 

Frank nods his head trying to seem nonchalant about it, “Ummm yes, I believe that was his name, Roger… quite charming young lad he was.”

“hmmmm, Roger… wasn’t that the name of poor Jeremiah MacKenzie’s young son?” I offer offhandedly as though it’s of no real importance…

wind of all hallows excerpt 2

wind of all hallows3 roger

Frank can not hide the bit of discomfort he is suddenly feeling at this line of conversation… I am a bit smug at having caught him in this? “Ohhhh, that little lad, Roger must certainly have left an impression on you as well as your pants… Come now, I am sure you recognized him when you met him at Reverend Wakefield’s home, how could you not have?”

14_frank_frogs

Frank has to admit that yes, he did recognize the boy but did not want to bring up bad memories for anyone so kept his silence on the matter.  Ahhhh what a gentleman you are Mr. Randall, I wonder what other secrets you might be hiding?

The matter of Frank Randall part 2: https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/10/11/outlander-the-matter-of-frank-randall-part-2/

 

 

 

 

Outlander: Lallybroch

I debated over to do this as a post or pin it to it’s own page? Obviously the page option won! The reason I’m doing it this way is that I feel Lallybroch along with Fraser’s Ridge are such an important pieces of Outlander that they  well deserves it’s own separate pages. So, when I get to Fraser’s Ridge, I will pin that as it’s own page as well.

 

For those who still refuse to pick up the books and start reading, this is your warning that this page will contain a great number of spoilers and an ongoing discussion of the books as well as the show!

Going Home to Lallybroch

While we wait out the six months until the show’s return, those of us who have read the books at least have the comfort of our memories to dwell on whilst we wait with Jamie in the window watching Jack attack Claire.

Claire in danger of losing even more

 

If that was not painful or brutal enough to have burned on our brains for six months, then we must endure the image of  Jack’s so excited look at the sight of “his” boy, Jamie?

Jack is thrilled to see Jamie

Even worse for many of us is the knowledge of what will come after this! It does not get any better for some time, it only gets worse what with accusations of witchery for Claire, a “burning at the stake” for Gellie Duncan and a mad rush of escape from that same plight for Claire. It’s no wonder that by that time, Jamie is willing to confront his guilt for what he thinks happened to sister Jenny, and head home to the safety of Lallybroch!

Jenny Murray Jenny at the hands of Jack Randall Jenny at lallybroch

 

So, while we wait for Spring, let us all seek out that comfort of happy memories and Lallybroch. For those just watching the show, and okay with spoilers… well of course you’re okay with spoilers- otherwise you would not have read this far, would you? Anyway, you might need some additional insights and information on just how important and intregal  Lallybroch truly is to the ongoing story. Lallybroch is of course, Jamie Fraser’s childhood home, his inheritance, his birthright. It is that one place that he holds so dearly in his heart and tries so hard in the future to protect even if he can not stay there or go back to it.

Just a note here… Diana Gabaldon does such an excellent job of description and details down to even the smallest things, I really think it’s difficult to capture all of it and all of those underlying currents and such on film. The representation of Lallybroch is one instance where I am just not sure about the location/setting they have chosen to represent my beloved Lallybroch? I’ll get to that later, first of all let’s look at where Lallybroch would be located in relation to the description given by Diana. According to the descriptions, Lallybroch is located at a spot on the edge of Fraser lands bordering the MacKenzie ones. It is an important piece of land to both Frasers and MacKenzies.

 

lallybroch2 (2)

 

 

Scottish Clan map with possible Lallybroch location starred

Scottish Clan map with possible Lallybroch location starred

 

As I mentioned, Lallybroch is Jamie’s family home. He was born there, grew up there, always expected and hoped to someday return there to be it’s leader, the Laird of Lallybroch. One of his biggest regrets and guilts in those younger years was that he had failed his family- his Father and his sister Jenny. His Father died while he was on the run with a price on his head, and he assumes that his sister Jenny was raped by Jack, and bore a child to him… this of course is due to some fancy fabrication by Dougal MacKenzie in effort to keep control of Jamie. My personal ongoing confusion with that story is why he chose to do that? It never really made sense to me. I would have thought that Dougal would have wanted Jamie there at lallybroch from the beginning. The only way the MacKenzie could assure themselves of Lallybroch was if Jamie produced an heir to it… if Jamie died without an heir to Lallybroch, it would go back to the Frasers. My personal thought on all of it is that Dougal  and the MacKenzies would have been far better off if they had put more effort into keeping young Jamie happy and alive at Lallybroch from the very beginning! But, as it was, Dougal did realize the importance eventually when he insisted on the marriage of Jamie to Claire.

 

For most of his life, Jamie would carry the guilt and the thought that he was the cause of his Father’s death. Brian Fraser witnessed the initial whipping of  Jamie and collapsed there of what we assume was some sort of stroke?

jamie being flogged

Jamie's Father, Brian Fraser

Jamie’s Father, Brian Fraser

lallybroch1 (2)

 

James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser, was born at twilight on the first of May, in the year of our Lord 1721, at the estate of Broch Tuarach, also called Lallybroch, near the small village of Broch Mordha in the Highlands of Scotland, the son of Brian Fraser and Ellen MacGibbon MacKenzie.

The eldest child of Jacob and Anne MacKenzie, Ellen grew up in the Scottish Highlands at Castle Leoch. She was a favorite of her father’s, who wouldn’t force her into a marriage she herself wouldn’t accept, and so she remained unmarried well past the time when a young woman in her position might ordinarily have been settled with a husband. After her father’s death, however, her brothers Colum and Dougal intended to arrange their sister’s marriage to Malcolm Grant in order to ease relations with Clan Grant, but Ellen defied them rather dramatically by saying something to Malcolm Grant that so offended him, he left Leoch without a word to his hosts, and Ellen ran away and eloped with Brian Fraser. 

 

Brian and Ellen Fraser were happy and content on their small estate of Lallybroch, wanting only to left alone and in peace to raise their family. Jamie’s memories of Lallybroch were those of a happy childhood even though his Mother had died at a young age giving birth to a younger brother. For Jamie, Lallybroch and his family was that place in his mind and his heart that could soothe him even in the worst of his pains. He had that sense, that feeling of family to fall back on all of his life. Claire never had that, being raised by her Uncle Lam, traveling around the globe and never having that peace or comfort to go to in her mind before being with Jamie. I think she craved that, and it was probably one reason she married Frank, thinking he could give her that. She did find it at Lallybroch though, and later on she found it at Fraser’s Ridge.

lallybroch7 lallybroch8 lallybroch10 lallybroch11

 

So, Lallybroch became that place to call home to Claire as well, though I think she later came to think of Fraser’s Ridge more in that context than Lallybroch? She knew how deep Jamie’s feelings for Lallybroch went though and how much of his heart was there, would always be there.

The quote from Voyager summed up Jamie’s feelings of family and of Lallybroch.  The original quote is from Robert Frost: Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.

Home is where they have to take you in

 

Some other important quotes and references to Lallybroch in the various books:

Seven years in a life, part 4. “It was only as the lights of Lallybroch manor came into view that he felt at last the

mantle of humanity fall upon him, and mind and body joined as one again as he prepared himself to greet his family,” –

Voyager by Diana Gabaldon.

 

Homer’s Odyssey – when Jamie and Claire first arrive at Lallybroch, Jamie is greeted rapturously by the Lallybroch dogs

and Claire compares this to Odysseus returning from the Trojan War and being recognised by his faithful hound. Jamie

extends the metaphor by comparing himself to Odysseus returning home disguised as a beggar and having to deal with

Penelope and her suitors (Outlander, chapter 26)

 

From THE SCOTTISH PRISONER Copyright 2011 Diana Gabaldon:  It was cold in the loft, and his sleep-mazed mind groped among

the icy drafts after the words still ringing in his mind. “Bonnie lad.” Wind struck the barn and went booming round the

roof. A strong chilly draft with a scent of snow stirred the somnolence, and two or three of the horses shifted below,

grunting and whickering. Helwater. The knowledge of the place settled on him, and the fragments of Scotland and Lallybroch

cracked and flaked away, fragile as a skin of dried mud. Helwater. Straw rustling under him, the ends poking through the

rough ticking, prickling through his shirt. Dark air, alive around him. Bonnie lad… They’d brought down the Yule log to

the house that afternoon, all the household taking part, the women bundled to the eyebrows, the men ruddy, flushed with

the labor, staggering, singing, dragging the monstrous log with ropes, its rough skin packed with snow, a great furrow

left where it passed, the snow plowed

 

Excerpt 1 – An Echo in the Bone

Lallybroch Inverness-shire, Scotland “We are alive,” Brianna MacKenzie repeated, her voice tremulous.  She looked up at

Roger, the paper pressed to her chest with both hands.  Her face streamed with tears, but a glorious light glowed in her

blue eyes.  “Alive!” “Let me see.”  His heart was hammering so hard in his chest that he could barely hear his own words. 

He reached out a hand, and reluctantly, she surrendered the paper to him, coming at once to press herself against him,

clinging to his arm as he read, unable to take her eyes off the bit of ancient paper. It was pleasantly rough under his

fingers, hand-made paper with the ghosts of leaves and flowers pressed into its fibers.  Yellowed with age, but still

tough and surprisingly flexible.  Bree had made it herself–two hundred years before. Roger became aware that his hands

were trembling, the paper shaking so that the sprawling, difficult hand was hard to read, faded as the ink was. December

31, 1776 My darling daughter, As […]
An Echo in the Bone

The seventh–but NOT the last!–novel in the OUTLANDER series, An Echo In The Bone, has four main storylines: Jamie and

Claire Fraser, are now in the midst of the American Revolution; Their daughter Brianna, her husband Roger MacKenzie, and

their two children, settled at Lallybroch in the 1970′s (finding their feet after their return from the past—but are

unaware that that past is just about to leap out at them again); Lord John Grey and his step-son William (Jamie’s

unacknowledged illegitimate son), are embroiled in the Revolution on the British side with William in the army and Lord

John on the clandestine side of intelligence; and Jamie’s nephew Young Ian: his troubled love-life is about to take

another sharp left turn. The US cover design for this book shows a caltrop (and not, as one wit suggested to me, a Celtic

chicken-foot)—an ancient military weapon, designed to stop oncoming cavalry (and still in equally effective use by the

modern Highway Patrol, for stopping cars).   A caltrop resembles a child’s jack, […]

Now it should be very clear how important Lallybroch was and is to so many family members and generations through out the books! For me, it was a sad moment when I read of  Bree and Roger’s finding Lallybroch worn, weary and empty of life. I was so happy when they decided to raise their family there, breathe life back into it… and, I do have to admit that I was a little disappointed when at the end of the most recent episode, My Own Heart’s Blood, they chose to leave it and head back to the past and Fraser’s Ridge. I understood why they made that decision, I’m just not really happy with it! I want them, or someone else who feels the same feelings for Lallybroch to be there, to reclaim it and to live there happily ever after… if that’s at all possible given Diana’s way of story telling!  An added thought to that concern… it not like I only have wait six months to find out either. it’s more like a few years at least! So, be happy with a six month wait for the show to return Jamie and Claire to you!

 

My last thoughts on Lallybroch for now… The difference between what the show provides as representation and what is so set in my mind in relation to Lallybroch! I do trust the show creators to pull this off and set another vision of Lallybroch into our hearts but I don’t think it will ever replace that vision in my mind and my heart of what Lallybroch is? As I have mentioned before, Diana Gabaldon’s amazing ability to paint us a picture with words sets such a detailed vision of  what a place is in each person’s mind that it’s extremely difficult to completely erase or replace that vision in filming. When I saw the previews for Lallybroch, it is not anything close to that image in my mind? When I envision Lallybroch, I do not see any type of Castle, fortress, or really even a fancier manor house type? I see a country working farm estate, white washed as described in the book so well… a place with barns, and fields and sheep, hills and a tower back behind!

lallybroch1 Midhope_Castle_08 lallybroch1 lallybroch5

This image taken from a distance does come a bit closer but still, not really what I see when I close my eyes and think of Lallybroch!

midhope

This is far closer to what I see!

lallybroch3

 

scottish farm house4

 

And, when I imagine Roger and Bree seeing it, I can see this sort of image of a worn and empty home in need of love!

scottish farm house2

 

There is one other very important detail that needs to be included on the property… besides Jenny’s beloved sheep of course? There needs to be a North facing tower at the rear of the land!  During the 1700s it was still standing up well, and Jamie had childhood memories of having to clean that entire tower as one of his punishments! He and Ian recalled that event and Ian made much of the fact that had Jamie kept his mouth shut, they could have just escaped with a whipping rather than the days it took to clean the tower! It was also still standing and somewhat useable during Roger and Bree’s time there as I believe that was where Buck was hiding out at? So, while this image of the North Facing Tower is more rundown than what I would imagine, still there does need to be a North Facing Tower!

north facing tower

 

I do hope this has answered any questions you might have as to why Lallybroch is so important, and why it is holds such a special place in my heart as well!

Now… on to the rest of my project, building my own little piece of Lallybroch! After much self debate, I decided to combine the show’s version with the version stuck in my head. Here is the very basic start to it:

 

Please keep in mind that houses were not as large back then as we often assume them to have been?  Ohhhh and after placing the house, I’ve now realized that I need to move my tower to the other side so it’s in the rear of the house!  I’ve also come to the conclusion that I need to move it to a bigger lot!

lallybroch1 lallybroch2 Screenshot-3 tower