Diana Gabaldon’s Defense of Frank Randall

This is a copy of Diana Gabaldon’s document, in Defense of Frank Randall. I am only posting it here for those who may have trouble locating the compu-serve document or have trouble reading it. I am posting it as an exact copy and giving complete credit to Diana Gabaldon!  This is a copy of her original response to the matter of whether Frank Randall cheated on Claire.  It seems to be an age old question which many still argue over.

 

Hello everyone!
As this discussion has come VERY close to boiling over several times,
I was asked off list to please clarify some things with Diana. [She
and Doug] are currently enjoying some down-time away from home, but I
emailed Diana with the following questions, and she was gracious
enough (in an effort to avoid cyber-bloodshed!)to answer them for the
list. Her answer is NOT edited by myself or the mods (who have given
their permission for this LONG post; we are talking about Diana
writing, correct?) and is posted in its entirety. So sit back with
your favorite beverage and prepare to read the news straight
from…er…Herself’s Mouth. Susan, H.E.

Nov. 12, 2005
“Dear Diana,
I’m writing because I was asked by ——(nameless individual)——to
intervene in a Huge Argument being debated. (We are trying to avoid
Internet bloodshed and hurt feelings!) Oddly enough, it has nothing to
do with ABOSAA or rather, very little.

The very “heated” discussion is surrounding Frank’s role in his
relationship with Claire upon her return from the eighteenth century.
Specifically:

1) WHY did Frank stay with Claire if he wasn’t getting the love he
desired/needed? (evidenced by the affairs that he thought Claire knew
nothing about) Why didn’t he just leave?

2) Was Claire “cheating” on Frank during this period because her heart
still belonged to Jamie, even though she believed him dead?
(Your/Claire’s perspective)

3) IS Frank the “pathetic slime-ball” a couple of people have labeled
him? (Not my opinion or my words, by the way–just relating the
questions). <G>” — Thanks, Susan.

Nov. 13, 2005 Diana’s reply:

“As to L’Affaire Frank…<g>
Geez Louise. You guys. <rolling eye>

Of course Frank isn’t “a pathetic slimeball.” Where do they come up
with these ideas? (My personal guess would be that the people holding
this particular opinion are possibly not that fond of their own SO,
and would trade him in for Jamie in a heartbeat. Ergo, they project
things onto Frank. But that’s only a guess.)

Look. In the books, we see Claire and Frank’s relationship only from
Claire’s point of view. Which is understandably a trifle biased,
following her return through the stones.

What we see prior to her disappearance is an awkward but affectionate
relationship between two people who are married, but who are
effectively strangers-they’ve barely seen each other in six years, and
have been back together for only a few days. They’re feeling each
other out, trying to reestablish the connection they once had, and
struggling to overcome the fact that they are now quite different
people than who they once were.

Frank asks her diffidently at one point whether she had ever been
tempted to stray during the war-assuring her that he would understand
if she had. Claire-and the reader-think that his reason for doing this
may well be that he had strayed, and would feel better about
confessing his own transgression if she had suffered similar temptations.

Well, maybe he did, and maybe he didn’t. It’s actually not an abnormal
question to ask a mate you haven’t seen in six years, and one whom you
know has been working closely with hundreds of wounded (and thus
possibly emotionally appealing) men, in conditions that you know are
stressful, dangerous, and highly conducive to passionate, if
short-lived, physical attractions.

He’s trying to ask it tactfully, but-they’re strangers. She takes
offense, and he hastily drops the question. He doesn’t bring it up
again, in the time they’re together-which is fairly short. So you have
to draw your own conclusion there:

1) he hasn’t been having affairs himself, but can’t help a certain
male feeling of curiosity/jealousy about what Claire might have been
doing,

2) perhaps he had a brief fling, which he regrets, and wants to
confess this to Claire, so their marriage can resume without his
feeling constant guilt, or

3) he’s been screwing every woman who crossed his path, but would like
to find out that Claire’s had her own affairs, so he can throw it back
at her in case she ever finds out.

OK. There is NO evidence favoring any one of these three alternatives.
None. Any one of them is as likely as another. The reader’s
conclusions depend on the reader-and each reader brings his or her own
experiences and background to the act of reading.

Now, Claire disappears. No warning, no trace, no nothing. What do you
reckon happened, when she didn’t come back? A police search, no
leads-and probably deep suspicion of the husband, who is the Most
Likely Suspect. So Frank’s left panicked, then grief-stricken, while
probably being interrogated and threatened about his wife’s
disappearance. But this must obviously have all died down in the next
three years, and Frank begins to rebuild his life.

Does the rebuilding involve any kind of relationship with women, or a
woman? Quite possibly; he’s a handsome, personable man, with friends
who would think it their duty to introduce him to women.

BUT.

Claire comes back. Filthy, malnourished, and hysterical, if not
outright demented. And, of course, pregnant. She tells him an
unbelievable story, presumably the product of a disordered mind, the
result of whatever horrible abduction/captivity/rape has resulted in
her present condition. She tells him to leave her.

Does he leave her? No. Does he produce another woman and explain that
actually, dear, while you were gone, Mary and I. No. He replies
shortly that no one but a cad would leave a woman in her condition.

So, OK. HE doesn’t think he’s a cad. Why on earth should anybody else?
He does stay with Claire, not only while she’s recovering, but
thereafter. There’s no hint that he’s pursuing a love affair started
while she was gone; in fact, he takes her to Boston, so that no hint
of scandal will attend Bree’s birth. If he did have some relationship
while she was gone, plainly he’s broken it off (and perhaps the
removal to Boston is to make such a break more definite-we don’t know,
because we don’t know what he was doing during those three years).

All right. From this point on, Claire’s view of Frank is definitely
suspect, because her own state of mind makes it impossible for her to
connect fully with him, save for brief interludes of tenderness, when
they’re able to reach one another physically (like the night he makes
love to her on the floor of the nursery). Yes, their relationship is
strained-we know that, because we see it. But the relationship of any
new parents is strained (believe me on this <g>), even if the two
parties aren’t on difficult terms to start with. And these two parties
definitely are.

Claire thinks he may be having affairs, but she doesn’t ever have
evidence of it. Either the guy is very dang good at hiding this stuff
(and unfaithful spouses almost always give themselves away)-or he
isn’t having affairs. He may well be seeking companionship, sympathy,
and ego-reinforcement from other women (he ain’t gettin’ a lot of
those things at home-but note that he isn’t leaving, either), but it’s
at least possible that he isn’t crossing the line into actual physical
infidelity. Note that Claire says that now and then she forces her
sexual attentions on him, trying to prove that he’s been with someone
else (and thus unable to respond to her)-but that every time, he does
respond to her, even if with mutual rage.

On the other hand, Frank knows beyond the shadow of a doubt that
Claire’s been unfaithful to him. At first, he most likely thinks she’s
been raped, but she goes on insisting on her absurd story. If it’s
true in any way-then she did it on purpose. This can’t do his feelings
any good. But he stays, because only a cad would abandon a pregnant
woman with no resources-and he isn’t a cad.

See, all these red-eyed readers are identifying with Claire (for the
excellent reason that she’s telling the story)-but they’d do better to
watch Frank. He clearly has a code of honor, and by God, he’s sticking
to it, dearly though it may cost him. Would a man with this kind of
code then proceed to have promiscuous affairs?

Maybe-but maybe not. His own image of himself as an honorable man is
probably as valuable to him as Claire is, at this point; if he won’t
abandon her, he won’t abandon that image, either.

Now, their relationship is definitely a difficult one. On Claire’s
side, there’s grief, resentment (over being parted from Jamie), the
fractured feelings of giving birth to Jamie’s baby, and the struggle
to build a career (which is probably not something Frank ever expected
her to want to do, and wasn’t prepared for). You note that she
apologizes to Frank only once, in their initial conversation after her
return-at which point, she’s completely hysterical. She makes it clear
that she loves Jamie more than him, even if Jamie is dead-this is Not
All That Good for a marriage.

Mind, divorce was simply Not Done at this time, in either the UK or
the US. A divorced woman was stigmatized, as was the child of divorced
parents.

Frank-honorable man that he sees himself as-isn’t going to expose
either Claire or Bree to that stigma. Besides, he’s in love with
Brianna, and doesn’t want to be parted from her. To not only divorce
Claire but also get custody of Bree would mean a huge, ugly, public
court-case, in which he would have to accuse Claire of moral
depravity, alcoholism, and anything else he could think of-and prove
it. No-fault divorce hadn’t been invented; a divorce had to be
approved by a judge, on the basis of strong evidence. (For the same
reasons, Claire wouldn’t seek to divorce Frank.

A) She wouldn’t deprive Brianna of a father who plainly loved her,

B) she wouldn’t expose Bree to the trauma of an ugly divorce case, and

C) she’d have to prove that Frank was guilty of various horrible things.

And we do see evidence that he still does love Claire. He’s angry at
her, confused by what’s happened, and obviously having a hard time
with everything-but he does love her. Enough to help her with her
medical career, even though he doesn’t like her having it and
objective enough to admire the sense of destiny that drives her to it,
even though he’s somewhat jealous that he doesn’t possess that drive
himself.

Frank a pathetic slimeball? Good grief. He’s the major tragic figure
of the books, unsung though he is. He is-on the evidence to hand-a
stand-up guy, who’s taken a horrible set of circumstances (which he
didn’t cause and had nothing to do with) and done the best he could to
build a family, do right by his daughter, and treasure what strands of
occasional tenderness form between himself and his guilt-ridden,
emotionally-distant wife.”

That help?

–Diana

On Nov. 14, 2005:
Diana wrote:
“P.S.  Forgot to note in the above that Frank, Claire, and Brianna are
all Catholics.  Catholics _really_ didn’t get divorced in the
’50’s–they still don’t do it all that often, since it means
excommunication.

I don’t at all understand why the anti-Frank contingent thinks Claire
should have left  the marriage, though.  Why? Frank wasn’t beating
her, or mentally torturing her, or otherwise behaving  badly (with, of
course, the _possible_ exception that he was being unfaithful.  And
that, we don’t know).  The only overwhelming reason she might have had
would be to go back to Jamie–which is something that Frank obviously
knows, which is why he doesn’t tell her when he finds evidence that
Jamie didn’t die at Culloden.  (And while I’m sure that the anti-Frank
people view this as more evidence that he’s a Bad Person, consider
what he himself says in his letter to the Reverend.  True, he _didn’t_
want to lose her (i.e., he loved her), but he also didn’t want to
cause her and/or Brianna additional grief and suffering by giving her
an impossible choice.  She was by that time reconciled to her live in
the present, doing well as a doctor, and if their marriage wasn’t
great, it mostly wasn’t bad.

If she knew Jamie was alive, though…either she’d choose to try to
return to him, leaving her young daughter (more horrible guilt), or
she’d stay for Bree’s sake, but be constantly torn by yearning for
Jamie.  So Frank didn’t tell her.  He clearly had mixed motives for
that, but they weren’t necessarily evil ones, at all.”

Quoted per Diana in its entirety.

 

87 Comments

87 thoughts on “Diana Gabaldon’s Defense of Frank Randall

    • This was Diana Gabaldon’s response and reasoning of Frank’s character and behaviors. So many people kept asking and insisting on how awful Frank was and how wrong he was for doing the things he did. Diana presented her rationale in this article.

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      • But – but — Frank was going to leave Claire and take Bree with him!! Diana didn’t mention that, did she? So I’m not sure what we’re supposed to think.

        Liked by 1 person

      • That part is one that I do have trouble figuring out… We don’t know enough of what was going on in Frank’s mind at the time, of why he would resort to such a move as that. We can figure out that he was going through his own fear of losing Bree as she grew up and left to be on her own. But, deep down realistically he had to have known that such an action would bring about the exact result or fight that it did with Claire. I think that scenario or part was one that Diana was not really clear about and it’s left most people with ongoing questions and resentments of Frank. That scene did not and does not quite fit with other parts where she has made it rather clear that Frank knew more about what had happened and would or will happen than he let on. It also does not exactly fit with his putting the gravestone up for Claire and Jamie together so Bree can find at some point. My one thought is that possibly, he knew that this suggestion or admitting a plan such as this was going to bring everything out in the open so they could deal with it once and for all. He also had to have some realization that with Bree grown and on her own, there would be no reason for him and Claire to remain together in a marriage that neither of them were happy in.

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    • the explanation above appears in “Written In My Own Heart’s Blood” where Bree finds Frank’s letter addressed to BER (for Brianna Ellen Randall) in the desk drawer of the “speak-a-word’ room (Roger is currently using this room for his office).

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    • Actually, Diana, Claire DOES have evidence that Frank has cheated: all his discarded mistresses that she tells him have come to see her, over the years since she returned, to ask her to give him up. In fact, he’s a serial cheater. He’s surprised that she knows — says he thought he had been discreet. (Remember all that? I just reread it this morning in “Voyager.”)

      Liked by 1 person

  1. If I wasn’t lazy and on an iPhone, I would dig up the passages where Claire finds proof of Frank cheating on her. Where he threatens to take Brianna from her. Diana Gabaldon says some crazy things sometimes. I honestly wonder if the woman smokes crack or if she is just that socially inept. Attacking her readers and saying that they are projecting their own displeasure with their SO’s is just rude. I personally have never had issues with my husband cheating on me, nor have I suspected him of it, andninlivevhim dearly. Yet I do see Frank as an ass. I dislike him very much for his cheating and his threatening to take Brianna from Claire. We are supposed to like him because he suffered the strain of putting up with Claire? While noble at first, he handled the whole thing poorly and he was written as a dick. Socially acceptable or not, sorry Diana. Get over it. You wrote an asshole character. You didn’t mean to, but you did. You just don’t seem to grasp social interactions of the average person well. Gah. I get so frustrated with this author, and yet I keep reading the books even though they all have many moments that make me think I skipped a page because the characters reaction to something makes NO sense whatsoever.

    Ok. I’m going to cut myself off now or I’ll keep ranting forever.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Ahhhh I hope the rant made you feel a little better? I think there are times when we all get a bit frustrated with parts of the books, or characters. As for Frank’s character, how Diana wrote him and whether he’s such a worthless ass… First of all, I give Diana some leeway on his character development in the first book, I giver her leeway on all of the character development in that first book. It was her first attempt at a novel of any kind, and for a first attempt, she took on a huge project- combining all of the genres that she did! I admit willingly that I did not care all that much for the first book- but she did give me enough mystery in it to keep me interested in picking up the second one! As her novels have progressed, so has her writing and her in depth character development- I for one appreciate that aspect of the series. None of these characters are one or even two sided representations. Each one is full of so many layers, good and bad, with all of their flaws. So, if Frank was such an ass for cheating on Claire, what does that make Claire for staying with him all of those years knowing full well that she didn’t love him? Frank spent all of those years with her knowing the same thing, that she didn’t love him, that he would never live up to or compare to her highland warrior, Jamie. Yet, they both stayed in the marriage for the sake of Bree because they both loved Bree. Did he rub the affairs in her face, was he blatant and uncaring about it- no he didn’t, and he did not throw it all up in her face. They had for the most part, a loveless marriage of convenience and for the best interests of a child they both cared about. As to what his reasons were for taking Bree away, by the last book, we are aware that Frank knew more about what was going on than he could or would say. Frank knew that Bree could be in some grave danger if some people realized who she was. I think perhaps, Frank intended and planned for some time to tell Bree the truth or at least leave enough information so she could find it. I think he knew too that Claire and Bree would go back and he made sure that they were prepared to survive. I don’t see Frank as good or bad in any of this. If you base your entire dislike and hatred of him on his cheating, and his angry outburst of his intent to take Bree away, you are missing all of the other layers of the man that Diana has provided over the series.

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    • I think your forgetting this is a historical NOVEL and very heavily researched to get the historical side correct now if she had to delve into Franks side well I hate to think how big a book that would be but then maybe Diana might write this version one day. Get over it and just enjoy what this great author has written for our enjoyment the way it is and not get angry. CAN YOU DO A BETTER JOB????

      Liked by 2 people

    • What you are not considering is that Frank, as you call him “asshole” knew that Claire and Brianna would be returning to the past. Why would he take his daughter out into the woods and teach her how to ride horses and shoot better than most men of that time? Frank gave Brianna all the tools to survive in the 1700’s because he was a good man.

      Liked by 5 people

      • Those are my same thoughts, Dave. Frank knew what was going to happen, he knew and he made sure that both Claire and Brianna were prepared for what ever might happen in the past as much as possible.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t think Frank is a completely bad person. after reading her comments I still don’t think he is as honorable as she paints him. I seem to recall where one of the reasons Frank didn’t abandon Claire was because this was his chance to have a child. Didn’t he find out while she was gone that he could not have children? Also,he did cheat. He found happiness with some one else and was going to marry that person and take Bree away to England. Possibly he stayed because he had not met the right person yet to make him want to leave.

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    • In looking at both Frank’s Claire’s actions during the years they were together, I think it’s important to remember too, the time period they were living in and the general views on divorce at that time. It was considered more acceptable for a man to have an affair or a mistress on the quiet than it was to get a divorce. Claire and Frank had a bad marriage- that they tried to make the best of for Bree’s sake. I personally think that even if Claire hadn’t gone through the stones, their marriage would have eventually gone the same route- except that in that case, there would have been no child to think of and they may have ended the marriage. Frank couldn’t have children so yes, this was his chance to have a child and he did love Bree. Realistically, I do think he was going to take Bree to England to keep her safe from what ever danger he thought she might eventually be in. I hope that Diana clears some of that up in the next book!

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      • but it said that he was a man who always attracted the women. He could have found another if he had just left her. I think he should have, one think is forgive a woman who cheated on you, but stay with someone who doesnt love you anymore and even is resentful to you, maybe because you are not him, maybe because you look like someone who she hated, is too hard

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  3. Guys, THE AUTHOR OF THE CHARACTER SAYS HE’S NOT A BAD GUY!!!! What else do you want? He is not perfect. He is fallible. He’s freaking human, for God’s sake. Let it go.

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  4. I always saw Frank as an honorable man. He took care of Brianna and Claire even though that meant living with Claire as she was when she came back from the stones. I think that Claire loved Frank as much as she could in the situation. Think of it this way, if you could travel through the stones and get back to Jamie, considering he was alive, you would keep up the hope that you would be reunited some day. I think Frank might have been afraid that Claire would have left if she had known that Jamie survived Culloden, but I think that Claire has a conscience of her own and would not have left Brianna until she was able to be on her own. I don’t know if she would have gone back anyway if Frank had lived, but she probably would have tried looking for Jamie on her own as Brianna got older. In the end, Jamie believed that Frank was as honorable as he was and sent Claire back to the safety of her husband in the future. I think that Frank was aware of that trust, maybe Claire had told him about it, at any rate, he responded to this trust in kind.

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  5. what about the comments when frank leaves for the last time. Claire says his women have called her saying she should let him go. am i crazy or remembering wrong.

    Liked by 4 people

    • This is what I remember… That Claire had received phone calls saying she should let Frank go. Glad to know someone else had had the same memories. Was starting to think I had fabricated them, but they sure seemed real! 😉

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      • recently, my mom told me, that she once had received a phone call by a woman, telling her, that her husband (my dad) had been unfaithfull and the woman should have been pregnant. when this happened, my dad was playing in a band to earn extra money for the family. the accusation by the woman was totally nonsense. never heard from her again. but there it was, a rumour and a bad feeling.. so people can do meanfull things.. (my mom knows my dad very well and knew that she could trust him).
        so rumours can be very harmful.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Just a theory but Claire was gone for three years. Frank could have very well had a relationship during that time and ended it when Claire returned. And that person may have called Claire later on begging her to let him go?

        Liked by 1 person

  6. How fascinating would it be to know what Frank learns during those three years Claire is gone, then what he discovers after her return? He’s MI6, folks. And he is a curious historian. Based on that trait alone, he’s going to find out all he can of her story. Diana’s explanation of Frank and Claire, their marriage before and after her trip through time, makes perfect sense because she wrote it! Why does anyone seek to argue with her? It’s like arguing about Black Jack and his proclivities. Was their marriage too damaged after the war? Perhaps. Did they make an effort because of Brianna? Too right they did. Herself is more correct in her assumption that Frank may too closely represent the real-life husband of many readers and Jamie is the fantasy romantic hero they many wish for than many readers are comfortable admitting. In my personal and unsolicited opinion, Frank is a fascinating character, and I would dearly love to know what he knows. My own diagnosis of their relationship is borne out by The Series. Claire has come into her own as a combat nurse, and she doesn’t really need Frank for her identity as she did when they married. (She was young and still looking for the stability she missed out on during her unconventional childhood.) Frank cannot reconcile himself with her strength and independence, the fact she doesn’t need him, but perhaps merely wants him. Claire knows she cannot supress her strength and independence to be the meek and proper professor’s wife, but hasn’t yet sussed out how to do so anyway. We have to allow for the possibility Claire and Frank are each in love with the idea of each other. Claire finds true love with Jamie, while Frank finds a love he can live with in Brianna, which is fairly remarkable, given he knows he is raising his rival’s child. Frank isn’t the hero here, but he makes sacrifices we need to honour…

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  7. During the era Frank and Claire lived in marriage was quite often loveless. People did not divorce even though they struggled to even like each other. For the sake of children we know many married people stayed together. Honour might enter here but likely it was more to save face and allow Brianna to grow up in a stable home even though it was nothing but that. Claire had her profession, Frank had his and it all meant they could exist looking like a fairly normal family.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Divorce happened a lot more during that period than many actually believe it did. Claire and Frank really have no excuse for staying together . . . unless they loved each other more than they were willing to say.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Not sure I can get a bite here, but much of Claire’s emotion goes into caring for an injured Jamie on many occasions. Would be interesting to study a case where Claire makes it back to Frank; appears dazed, and would be hit by a car, but Frank blocks her and saves her life, but suffered some pretty serious injuries as a result. Does caring for him change her desires? I’m admittedly a Frank fan…any thoughts?

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      • Tanya, while I am a Frank fan as well, I don’t think this would have made a lot of difference in the long run of their relationship. I think that Frank and Claire were two people not meant to be together in the way they were as a married couple. Personally, I think they both would have been happier if they had chosen to divorce. Had she not ever went back through the stones in the first place, and not had any children together, I could envision them as separating eventually- moving on with their lives and remaining friends.

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      • Caring for someone or thing causes or strengthens love? Definitely! My young son got two iguanas. I didn’t like or dislike them. Then they got sick from eating cage bedding and I treated them according to vet instructions. By the end I really liked and cared for them.

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  9. I notice she never mention the part in the books where she put in that Frank had affairs with his students and other women, That 6 other women that came to Claire asking her to divorce him and admits it in his letter to the reverend. Perhaps that’s why people see him as a slime-ball?

    Anyway, from my reading of the books I can see why Claire would love Jamie more than Frank. Jamie is willing to sacrifice everything for Claire. He respects her abilities as a healer; He protects her from other people no matter what they think others think of her, He’s willing to forgo his own jealousy to send her back Frank and a place where she and his child would be safe. He trusts everything she tells him. He never lies to her. Jamie is always there for her no matter what that cost him personally.

    Frank on the other hand is vengeful, self-centered, prejudice, He lies, He cheats on her. He doesn’t trust her (either with what she tells him or with her relationship with friends). He does treat her bad staying out all night with other women, throwing that in her face. Wanting to go off with Claire’s child like Bree was his only, with no regard for Bree’s feelings either.

    Ok, Diana you pick which man would you love??

    “Eye Roll” – I find it Interesting how Diana posting this re-write of Frank’s character traits to make him seem better than the books portray him, Perhaps this has more to do with the new stuff that Ron Moore added to the TV show for his favorite character (Frank)?? I guess we will see when season 2 comes on. LOL!

    Liked by 3 people

    • This topic of Frank vs Jamie and Frank as the evil villain will go on forever! No, Frank is not a saint and should they have married in the first place or stayed married- probably not. Frank doesn’t trust Claire and she doesn’t trust him either. I don’t think Frank character was ever intended to be portrayed as some sort of villain. In later years after Claire had time to think about it, she seemed to understand the flaws of their relationship and accept that it was not all Frank’s fault. Even Jamie accepted Frank’s role in their relationship… why can’t the rest of us accept it as well instead of having to see Frank as the complete bad guy.

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  10. This article helped me to understand Frank more and Claire and why they didn’t divorce. But still I don’t quite understand why Claire agreed not to tell Brianna that Jamie is her father. She loved this man more than anything in the world. And yet she let his only child (the last thing that was left from him) think that another man was her father. I feel like Claire should have wanted to tell Bree about Jamie.
    I understand Frank, but still I don’t like him. I hate the fact that he raised Jamies child, that he got to hold her in his hands etc. And Jamie didn’t. It’s unfair. Jamie deserved to raise his child. He deserved to be the ONLY father to his and Claire’s child. Diana was too cruel to him…
    I wish there were less Frank in the books. I think Brianna and Claire remember him too often.

    Liked by 4 people

    • They remember him because no matter what we may think, he was a huge part of their lives and Bree loved him. Part of it was Claire’s fault as well, she assumed Jamie died at Culloden and tried to lock the entire event away in the past. I understand how she and Frank made the decision not tell Bree anything… that sort of thing has happened a lot- where parents choose not to tell their children about their true parentage. I’m not saying it’s right to keep those kind of secrets but it did happen a lot, and still does. What I found wrong and can not agree with is Claire’s refusal to ever even take some interest in the aftermath of Culloden. She spent all of those years in her own sort of denial and chose not ever discuss any of it with Frank. I think that refusal, that denial kind helped create more of a distance or wedge between her and Frank. She never once even showed an interest or bothered to ask Frank about his research so he of course had to assume that she didn’t want to know. You may not like Frank and resent that Jamie didn’t get to be that Father but please don’t forget what happened to all of those left there after Culloden. Jamie sent her forward to where he knew she and their child would be safe. Frank was the one person that could do that. He managed to keep them safe in the future, give them a life and prepare them both in some ways to go back. I think he knew full well from what ever he found in his research that they would go back again and he wanted them to be prepared for it. He also knows that they were in danger in the present time- he admitted that in one of his letters so I think he also realized that at some point, they were actually going to be safer in the past than they were in the present or the future!

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      • I understand when people don’t tell a child about real parents because a father or a mother left a child or they were just assholes. But in Outlander Jamie sacrificed almost everything for Brianna and he died, Claire thought that the love of her life, the man that she loved more than life itself died. The only thing left from him was Brianna. And she let her think that another man was her father. I see it like she didn’t respect his memory. She acted selfishly. In this situation about Brianna’s parentage I understand more Frank than Claire.
        I think she didn’t look for information about Jamie after Culloden because she was too afraid to find evidence of his death, or just reminder that she lost him. Partly because of her fears she was separated from Jamie for so long. That was her mistake and she regretted it.
        I think that Claire had no idea about Frank’s research, he probably kept it in a secret on purpose. He didn’t want Claire to know that he looked for Jamie and especially he didn’t want her to know that he is alive. Even Diana didn’t try to defend him about this.

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      • But I would love to find out what exactly Frank found during his research. Did he know for sure that Claire and Brianna would come back to the past to Jamie? Or he just guessed it, because he knew how much Claire loved Jamie and he suspected that Brianna would want to meet a biological father.

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      • I hope Diana answers this in her next book! Whether one likes Frank or not is not really an issue… He is a huge part of this whole mystery, knew more than he ever said and that makes him an important key to everything that happened in the past and what ever happens in the future!

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Personally I have never thought him a “slim ball.” As you say, times, religion, and image all played big parts in people’s lives back then. People stayed in loveless marriages for years for lesser reasons.&
    Maybe he did have some left over feelings for Claire, and he did have respect for her in some ways. But I don’t think I could ever call it love.
    Frank is not a bad person. He just had bad things happen to him. A lot of them. I feel bad for him because he missed out on the best love he could have ever had.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. From Diana: “I don’t at all understand why the anti-Frank contingent thinks Claire
    should have left the marriage, though. Why? Frank wasn’t beating
    her, or mentally torturing her, or otherwise behaving badly (with, of
    course, the _possible_ exception that he was being unfaithful.”
    Why? I think she should have left Frank because that was the honorable thing to do. She didn’t love him. The child wasn’t his. And without her; he may have had a chance at his own happiness. In essence; she used him financially, as an emotional crutch and as a present-day father for her child. All without loving him; indeed feeling sorry for him. Just my thoughts!

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    • I do pretty much agree with your thoughts on it! She knew he loved her and desperately wanted a child. They both knew she didn’t feel the same way about him anymore and yet, he did everything he could to help her probably in the vain hope that she might come to love him again. Instead, as you put it, she stayed in the marriage, took everything he offered in the way of respectability and financial security and gave him little back in return. What little she did give probably raised his hopes only to have them crushed when she went back to feeling sorry for herself. Really, I don’t know what the justification is for beating up on him because he cheated on her when that’s exactly what she did to him. When she returned to the present and thought Jamie was dead, in a way she was kind of still cheating on Frank by not letting go of Jamie. I know from personal experience what it’s like to love someone who can’t let go of one who died… It’s not easy competing with a dead person who in a way becomes a saint with all the bad parts forgotten.

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  13. I appreciate hearing Diana’s point of view. I just want to explain why I’m not a Frank fan. It’s because of Tobias. He is so damned good at making BJR real that it’s very hard to separate him from Frank. Since I saw the series first, these feelings got carried into the books. In the series, I liked Frank fine in Inverness. Once we met BJR, they seemed to blend, especially when Frank beat up the couple in the alley. I got a hint that maybe some of BJR’s evil was passed to Frank. I went to read the books with this idea and by the time we discover that BJR is not Frank’s direct ancestor, the idea was too entrenched to get rid of it. Later, Brianna tells Ian, I think, that she found a note from another woman in Frank’s wallet when she was small. So with all this in mind, I perceived the fake headstone as a cruel trick to hurt Claire. He did try to take Brianna away, as well. Bottom line, if two different actors had played Frank and BJR, I might have seen it all differently.

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  14. When was this written, before or after Dragonfly? In the scenes just before Frank’s death, they quarrel and she throws at him the number of times his suspected girlfriends have knocked on her door and asked her to leave him. I would have thought that settles the question of infidelity. Of course it says nothing about Frank’s state of mind in which he only goes off because that kind of relationship is not available at home. My judgement would be that Frank loved Claire deeply enough to stay with her no matter what initially. Yes, he’s not a cad, but she’s also his only true love. The same kind that Jamie is for her. Sad that he couldn’t meet a happier and more deserved fate!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Initially I was neutral about Frank. I thought he was noble for sticking my Claire when she shows up pregnant after 2 years of absence. I could also almost understand him having affairs due to the obvious estrangement between them. But THE LETTER that Bree found in the desk totally revised my assessment of the man. It is apparent he continued to love Claire even though the marriage was far from smooth. And I have reached the conclusion he did not cheat on Claire. Yes, she found a note in his pocket, something that he should have discarded. But that just shows that a woman was pursuing him, not that Frank cheated. We readers see him only through the eyes of a woman who is grieving the loss of someone she loved with her whole soul, and who probably feels a big dose of guilt also. I agree with Diana, Frank is a tragic hero. (Reminds me a bit of Snape in Harry Potter.)

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  16. When I read the books, I see Frank sympathetically. I also read them getting the ideas he did have affairs, physical affairs, not “emotional” ones. That is, the women he slept with were giving him their affection, but he was only giving them his body. Perhaps to hurt Claire, perhaps to fill the need for his partner to truly love him. As Diane points out, divorce at that time was not as acceptable as today ( also being Catholic, a point I had not considered, not being Catholic) BUT men having affairs was more accepted. I feel bad for Frank, but am glad he had Bree’s love.

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  17. Anyone that thinks of Frank as a slimebag has issues. He is a wronged man on many levels and the lack of empathy reader and viewers have is a glaring example of our current culture. It makes some see the whole Claire/Jamie story occurring on a reality TV show and viewers see Frank as a villain. He is not. Only the most simplistic mind would not see that. And for the sake of realism, Laird or not, Jamie is an infant compared to Frank.

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  18. I don’t understand why DG thinks that if Frank wasn’t actually sleeping with these other women he wasn’t being unfaithful. In my book he was.

    Also along with all the other evidence, such as the women who approached Claire and the letter that Brianna found, in Chapter 71 of ‘Drums of Autumn’ Frank says in the letter he wrote to Reverend Wakefield:

    “I treated Claire badly – well, depending how one looks at it. I won’t go into the sordid details; leave it that I’m sorry. So there it is, Reg. Hate jealousy, lying, stealing, unfaithfulness, the lot.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Claire knew early on in the second go at this marriage to Frank that he was unfaithful and yet she stayed with him. She could have left him when she first suspected or realized that he was cheating but she didn’t. She chose to stay with him knowing that he wasn’t being faithful to her physically… I say physically because she wasn’t faithful to him emotionally. They both treated each other badly and stayed together for the sake of Bree.

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  19. So are we just going to ignore the fact that in addition to Frank being a serial cheater, he was a blatantly racist creep? He accuses Claire of “f-ing a black man” as if that’s somehow the most vile thing he could come up with. I, for one, was glad to see him gone from Claire’s life when he died. He might not be a sick twisted sadist like Black Jack, but he certainly wasn’t a kind or understanding person.

    Of course, Jamie’s son resulted from him raping that annoying teenage girl, so he’s not exactly a saint either. But he doesn’t do anything with the level of bile and bitterness of Frank, especially his racist comments and threats to take Brianna away from Claire for good.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, his comments were extremely racist and bigoted but you also need to look at and understand at least somewhat the time period they were living in and the events taking place around them at the time. Also consider the generation that Frank was raised in. Frank was not in any minority in his way of thinking at the time- I am not condoning it by any means, I am only putting it into some realistic perspective in understanding his thinking on the issue of race. Frank was at least 15 years older than Claire which put him in an older generation less able to change, adapt and accept the social changes and upheavals going on around him during the late 60s. As for that social change and upheaval, it did not just affect ones like Frank… Consider Joe Abernathy’s frustration and inability to accept those changes of culture in his own son.

      As to Frank’s irrational decision to take Bree away to England where she might be safer from these changes in culture- it was just that, an irrational ill thought out impulsive decision on the part of a man grasping for straws in some panic mode of attempting to keep his daughter safe in some cocoon. I think it more the thought of having to admit that she was on the verge of adulthood and going out into the world on her own… not needing him anymore when he had centered his life around her.

      I do wonder why he was insisting on taking her to England- it seems to me that given all of his concerns for her, for teaching her how to survive and protect herself and the fact that he knew more than he was admitting about the danger she could be in, he would have thought her safer in the States than anyplace in Britain. That is the one aspect of his decision that puzzles me. Hopefully Diana will provide some sort of added explanation in the next book!
      Frank is certainly not a saint, no one in the book is! He is full of flaws and so are the rest of them. That is what I like most about the books, the fact that Diana creates and presents them with all of those real life character flaws.

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      • You guys need to take note that though Claire and others can travel through time they cannot change history or future events. What will happen actually has happened. Frank had known it all what had happened and would happen by his own research or probably via his meetings with his future (step) grandchild traveling back in time. Not happy with how things were and would be but he loves Claire and Bree so much that he had to plan and act accordingly to make sure nothing would change (Claire and Bree would be safe and happy). Of course he struggled when he knew that he was doing his best for Claire and Bree to be happy with his love rival and he could not do anything about that. Yes, he is like Snape in Harry Potter, the unsung and tragic hero.

        Liked by 1 person

  20. You guys need to take note that though Claire and others can travel through time they cannot change history or future events. What will happen actually has happened. Frank had known it all what had happened and would happen by his own research or probably via his meetings with his future (step) grandchild traveling back in time. Not happy with how things were and would be but he loves Claire and Bree so much that he had to plan and act accordingly to make sure nothing would change (Claire and Bree would be safe and happy). Of course he struggled when he knew that he was doing his best for Claire and Bree to be happy with his love rival and he could not do anything about that. Yes, he is like Snape in Harry Potter, the unsung and tragic hero.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. My objection is to how Ron Moore wrote him. Episode 201 shows Frank crying and forgiving Claire no matter what. Then when Claire comes off the plane, she gives him a wonderful loving look. Gives the idea that things awill be great between them. NOT SO. And I bet we get more in Season 3. I think Ron prefers to work with Tobias rather than Sam!

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  22. My objection about Frank is the way he is portrayed in episode 201 of the TV series. When he comes to see Claire in the hospital, he is crying and loving and forgiving. As Claire comes off the plane to start their life together, she gives him a wonderfully loving look. This is a total turn around from the book. And Claire tries to take off Jamie’s wedding ring! Again a total reversal of the book – where Frank tried to take it off and Claire said no.
    Ron Moore seems enchanted with Frank and writes extra material for him. Jamie stays in the background. I’m pretty well done with watching the series on TV. I feel disappointed, discouraged and sad.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Everyone has their own opinions or feelings on Frank and on the show. I’ve always liked Frank so I’m glad that there has been some chance to fill out his story. I’ve enjoyed this season even with the changes made. In fact, I think I enjoyed this season more than the trudging through the book. Dragon Fly is not one of my favorites of the series and I was not all that enthused about seeing it play out on screen…For me it went far better than I imagined. I am looking forward to the future seasons, especially getting to Drums of Autumn. I have to admit that if I had read the books as they came out and had wait a long period between Dragon Fly and Voyageur, I probably would not have bothered continuing after Dragon Fly. That is how much I did not like Dragon Fly! Because I read the books more recently, Voyageur was available and I thought I might as well read it just to see how things turned out… While I was not even all that happy with Voyageur, it did keep my attention and got me through to Drums of Autumn. So, I am not necessarily a fan of the early books but I do understand that we have to endure them, as well as some of Diana’s early writing to get to the best parts of the series. From Drums of Autumn on, it is not the Jamie and Claire love story with a little history and sci-fi thrown in…

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      • Hi Judy…quick question…I have not read the series…u said the rest of the series is not the Jamie & Claire love story…oh my gosh then what is it??? I love their love story…please answer me back😀😂
        Thank you
        Katherine Schantz

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      • Kate, there is so much more to the books than just Jamie and Claire’s love story! Their love story is just the jumping off point for such a huge epic generational saga that tells the story of Colonial America, the Revolutionary war and how immigrants like Jamie and his extended family went about making a place for themselves in this new country! There is no way the show can cover it all but I admire the effort they are making in trying. Personally for me, by book four- Drums of Autumn- there was so much else going on and so many other truly interesting stories to follow that Claire and Jamie’s sex life was and is the part I usually just skim over or skip cause really I don’t need an explicit touch by touch word for word account of their lust for each other… In fact by the last few books, there have been time when I’ve wanted to reach into the book and say, “Just stop already! Really, you feel an intense need for sex in the middle of all this other crap that’s going on?!

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    • If one is watching the shows just to see Jamie and Claire’s love story play out, then as the series progresses, they will be greatly disappointed. I think Ron Moore is addressing some of that already in making it about more than just Jamie and Claire’s romance- which was never perfect anyway! In the early books, Diana did not really delve into the complex relationship between Frank, Claire and Jamie- it was more about Claire’s thoughts and about her and Jamie. As the books continue, Diana addresses that relationship between the three of them and I think Ron Moore is actually looking ahead setting a stage for that… In watching the show, we need to see that Frank is not that one dimensional bad guy character. We need to see that there is always a struggle in the back of Claire’s mind about her feelings for Frank and her relationship with him. That needs to be apparent as we move forward to the next seasons and hopefully see Bree’s emotional struggle as well.

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  23. i love Frank in the tv show, he is not the bad husband, he is just a good man who loves his woman and also incredibly perfect. I almost cried when she tried to save both of them, and the way he looked at her and forgave her.
    I was a little dissapointed after this last episode, i understand that Claire prefers Jaime, she loved him really much but she looked like she didnt care about Frank, the guy she really loved once, and the father of her daughter. Brianna seems to love him really much and she is attracted to a Roger who is just like his adoptive father.
    If she couldnt love him already, just a little bit, she should just left him since the begining, so he could find another woman and even adopt a child.
    I´m going to miss him and Menzie´s performance,

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t think we have seen the last of him on the show. Yes, we’ve seen the end of Black Jack Randall but there is still more of Frank’s story left to tell and I’m glad that it seems like the show is going to tell some of it!

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      • arent we goint to see Jack dying? that´s a pity, i was expecting a fight or something like that. I cant believe im saying that but im going to miss him too. He was a psycho, but also was THE villain in the show, It wont be easy to replace him.

        Thank you for saying it, it would be a shame we couldnt see anything about their life together, after 20 years raising Brianna. But im afraid it´s going to be a sad history….

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      • I just read an article that mentioned season 3 would be the end of Black Jack and Frank- other than flash back scenes. The thing with Black Jack’s death is that Jamie has no clear memory of what happened at Culloden so he can not say how Jack died. This should come out in bits and pieces throughout the coming seasons.

        As for Frank, we should see flashbacks of him from time to time as Claire and Bree remember the past…It was not really a bad or sad history until the end.

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      • Thanks for the information!, before the last episode i believed that Jaime was going to find Claire in the future or something like that, its a pity, because it would have been fun to see Frank and Jaime meet each other.
        At least i hope they will give him a decent ending, being the good and kind guy that we have seen until now.

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      • Jamie can’t go through the stones, they explain all of it in later books. It’s a genetic trait and only those who hear the stones can actually travel through them. As he says, he has his own destiny to follow in the past. lol Actually some of the best parts of the books for me are in the later ones when Claire and Jamie accept that they have this sort of three way relationship with Frank- that the three of them are connected in some way whether they want to be or not… Some of my favorite moments are when Claire has inner conversations with Frank, like when Bree and Roger get married and Claire swears she can feel Frank there. Her comments are along the lines of “Ohhh you’re here, well of course you’d want to be here.”

        So, my thoughts on this whole hatred of Frank are… If Claire doesn’t hate him, why should we!

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      • wow, that´s really touching! I was not going to read the books but now maybe i will give them a try.
        About Jaime he said to Clare that even if he could also travel the same way he has his life there, but after she left he acted as his life had no meaning anymore,… it seems a little contradictory to me.

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      • The whole thing is that he really thought he was going to die at Culloden- he thought at the time that he needed to stay to do what he could to save his men and meet his destiny at Culloden. He knew he couldn’t go through the stones but he needed to send Claire to keep her and the baby safe. After he managed that act, he kind of just didn’t care what happened… it’s like he left up to God to decide.

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      • Also I hate to say this…but there never was in the TV series real chemistry between Claire & Frank…and really as a viewer or hasn’t read the books…it is hard to like Frank when he looks exactly like the sick animal Jack…u see we have this visual eye view without any of the book knowledge😀

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      • As I said in my earlier comment, there is so much detail in the books that the show just can not capture all of it… As far as chemistry between Claire and Frank compared to chemistry between Jamie and Claire; when I read the books, what I got from the two relationships is that they were really two different kinds of relationships. What I find interesting in the two relationships and I appreciate Diana’s presentation of them is she shows in these relationships how relationships evolve and devolve over time. She shows that it is entirely possible to love two different people in different ways. By the end of the books, Claire is non-judgemental about Frank and admits that she loved him, cared about him but in a far different way than she loves Jamie. Frank loves Claire but knows that she does not love him in the same way. In reading the books, you find that Diana addresses all of the twists and turns relationships take for good or for bad and you see people work their way through those feelings, overcome them (or not in some cases) and learn to accept a relationship’s limits.

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  24. I don’t like Frank because I don’t like Black Jack Randall. I really believe those character traits are in Frank as well. He can be a force to reckon with. I think that if Frank new that Jamie was alive and he kept that information from Claire he is a slime ball. I think that Frank felt that he was less than a man because he was incapable of making biological children of his own. I think that is why held on to Bree so fiercely. This is terrible to say but I don’t like Frank at all. He is a worm and that is pretty low.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and thoughts. My personal thought is that not liking someone because of who their ancestor was and what they did such as with Frank and Black Jack … then by that standard do you not like Roger because his ancestor is Geillie Duncan? And, if you hold Frank liable for the feeling of being less than a man because he could not have children… Does that apply as well to Lord John Grey because he obviously can not have natural children of his own?
      Frank is not perfect by any means, but then neither is Claire, neither is Jamie… none of them are perfect or without blame or flaws.

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    • i dont think you are really objective. In the sohw Frank told to the priest that he didnt really cared about being incapable of having children, because his wife was disappeared and he said that he left the subject appart, so it means that he didnt even want to find another woman and create a new family, he could have adopted any child then because after the war there would be hundreds of children without parents.
      I dont know what i would have done in his place, telling Clare the truth about Jaime? then she would had have to choose between her daughter and the man she loves, that would be a nightmare to her. And if she decided to take Brianna with her, that child would have lost his father and would put her in danger.
      He was a good man, a real worm would have abandoned his wife after she came back after two years, insane and pregnant
      You shouldn forget that Frank is not Jack descendant, his real ancestors were Alex and Mary, both of them so good and decents, that even Jack cared about them

      Liked by 1 person

      • When Claire brought up the suggestion of adoption with (book) Frank, he completely shot down her down. That’s where my dislike of Frank was cemented. Not only was he completely disinterested in Claire’s feelings on the matter, he was also insensitive to the fact that Claire herself had been an orphan. That’s where I saw him as a self-centered prig, who only wanted a child that would be a reflection of himself, who also expected Claire to behave in ways that reflected well on him, and who spent huge chunks of THEIR second honeymoon focusing on HIS genealogy.

        There would have had to be an impetus to lead Frank to have his fertility checked after Claire had disappeared. It doesn’t make much sense unless there had been another woman (or women) during Claire’s absence, leading him to suspect that the problem lay with him. Considering his prior stance on adoption, I have wondered if a fertile Frank would have been as willing to take back a pregnant Claire.

        I saw Frank’s decision to accept Claire back (though begrudgingly in the book) as a way to save face, as well as an opportunity to pass off a child as his own. I think his love for Bree probably came as a surprise to him. I have wondered if the info Frank found on Jamie was originally intended to provide Bree with an honest genealogy, perhaps after he had already dug deeper into Claire’s genealogy (also for Bree’s sake) and found something or someone that led him to believe that Claire’s story was true. But that would be future book speculation, and a completely different thread.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Dolittle, i havent read the book but that doesnt make much sense, Frank and Clare went to Boston, so if he just wanted to pretend a baby as his own he could just have adopted any baby and travel to America after that, or any other place, nobody would have known then. Or he could just abandone Claire and marry other woman. It couldnt be easy to raise a child who reminds you that your wife cheated on you, specially a man who she cant forget about. No one here is perfect, not Frank or Claire, they were humans, If Claire couldnt life without Jaime she should just divorce him instead of letting him tie himself to her and her daughter.

        Anyway, in the show Frank is a good and selfless guy, he is like the Jaime of XX century, and also a victim because nothing that happened after Claire travelled trough the stones.; and even so i see many people who still insult him because of the book, because they want to hate him, like he was going to take Jaime´s spotlight or something like that,
        I like them because nothing is just black or white, they are just good people but also humans,trying to what they can

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  25. I did not read all the comments and posts, so I am going to just put this out here… If I am not mistaken in one of the episodes where where she was went back, Frank came in and I want to say he went to hug her or something and immediately she saw the face of BJR. Could it be that she found it hard to rekindle the love due to Frank looking so much like his grand uncle/grandfather? Just a thought!

    Liked by 1 person

  26. I -LOVE- the character of Frank. This love may be inspired by Tobias Menzies, the actor that portrays him on the series (what poetry in his voice), but Frank is great. I am reading the series currently, so maybe my feelings will change as more is revealed? But right now I love the dynamic of Claire, Jamie and Frank.

    Each one of these characters is so perfectly flawed. Frank may not be an entirely decent person, but he strives to be. And there is something gallant in the attempt to recognize what is right and to try and follow that path. How many times and in how many ways have Jamie and Claire lied to one another for an imagined greater good?

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’ve just voiced my thoughts so well! I’ve read all of the books, am now reading for a second time- I have to say that by the end of the books and the novella that includes him, I love the complexity of his character. You should read the novella, A Leaf On The Wind Of All Hallows! It is a short story about Roger’s parents but includes interesting, insightful information on Frank in it.

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  27. Thank you for the post and your answers!
    i agree with you, i love Frank, maybe because Tobias Menzies is a great actor and the way he plays Frank is always really moving. I´ve always loved the way Claire remembered him, and how hard she tried to save his life.
    I havent read the books yet but i couldnt understand why so many people on internet despised him. i though he might have done something terrible in the books or something like that
    Even if Claire chose another man he was a good man, Brianna´s father ( an adoptive father isnt less important than the biological one) and thanks to him Claire travelled to Scotland and began her journey through the stones.
    I´m going to start with the books now, but i really hope that we will see what had happened these 20 years and of course that Claire and Brianna will remember him, He really deserves it

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Pingback: Episode 158: Frankly | The Outlander Podcast™

  29. As a child of the 50’s, with a mother who contemplated divorce often, and a father who was a college professor, I can relate to this story line. My mother was always unhappy, but my grandmother discouraged her from getting divorced because it just wasn’t done at that time–and how would she support her children? She stayed married to my father for 60 years, most of them, unfortunately, unhappy. I don’t think my father, who very good looking in a Paul Newman kind of way, ever cheated on my mother, but he did have many women, including students, who were infatuated with him. I think this could have been Frank’s situation. When I was reading about him, I didn’t interpret anything in the books, or Diana’s explanation here, that he was unfaithful. His students, or secretaries or others, would get a crush on him, and then call or otherwise bother him or Claire..

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Frank, a victim of circumstance. One other point to mention that caused distance between he and Claire upon her return was the fact he looked very much like the terrible Black Jack Randell. Another reason why Claire could not make a stronger emotional connection through. I fault of Frank what so ever.

    My opinion on the infidelity is that Frank did have relationships on the side. I feel he justified this since Claire was not satisfying him sexually on a regular basis and she openly confessed she was in love with another man in which she obviously had physical relations with. Does that make Frank slime. Nope just human trying to make a bad situation bearable. I’m sure Frank wished he could satisfy Claire emotionally and physically and I’m sure he tried at first. But that kind of failure weighs heavy on a mans ego and eventually he found he could feel worthy and like a man again with someone else.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Someone above mentioned that divorce happened more often back then than people like to admit. True, but both Claire and Frank were Catholic and it happened far less in those circumstances. In regards to Frank…I can’t help it, he was not written as a likable character and I don’t like him. He was someone with both good and bad points to be sure, but not very likable. That view isn’t our fault…it was the way he was presented. No one likes someone they believe to be cheating on someone and that is the way it was presented.

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