Outlander (Outlander, #1) Outlander discussion


287 views
My Letter To Claire

Comments Showing 1-50 of 88 (88 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1

message 1: by Roweena (last edited Oct 04, 2015 06:51PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Roweena Rickman A Letter To Claire (Taken from my blog Roweena's Rants and Ramblings, Link Here: https://roweenarickman.wordpress.com/...

On August 4, 2015/ By roweenarickman/In Literature, Outlander, Scottish history, Strong Females
Dearest Claire Beauchamp Randall Fraser,
You were beaten severely by your Scottish husband 24 hours ago. I am not sure why you are speaking to him right now, especially after you vowed you wouldn't. I have lost all faith in you as a strong female. Yes, he rescued you from a very dangerous situation, putting his own life in danger in the process. But you had a reason for leaving, a good reason. You are, unfortunately, not able to tell him this reason, and therefore you took a harsh beating. Now he is trying to convince you that this treatment is acceptable as it was done to him often as a child and even as a young man. But Claire, remember who you are, where you have come from, and what you know from the future about this kind of treatment as well as what you know about where you were going and why! Do NOT let him get away with this so easily. Let him ramble on and on about being beat for this and beat for that, but you do not need to respond to him. Walk on in silence and make him think about the fact that that kind of treatment will not be tolerated by you. You had no control over what he did to you last night, as he is much larger and stronger than you. Thank goodness you tried to fight him off, giving him a few battle wounds of his own, for if you hadn't, I would have even less respect for you as a woman as I do now. And honestly, instead of lying in bed last night thinking of how much he consumes your senses, why weren't you contemplating how to tell him you must part ways and how to get back to Craigh na Dun??
And why in God's name are you allowing him to touch you?? So you saw some pretty wolves and are feeling enchanted. Snap out of it and get his hands off you! No person who brutally does that to another person deserves to be able to touch them again, especially not so soon after the assault. Pull away from him and make him feel at least a small amount of regret. Now you're giggling at his jokes and telling him you love him?!! Something he has never once said to you (yet) by the way, giving him another chance to laugh at you and remind you he beat you the night before. I am beyond disappointed in you Claire. Jumping forward a bit in the book for a moment, I notice you never really make him own it, not even when he learns where you were trying to go and why. He feels regret for a small moment and you quickly dismiss it! It is Ok to make him fully realize and take responsibility for what he has done, Claire.
He's just asked you if you can understand why he felt it necessary to beat you. You tell him you understand?!! You understand and forgive him. So quickly?? Really? Perhaps you're at a loss for words. So here, let me help you. Here is a script for you to follow:
"Do I understand? Well I understand that this is how you were treated, as a child, but that does not mean you should do it to others. Yes I was accidentally captured by the British and you were brave enough, along with the other men, to risk your own lives to save me. I am truly grateful and very glad you weren't hurt or captured. Now that you have taken the time to explain the details of the circumstances with Black Jack, I can see how the situation was and is especially dangerous for you. I am fully capable of understanding words. As you have mentioned before, there are things about me you don't know, and are noble enough to not press me about. Please keep this in mind as you wonder why I left the grove yesterday. As for the other men forgiving me, I suspect they will forgive me soon enough next time they are sick or wounded and need my skilled medical attention. I understand you believe worse may have happened to them if they had not followed orders, but they never are expected to follow orders from a spouse. And that is precisely where my orders came from; my spouse. Also understand that in our marriage you will most likely make some mistakes too. I can tell you right now I will not beat you for them. Also remember I did not want to marry. Your behavior last night has certainly not helped to change my mind, but served as a very unpleasant reminder that I am but a prisoner in this whole life, and will be beaten for trying to leave. And yes I know you enjoyed it you sadistic asshole, but I don't think that it's one bit funny, I don't know why you're laughing. As for returning to bed with me, you can have the bed, I will sleep fine on the floor or some other nook and cranny, but I sure as hell won't be sharing a bed with you any time soon, if ever again."
There, I hope that script helps you, Claire. I certainly think it will get your point across a little more clearly and show him that you are not that easy to forgive such behavior. I will give you credit for telling him you would knife him if he ever touched you again in such a way. He will most likely honor his vow to never do so again, since he keeps all his other promises.
Please keep your dirk in very close proximity, just in case.
Best wishes Claire,
Roweena


Mrsbooks Oh dear lord Lol.


Jeanine Celentano Mrsbooks wrote: "Oh dear lord Lol."

Ditto


message 4: by Zoey (new) - added it

Zoey Jeanine wrote: "Mrsbooks wrote: "Oh dear lord Lol."

Ditto"


Ditto x 2


message 5: by Sage (last edited Aug 09, 2015 10:07AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sage Ditto...LOL and a bit silly. Glad you aren't the author.


message 6: by Roweena (last edited Aug 09, 2015 06:42PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Roweena Rickman Sage wrote: "Ditto...LOL and a bit silly. Glad you aren't the author."
Thank you for reading and posting Sage. Are you "ditto" ing my comments in the letter, or dittoing the comments above? And are you saying you're glad I'm not the author of the book? Yeah, me too, I would have definitely played that scene out differently, as you can probably tell LOL


sublimosa Roweena, you're being a very good sport about the reactions you are getting. Kudos to you for that. I tend to be on the "good grief" side of things. I disliked that Claire got over the "beating" so quickly, but I think the experience was more of a humiliation than physical abuse. Granted, I don't think I could get over either in the here and now. But the story isn't in the here and now and because we live in the here and now, we didn't need to hear Claire's explanation to him as to why it wasn't acceptable. She did have a good reason for running off, but she hadn't told him and she did put them all in danger and under the circumstances, she did need to experience repercussion for her actions. Someone has posted the question in another thread -what do you feel an adequate repercussion would've been, given the time period?
I think it is important for a story to live within it's bounds, in general. Have you ever seen the TV show, Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman? Jane Seymour plays the doctor and the setting is pioneer days and she is practically the only educated logical person on the show and everyone else is uneducated and hotheaded and prejudiced, etc. The character comes off as a shrewish fishwife because she is always preaching at them for their ignorance. Although it was on for several years, the show never worked for me because it didn't live properly within its bounds. BTW, Dr. Quinn was NOT a time traveler! :) :P
You are not alone in your feelings. There is another thread on this subject which has over 500 replies. Check it out!


message 8: by Roweena (last edited Aug 11, 2015 10:41AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Roweena Rickman sublimosa wrote: "Roweena, you're being a very good sport about the reactions you are getting. Kudos to you for that. I tend to be on the "good grief" side of things. I disliked that Claire got over the "beating" so..."
Thank you for your non hostile response sublimosa. I appreciate it! Many people have reminded me that it was the proper reaction for the time and place. Some even feel the need to point out that it is historical fiction, as if I didn't know, LOL. But I maintain that Claire has to be true to her feelings, knowing where she came from and why this treatment is wrong(treatment of men and women alike), and it does frustrate me that she forgave him so quickly and just accepted it, well, other than convincing him not to do it again, but I have my thoughts on why he really promised not to. As for the putting them in danger, well, I have so many thoughts on this which I am working on publishing in another place. I want to explain all my thoughts here but I'm holding out for my publication. I know many people don't agree with me, but I have read the book, gone through it with a fine toothed comb, done some research, tons of thinking and analyzing, and am firm in my beliefs and will not change my mind. Also thank you for directing me to the other thread, but I'm pretty sure I've been there and had a bout with my high blood pressure while reading it unfortunately. I'm just one of the few women who is not completely sold on or swooned by the Jamie character. Yes, I finished the book of course, and know all that he went through by the end, so I know he is a good and noble husband, I just don't find him as perfect as many women do. Thank you for reading the Letter and commenting!


Maddie I am actually really impressed. I have never heard of someone giving a "this is what should have happened." As you can tell by how many stars I gave the series I really love these books. However, I am not "in love" with the characters. I do love them because of their flaws. It makes the books have that much more depth. In another thread that was mentioned earlier I have discussed my thoughts on this scene.
While I have no real issue with the scene being in the book, the way that Claire handles herself (this is not the only time that she lets really important things go easily) is my major issue with it. I think that you might be a person who understands my point of view on this perfectly. She gives him the chance to explain himself, which I have no problem with. But then when he is done she does not explain her side of things. I understand in this situation it is difficult but you have done a beautiful job of doing so with out giving anything about where she comes from away.


sublimosa Roweena wrote: "sublimosa wrote: "Roweena, you're being a very good sport about the reactions you are getting. Kudos to you for that. I tend to be on the "good grief" side of things. I disliked that Claire got ove..."

LOL, Roweena, that thread made me a bit nuts, too. I read a few pages and decided I'd have to abstain. I haven't finished the series, only up to Drums of Autumn and I am taking a break for a while. (view spoiler)
I wasn't trying to change your mind, just see if you agreed with me on my reasoning. Good luck on your publishing.


message 11: by Paul (new) - rated it 4 stars

Paul Thanks for the witty response to a critical point in the story's transition from a quirky experience foreshadowing the way things are going to be. I loved your use of a letter as a way of commenting in situ (well, almost anyway). Fun!


Roweena Rickman Maddie wrote: "I am actually really impressed. I have never heard of someone giving a "this is what should have happened." As you can tell by how many stars I gave the series I really love these books. However..."
Thank you Maddie, not only for taking the time to read but to also post a positive comment. I have read some of your comments on the "long thread" started by Red and I agree with the posts of yours that I have read. We seem to have similar thoughts about Claire letting things go and dismissing them too easily. I'm relieved actually that there are others out there who feel the same way I do. Thanks again and happy reading!


Roweena Rickman sublimosa wrote: "Roweena wrote: "sublimosa wrote: "Roweena, you're being a very good sport about the reactions you are getting. Kudos to you for that. I tend to be on the "good grief" side of things. I disliked tha..."

Thanks Sublimosa! Best wishes.


Roweena Rickman Paul wrote: "Thanks for the witty response to a critical point in the story's transition from a quirky experience foreshadowing the way things are going to be. I loved your use of a letter as a way of commentin..."
Thanks Paul!


Penny Quite a novel idea, writing a letter to Claire and if the story was set in our time would have been quite valid. However the story is not set in our time and treatment of wives and women in general was quite different then (as it was even 50/60 years ago) so not really pertinent!
Good idea writing it though, as there seem to be others that feel the same as yourself (as I would too, if the story was a modern one!)


message 16: by Roweena (last edited Oct 04, 2015 06:54PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Roweena Rickman Penny wrote: "Quite a novel idea, writing a letter to Claire and if the story was set in our time would have been quite valid. However the story is not set in our time and treatment of wives and women in general..."
Thank you for reading. Yes, I fully understand the story was not set in modern times, but I found it impossible to separate from my modern views while reading it. We are all modern readers, entitled to our own opinions and interpretations about it. I choose to take the stance against the sexism and violence, and I just won't bring myself to substantiate a practice that I know was wrong then and is wrong now, even in a fictional story. Part of historical fiction, for me anyway, is to remind us that certain historical practices, such as beating your wife for non-compliance, are barbaric and wrong. I certainly felt that way while reading it, but also felt that the practice was taken too lightly in the story. Claire was just too easy going and quick to be OK with it all, and even though she was from an era different from my own, she was still raised in a much different manner from that of typical 1930's/40's women, and was never beaten by anyone in her former world, at least not that's mentioned in the first book. Her response was disappointing for me, and, in my opinion, didn't quite match her character. As you can tell by the letter I wrote, I felt she could have stood up to him a bit more without giving herself away. I've read and re-read portions of the first book, done my own bit of research, and thinking. I am firm in my beliefs. Thank you again for reading.


Karen Warzala Roweena wrote: "A Letter To Claire (Taken from my blog Roweena's Rants and Ramblings, Link Here: https://roweenarickman.wordpress.com/...

On August 4, 2015/ By roweenarickman/In Literat..."


Triple ditto. Don't think Jamie would have sat still for such a long speech!


Curly But you also need to consider that before marrying Jamie there was a level of friendship involved. Yes, it was a great shock for her to have to marry, to be kept out of the clutches of Black Jack and yes, it was an even greater shock when he beat her as punishment. You have identified it was the done the 'old way' and it was barbaric; being a time when the female was more of a property rather than an equal. So the fact she actually forgave him and understood him, I saw that it was more on the level of friendship and seeing it his way being, currently in 1745 and all. Besides she didn't trust him enough to tell him about her journey.


message 19: by Sage (last edited Jan 03, 2016 11:15AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sage I f a reader can't separate themselves from things that happened in the past and can only relate to the present time, then it must be very difficult to read anything historical, fiction or non-fiction.

Many things in history are unacceptable today, just as many things that are acceptable today were unheard of, or unacceptable,in the past...pre-marital sex, unwed mothers, abortion, same sex marriage and relationships, women's education and rights....the list is endless. A story written in a certain time period needs to adhere to what was common for that time period. We may not like everything that happened in our history, but that doesn't mean we can ignore or change it to meet today's standards.

Of course Jamie was wrong to punish Claire, but it was acceptable for the time period. That doesn't mean every man would have taken the same approach, but to Jamie because of his upbringing and way of life, it was appropriate for him.

The author made it clear what Jamie's intentions were and why. Jamie even discussed it with Claire before he punished her, and truly felt that Claire would comply with the punishment. That doesn't make it right or wrong, it just makes it the way it was.

As for Claire appearing to forgive Jamie so easily, in the 1940's women still were under the control of their husbands. Claire made have been raised to be more independent then most girls, but she was still a product of the times, married to an older man, willing to give up her career and desires to live according to Frank's needs. Claire didn't become truly independent until she returned to her own time, and only then because Frank allowed it.

But most importantly, Claire needed Jamie, she was alone in a strange world and Jamie was the best protection she had. To alienate him would have served no purpose, her best choice of action was to do as he told her until she was able to find a way back to Frank and her own time...which, at this point in the story, was her goal.


message 20: by Penny (last edited Jan 05, 2016 02:09AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Penny Sage wrote: "I f a reader can't separate themselves from things that happened in the past and can only relate to the present time, then it must be very difficult to read anything historical, fiction or non-fict..."

Well said Sage, I agree with every word you wrote.


message 21: by Kat (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kat "If a reader can't separate themselves from things that happened in the past and can only relate to the present time, then it must be very difficult to read anything historical, fiction or non-fiction. "

That's about the dumbest thing I've ever read.

"Many things in history are unacceptable today, just as many things that are acceptable today were unheard of, or unacceptable,in the past...pre-marital sex, unwed mothers, abortion, same sex marriage and relationships, women's education and rights....the list is endless. A story written in a certain time period needs to adhere to what was common for that time period. We may not like everything that happened in our history, but that doesn't mean we can ignore or change it to meet today's standards."

That also does not mean that we condone and justify horrible acts in the past, because 'that's just the way things were'. By the above's argument, the WWII Japanese "Comfort Women" should just get over themselves and stop nagging the Japanese government for a true apology and the rest of us should not even weigh in on the issue, because, after all, it was 'acceptable for the time period'.

Bullshit.

In the case of this book, it is best, imo, if the reader just accepts that this is FANTASY FICTION. Not even historical fiction, as most of the historical content is grossly inaccurate - but just plain fantasy fiction. Then there is no need to justify the 'hero's' abusive behavior as 'that's just the way things were' (because that's not actually just the way things were in 18th century Scotland). And Jamie beating his wife becomes 'acceptable' to an extent, because in a fantasy novel, anything goes. Voila! Problem solved.


message 22: by Sara (new)

Sara Kat wrote: ""That's about the dumbest thing I've ever read. ..."
ha ha ha Well said Kat and Ditto


Roweena Rickman Kat wrote: ""If a reader can't separate themselves from things that happened in the past and can only relate to the present time, then it must be very difficult to read anything historical, fiction or non-fict..."
Thanks for posting Kat. You've inspired me to research about the comfort women. On a side note about the history, I read an article recently about wildlife conservation that said the wolves were completely extinct from Scotland by the 18th century. I looked it up on Wikipedia and it said the same thing. I also found it unbelievable that men like Dougal, who is in his mid to late 40's, would have a nice full set of white teeth in the 1700's (mentioned in Chapter 13). I'm willing to overlook a lot of things in books, films, and TV, but when you include spouse beating and chalk it up as "historical accuracy" I become a lot more attentive. Again, thank you for commenting!


message 24: by Kat (last edited Jan 19, 2016 07:15AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kat Roweena wrote: " I read an article recently about wildlife conservation that said the wolves were completely extinct from Scotland by the 18th century. "

I forgot about that highly accurate historical wolf sighting in the book.

But then, this is a woman who pets the Loch Ness Monster. I guess that was "acceptable for the time period."

Not to mention the whole witch trial debacle. Never mind that the last witch trial in Scotland was in 1727. And the Witchcraft Act of 1563 was repealed by the Scottish parliament a few years later. (Making putting Claire on trial illegal.) But I'm sure that "just makes it the way it was."

Sage wrote: "We may not like everything that happened in our history, but that doesn't mean we can ignore or change it to meet today's standards"

You mean like Time-traveling magical fairy stones! and mythical creatures!

Roweena wrote: "I'm willing to overlook a lot of things in books, films, and TV, but when you include spouse beating and chalk it up as "historical accuracy" I become a lot more attentive."

Ditto. Wife beating, magic, monsters. The inclusion of any one of these negates any historical argument whatsoever. All three? Fuggetaboutit.

Like I said, this book is fantasy fiction - not historical fiction.


Roweena Rickman Karen wrote: "Roweena wrote: "A Letter To Claire (Taken from my blog Roweena's Rants and Ramblings, Link Here: https://roweenarickman.wordpress.com/...

On August 4, 2015/ By roweenari..."


She had to listen to him ramble on and on for multiple pages.


message 26: by Mochaspresso (last edited Feb 02, 2016 11:56PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mochaspresso "The last trial was held in the court of a sheriff-depute at Dornoch in 1727, and was of questionable legality. The British parliament repealed the 1563 Act in 1736, making the legal pursuit of witches impossible.[27] Nevertheless, basic magical beliefs persisted, particularly in the Highlands and Islands.[2]"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Witch_t...

Someone mentioned wikipedia. This is a direct quote from that site. The words "questionable legality" and "making the legal pursuit impossible" caught my attention because Claire's trial was not presented as legal or fair in Outlander. Not at all. She was tricked into going to see Gaellis Duncan and the charges against her were trumped up charges and the proceedings were not in a British court. That was the point. It wasn't legal or fair. Not everyone in Outlander was following the law. That has been established time and time again throughout the novel.


Mochaspresso About the wolves...

"Man had persecuted the wolf for hundreds of years. In the twelfth century the monks of the newly founded Abbey at Melrose were trapping wolves and in 1283 an allowance was paid to 'ane hunter of wolves' in Stirling. In 1427 under James I's parliament passed an act requiring lairds to hunt and kill wolves while in the later part of the century, James IV had two acts passed by the Three Estates ordering the destruction of wolves. Wolf hunting was at times a Royal sport and in 1528 James V attended a hunt for wolves, foxes and wild cats organised by an Earl of Atholl. In 1563 Mary, Queen of Scot participated in another hunt organised by another Earl of Atholl and 5 wolves were reported amongst the kills. In 1577 James VI ordered that wolves should be hunted three times a year following severe losses of cattle from wolf attacks in Sutherland. This constant persecution over the centuries eventually took its toll. The wolf, once so common, was virtually extinct by the end of the seventeenth century."

If one simply stops reading there....they miss the rest of it which says....

"Many people appear to have claimed to have killed 'the last wolf in Scotland'. Pennant, writing in 1775, said that the last wolf was killed in 1680 near Killiecrankie by Sir Ewan Cameron of Locheil. However, some wolves probably survived in Sutherland until the end of the century and others may have lingered in the remoter areas of the Grampians and Cairngorms where man seldom ventured.

Traditionally, the last wolf was killed in 1743, two years before the 'forty-five' Jacobite rising, by the upper reaches of the River Findhorn in Moray. A large black animal, thought to be a wolf, was reported to have killed two children in the hills. The Mackintosh of Mackintosh assembled a hunt and the wolf was killed by a gillie named Eagan Macqueen of Poll a'chrocain. The story was told in the Lays of the Deer Forest written by the Sobieski Stuart brothers.
In the morning the Tainchel had long assembled and the MacIntosh waited with impatience, but MacQueen did not arrive; his dogs and himself were, however, auxiliaries too important to be left behind, and they continued to wait until the best part of a hunter's morning was gone, when at last he appeared, and the MacIntosh received him with an irritable expression of disappointment.

Ciod e a' chabhag? - 'What was the hurry? - said Poll a'chrocain.

MacIntosh gave an indignant retort, and all present made some impatient reply.

MacQueen lifted his plaid - and drew the black bloody head of the wolf from under his arms - Sine e dhùibh! - 'There it is for you!' - said he, and tossed it on the grass in the midst of the surprised circle.

MacIntosh expressed great joy and admiration, and gave him the land called Sean-achan for meat to his dogs.
Whenever the last wolf was actually killed, it is unlikely to be re-introduced officially in Scotland in the near future due to primal fear of this creature. This is unfortunate as the wolf would be a useful predator to help keep the numbers of the red-deer population in check."

http://scotcats.online.fr/esa/lastwol...


Mrsbooks Mochaspresso wrote: "Claire's trial was not presented as legal or fair in Outlander"

I had the same thoughts about that but didn't bother saying anything. The thing is, even if you could find a documented case of pretty much EXACTTLY what happened with Claire and Jamie people are still going to say that's not enough reason to put it in there.


message 29: by Kat (last edited Feb 03, 2016 10:27AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kat Mrsbooks wrote: "Mochaspresso wrote: "Claire's trial was not presented as legal or fair in Outlander"

I had the same thoughts about that but didn't bother saying anything. The thing is, even if you could find a documented case of pretty much EXACTTLY what happened with Claire and Jamie people are still going to say that's not enough reason to put it in there. "


Find me one and I'll retract my statement.

The fact (the *real* historical fact, that is) is that witch trials did not happen after 1727. And even if they had them in some kind of a church setting, the church official (such as what, I believe presided over Claire's trial?) certainly did not have the authority to sentence a person to death. At most they would have been able to excommunicate the alleged witch or banish them from the village/township. Not burn them.

Even court officials after the 1736 repeal was passed could only prosecute for 'pretended witchcraft' with a maximum penalty of one year's imprisonment.

But as I said, Outlander is not historical fiction so much as fantasy fiction. The author has even admitted that she knew witch trials no longer occurred at that time, but she wanted to include one, so she did.

And btw - it has been established that Wikipedia is not recognized as a reliable, scholarly source. Get your facts elsewhere if you really want them to hold sway. For example this link from the University of Edinburgh (who I daresay know more about the history of witchcraft in their own country than Wikipedia): http://www.shca.ed.ac.uk/Research/wit...


message 30: by Kat (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kat Mochaspresso wrote: "About the wolves..."

Ahh...but where is your Proof that the Loch Ness Monster actually existed at the time?


message 31: by Mochaspresso (last edited Feb 05, 2016 09:28PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mochaspresso Kat wrote: "Mrsbooks wrote: "Mochaspresso wrote: "Claire's trial was not presented as legal or fair in Outlander"

I had the same thoughts about that but didn't bother saying anything. The thing is, even if yo..."


Quoted directly from the website being referenced....

Q. How many witches were there in Scotland?
A. We have identified a total number of 3,837 people who were accused of witchcraft in Scotland. 3,212 of these are named and there are a further 625 unnamed people or groups included in our database. This is not a complete figure (see How complete is the database?), but it is probably fairly accurate.

Older accounts of the subject tended to produce much higher figures, such as 4,500 or 30,000. Sometimes these figures are still repeated, but they are based on speculation rather than detailed research. Usually they are given as figures for executions, making them even more misleading. Similarly, a figure of 9 million witches executed in Europe is sometimes given, when most scholars agree that it was about 60,000. These exaggerations are unfortunate. We think that 3,837 people accused of witchcraft is a lot.

Q. How complete is the database?
A. It is as complete as we could make it, but there are unavoidable gaps. A good deal of evidence is missing, and what survives is sometimes hard to find. We have 3,212 names of people accused of witchcraft. There are also 625 records for unnamed people or groups of unnamed people, making a total of 3,837 cases (including some groups of unknown size). This is probably most of the cases, but it is unlikely to be all of them.

There is also the question of how much information survives on each case. For most cases, we know that the accused witch existed, but not much more. In particular, we do not know whether these witches were executed (see How many witches were executed?). In most cases we have a record that a trial was authorised, but we do not know for certain whether the trial took place or what its outcome was. The number of those executed was probably much higher than those for whom we have definite records of their execution.

On the other hand, there are some very detailed cases which provide a great deal of information. There is information about the accused witches themselves, about their families and neighbours, about their working lives, and about the beliefs and practices that led to accusations of witchcraft. Early modern society's belief system encompassed ideas about religion and the supernatural, including the Devil, fairies and other spirits. It was used to explain misfortune and also as a means to rectify adversity. To find out about this, we don't need to have surviving evidence on every single case; we just need enough evidence to be able to see what was typical. The information that we have recorded will enable you to search the material for your own purposes and to build a more detailed picture of life in early modern Scotland.

Q. How many witches were executed?
A. It's hard to tell, but certainly not all. Of the 3,212 named individuals, we know the sentence of a trial in only 305 cases. 205 of these were to be executed, 52 were acquitted, 27 were banished, 11 were declared fugitive, 6 were excommunicated, 2 were put to the horn (outlawed), 1 person was to be kept in prison and 1 person was to be publicly humiliated. In addition, a further 98 were recorded as having fled from prosecution. This seems to suggest that 67%, two-thirds, were executed.
But this figure is probably not very accurate. It is based on only 305 cases—less than a tenth of the 3,212 people known to have been accused. The question is whether the 305 cases were typical, and in two ways they were not. Firstly, most of them come from trials in the central justiciary court (see What courts were involved?). This probably acquitted a higher proportion of witches than local courts—and most trials were in local courts. Secondly, however, our 3,212 people include a number whom we found being investigated by the church authorities. Probably some of these went on to receive a criminal trial, and may then have been executed; but others' cases were probably dropped before they came to trial. The first of the problems would suggest that the overall execution rate was higher than 67%; the second problem would suggest that it was lower. That does not mean that the figure of 67% is correct; it means that there is a good deal of uncertainty about it.

...

Q. When were the prosecutions?
A. The Witchcraft Act was in force between 1563 and 1736. Between these years there were five episodes that stand out as periods of high level accusation and prosecution of witches: 1590-1, 1597, 1628-30, 1649 and 1661-2. These episodes of high level accusation were not national but were the result of a number of local or regional activities, particularly the Lothians. Prosecution in other parts of Scotland was more varied and many areas follow a very different chronological pattern to that of the Lothians.

....

Q. Were the witches tortured?
A. Yes. Torture was used to exact confessions—though we don't know how often, as the records that survive in most cases aren't the kinds that mention it. In theory, torture was only to be used with the permission of the state; however in reality it would seem that torture was frequently used without any official permission. It was not until after the 1661-2 period of high level witch accusations that the privy council issued a declaration that torture was only to be used with its permission. Despite this, torture continued to be used in many cases, even as late as 1704.

Q. What kinds of torture were used?
A. The most common form was sleep deprivation—a very effective way of obtaining confessions, because it leads to hallucination. Before 1662 this was rarely regarded officially as torture at all. It was usually done by local authorities—burgh bailies, or elders of the kirk session—in order to get the evidence that they needed before they went to the privy council to obtain a commission to hold a criminal trial.

Occasionally, physical tortures were used—particularly in the 'North Berwick' witchcraft panic of 1590-1, where the witches were accused of treason against King James VI. The pamphlet Newes from Scotland (1591), from which our illustration comes, describes these tortures with relish. But they were unusual.

Q. What about the swimming test?
A. This was hardly ever used in Scotland, though it was in some other countries. It's often said that witches were detected by dropping them in water. If they floated they were guilty; if they sank they were innocent—but they drowned. This is a misunderstanding, since ropes were tied to them to pull them out of the water. In Scotland the swimming test was used for an unknown number of suspects in 1597, but it seems to have been discredited on that occasion, and we have found no evidence that it was ever used again.

-----------------------------------------------------------------


I get the point that Kat is making, the last known "legal" (and I put that word in quotes for a myriad of reasons) witch trial was in the 1720's, according to the website that she is referencing. However, this doesn't change the fact that within the Outlander novel, Claire's trial was not presented as a "legal" and "fair" proceeding.
Then there is also the fact that in the book when Claire and Gellie are in the hole (chapter 25), Gellie is explaining how she suspects their trial to proceeed and Claire thinks...

"...I vaguely recalled something of this from Frank's books, but had thought it a practice common to the seventeenth century, not this one. On the other hand, I thought wryly, Cranesmuir was not exactly a hotbed of civilization." (Another recurring characterization in Outlander is that Claire routinely finds the beliefs and practices of the people that she encounters to be rather backward and primitive, even for their time.) Gellie goes on to talk about examiners and certain tricks and tactics used to falsify the outcomes of their "investigation". Gellie plainly states that they will not get a fair trial and as the trial commences, it is plainly evident that she is right.


message 32: by Mrsbooks (last edited Feb 06, 2016 04:42AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mrsbooks I was thinking about this a little bit, about historical accuracy and what exactly it means. I'm wondering if it has a slightly different meaning to everyone?

I'm also wondering if this comment should be put back in the other thread....

For instance, the fictional novels written today based upon our own time. They are fiction but yet they are accurate, because they're written now and based upon now. With many of today's popular views and opinions being expressed by the characters. But yet there are sometimes some pretty outlandish things written in them that I wouldn't be surprised have never happened, or would rarely happen. At the same time I wouldn't doubt that they *could* happen because there are some really insane people in this world.

Take for an example: A modern day witch trial. Illegal, yes. But could it happen? I think so. All it would take is a bunch of religious fanatics. If I heard reported on the news about a witch trial having been conducted I'd think to myself "wow that's so crazy" but most things I hear on the news I think to myself "wow that's so crazy."

Anyway, if someone today, wrote in their book about a modern day person going through an illegal witch trial would people in the future say the book was historically inaccurate because witch trials didn't happen now?

Something to think about.....


message 33: by Kat (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kat Mochaspresso wrote: " get the point that Kat is making, the last known "legal" (and I put that word in quotes for a myriad of reasons) witch trial was in the 1720's, according to the website that she is referencing. However, this doesn't change the fact that within the Outlander novel, Claire's trial was not presented as a "legal" and "fair" proceeding."

Exactly. Which is why I've said that this is a FANTASY novel. Not historical fiction.

Mrsbooks wrote: "I was thinking about this a little bit, about historical accuracy and what exactly it means. I'm wondering if it has a slightly different meaning to everyone?"

Well, to me, calling Outlander - with its magical fairy stones and Loch Ness Monsters, historical fiction is like calling 'Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter' historical fiction. I mean, yes, Abraham Lincoln was a real person, like Charles Stuart. And the American Civil War really happened, like the Jacobite rebellion. But there the historical accuracy both begins and ends. Just as the South was not overrun by vampires and that was the 'real' reason for the the War, there was never really a Loch Ness Monster and no magical fairy stones. So nothing else in the Outlander book - especially when we know the facts are inaccurate - can be attributed to "historical accuracy" and "that's the way it was in 18th century Scotland." Because that's not the way it was at all.

I found this quote in a review for Abraham Lincoln: "In this case the title is accurate, this isn't a textbook account of President Lincoln's life, so take it for what it is: a fun read."

The same applies to Outlander. This isn't a textbook account of the Jacobite rebellion and 18th century Scottish life. So take it for what it is: a fun read. (If you're into this sort of thing.) Nothing more.

I'm also wondering if this comment should be put back in the other thread...."

Probably. :)


message 34: by Kat (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kat Mrsbooks wrote: "Take for an example: A modern day witch trial. Illegal, yes. But could it happen? I think so. All it would take is a bunch of religious fanatics. If I heard reported on the news about a witch trial having been conducted I'd think to myself "wow that's so crazy" but most things I hear on the news I think to myself "wow that's so crazy."

It depends on where. In the United States or most Western European nations? No, I'd never believe it. Not unless there was some catastrophic disruption in the current governments. And unless that happened in real life (think 'Apocalyptic' type novels) then that would not be historically accurate.

Unless you're talking about a cult level thing. But then, that would not be on the scale of the trial in Outlander where the entire town and officials from out of town were involved and the local government official (Colum - the Chief) refused to stop it. No, a modern day illegal witch trial like that would be tantamount to an illegal trial happening in some small town, and the county government finding out but not stepping in to stop it. And, especially in today's internet connected world, that would be all over the news like white on rice, so I really can't see it happening at all.

In some second or third world country - especially one governed by a theocracy? I could believe that.

Anyway, if someone today, wrote in their book about a modern day person going through an illegal witch trial would people in the future say the book was historically inaccurate because witch trials didn't happen now?"

Yes. It would be historically inaccurate. See my reasons above. It would be a fantasy novel that happened to be set in some real period of history, not historical fiction.


message 35: by Sage (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sage Exactly Kat...fantasy fiction set in the past...which is why Claire and Gellie are in the 1700's to begin with. Therefore, whatever is written is the author's discretion.

But yet there are sometimes some pretty outlandish things written in them that I wouldn't be surprised have never happened, or would rarely happen. At the same time I wouldn't doubt that they *could* happen...

I agree, anything is possible. A witch trial by a fanatical group is not impossible today, look at people that allow fanatics to murder their children trying to drive out demons. Is that really any different.


message 36: by Kat (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kat Sage wrote: "Exactly Kat...fantasy fiction set in the past...which is why Claire and Gellie are in the 1700's to begin with. Therefore, whatever is written is the author's discretion."

Yes, but that does not mean everything written is Historically Accurate. More like Fantasy Fiction set in some Fantasy Past - not the Real Past as we know it.

A witch trial by a fanatical group is not impossible today, look at people that allow fanatics to murder their children trying to drive out demons. Is that really any different.

But it is not endorsed and overlooked by the state - as Claire's trial was in Outlander when Colum (the Chief) knew about it and refused to interfere. In fact, in the U.S. where there have been cases of child death due to religious reasons (think groups who refuse to allow their children access to modern medicine) those parents have been taken to court.


message 37: by Mrsbooks (last edited Feb 06, 2016 09:47AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mrsbooks Kat wrote: "Sage wrote: "Exactly Kat...fantasy fiction set in the past...which is why Claire and Gellie are in the 1700's to begin with. Therefore, whatever is written is the author's discretion."

Yes, but th..."


My idea of the Witch trial was only an example, from the top of my head - I guess not really the top of my head since it's exactly what we're discussing lol. But at the moment I can't think of any crazy things I've read in novels to post. I'm sure I could go through my read database and find something but I don't think I need to for my point to be understood.

If someone writes right now, about something that barely happens or hasn't happened yet that seems quite crazy - is the novel considered historically inaccurate when it's read in the future? We do live in a time (or maybe every period has been this way) where there is something crazier being exposed or reported on in the news daily. I'm continuously wowed even though I expect to hear about these insane things.

I suppose for me it would really depend on what it is. If someone were to write about... say.... a surgery that scientifically isn't currently able to be performed - I would feel the novel wasn't historically accurate. Socialites or the breaking of laws (depending on the law) do not seem very far fetched to me though.


message 38: by Kat (last edited Feb 06, 2016 03:59PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kat Mrsbooks wrote: "If someone writes right now, about something that barely happens or hasn't happened yet that seems quite crazy - is the novel considered historically inaccurate when it's read in the future?"

Well now, that's two different questions. :) If an author were to write about something that hasn't happened yet (and really, are they a prophet?) that's fantasy. That's the Left Behind series.

If an author were to write about something that barely happens, (cult mass suicides, for example) and yet presents it as something quite common - as the witch trial in Outlander is presented, then, YES - that is also historically inaccurate. So it depends on the presentation. If an author were to write about something that does not happen often - and were to present it as an anomaly (NOT the case in Outlander) - then that would be historically accurate. (Schindler's List is may be historically accurate, but it is also told as the anomaly it is.)

And if an author writes about something that there is no record ANYWHERE of happening after a certain time at all (ie: the witch trial in Outlander) that is also Not Historically Accurate.


message 39: by Mrsbooks (last edited Feb 06, 2016 04:35PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mrsbooks Kat wrote: "Mrsbooks wrote: "If someone writes right now, about something that barely happens or hasn't happened yet that seems quite crazy - is the novel considered historically inaccurate when it's read in t..."

As already quoted from the book:

"...I vaguely recalled something of this from Frank's books, but had thought it a practice common to the seventeenth century, not this one. On the other hand, I thought wryly, Cranesmuir was not exactly a hotbed of civilization."

This is not presented as quite common as you suggested.

Also, from the link you posted it said the last Witch trial was 1736 (That might be wrong but it's close).
So we're not even talking about a 10 year difference here.
(Edited: Went back and re-read. It sounds like an 18 year difference).

It's one thing to say that a Witch trial today wouldn't be allowed to happen with no consequences because of our all technology, our culture and our lack of superstition - and rightly so, it doesn't make sense that the government would allow this to pass unpunished. But it's an entirely different thing to say that a Witch trial, an illegal one, wouldn't have happened 10 years after the last witch trial recorded in history. Especially when it involves a highly superstitious and religious people who still believed in such things.

Outlander is presented as historically accurate fiction . Not just historically accurate.

Your line of thought, imo, (for an example here:) makes it seem as though if there is no record during that time period of an officer such as BJR with his reputation and transgressions - then it wouldn't be historically accurate to write about a character with his outrageous conduct. Or if there is no historical record of a Scottish outlaw (spoiler from book 3) (view spoiler) then it wouldn't be historically accurate to write about it happening.

A witch trial could very well have happened 10 years after the last one recorded in history. This isn't something so far fetched that it was impossible. The way the writer describes the events leading up to this and including the actual event all (imo) fits in the relm of realisim and how it all would have/could have actually played out had it happened in real life.

Historically accurate fiction fits this scenario very well. If we were only talking about an historically accurate novel then definitely no.


message 40: by Kat (last edited Feb 06, 2016 04:59PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kat Mrsbooks wrote: "Historically accurate fiction fits this scenario very well. If we were only talking about an historically accurate novel then definitely no. "

No. Just No. Fantasy Fiction fits this scenario very well. Not historically accurate fiction. Outlander is NOT historically accurate Fiction any more than Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter is.

Churches kept VERY good records back then. Often, they were the only source of legal proceedings such as births, marriages, etc....and witch trials. So if one had occurred, as you suggest, in the setting as it did in Outlander, as overseen by Church officials, there would still be some record in church archives. The fact that there is NOT, means that It Did Not Happen. Extensive research by SCOTTISH scholars supports this.

Your line of thought, imo, (for an example here:) makes it seem as though if there is no record during that time period of an officer such as BJR with his reputation and transgressions - then it wouldn't be historically accurate to write about a character with his outrageous conduct. Or if there is no historical record of a Scottish outlaw (spoiler from book 3) (view spoiler) then it wouldn't be historically accurate to write about it happening.

You are correct. Because, in contrast to what you seem to believe, historical records from that period are pretty extensive and intact. There are many records of actual Scottish prisoners and their dispositions after the Jacobite rebellion. As far as your spoiler from book 3 - well, who's to say? Things like that were not written about, except maybe in personal journals, which did not always survive the ravages of time. But military, court, and church records were thoroughly kept.

What you are suggesting is that, even if there was no record of it ANYWHERE, if someone wrote a book about a fictional Western sympathizer in Hirohito's Japan during WWII who tried to abort the attack on Pearl Harbor, that would be Historically Accurate Fiction, because, well....it COULD have happened.

Uh...NO.


message 41: by Mrsbooks (last edited Feb 06, 2016 05:39PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mrsbooks Kat wrote: "Mrsbooks wrote: "Historically accurate fiction fits this scenario very well. If we were only talking about an historically accurate novel then definitely no. "

No. Just No. Fantasy Fiction fits th..."


By the end of your comment you understand what I'm saying.
I'm not saying that a witch trial may have been missed or that the records could be incomplete.

I'm saying that when making up, imagining, and writing about something if it's to be historically accurate it should and would stick to how it would play out if it did actually happen.

Now if Outlander presented the Witch trial as legal, that would have been historically inaccurate.


"What you are suggesting is that, even if there was no record of it ANYWHERE, if someone wrote a book about a fictional Western sympathizer in Hirohito's Japan during WWII who tried to abort the attack on Pearl Harbor, that would be Historically Accurate Fiction, because, well....it COULD have happened.

Yes, you understood my point. That is EXACTLY what I'm saying. Because this is fiction. As long as everything surrounding the character and what this character goes through was accurate, the real history surrounding the event, the attitudes of those around him, etc, I would feel the novel was historically accurate FICTION.

To not make that kind of allowance suggests that anything and every fiction can not be historically accurate. It would be impossible.

I've read numerous novels, historically accurate fictional novels. Some have had messages from the author in the back saying they changed or tweeked a few minor things in history to make the story fit their narrative. (IE the celebration of an event). And those novels are considered historically accurate fiction.

From what I'm understanding you're saying, any fictional novel written today is not historically accurate. It would have to be a word for word detailed narrative of something that actually happened to somebody in real life. Because even if it COULD have happened... it's just not historically accurate because it didn't.


message 42: by Kat (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kat Yes, you understood my point. That is EXACTLY what I'm saying. Because this is fiction. As long as everything surrounding the character and what this character goes through was accurate, the real history surrounding the event, the attitudes of those around him, etc, I would feel the novel was historically accurate FICTION."

You misunderstand my point. Outlander=FICTION, yes. Historically Accurate, No.

Because if it COULD have happened, even if far fetched, it's just not historically accurate because it didn't.

Yes.

History, by definition, is what actually occurred. Not what *Could* have occurred. But what did occur. So if a plot, such as I suggested is completely made up, with no historical record whatsoever to even support the possibility that it *might* have happened, then, that is NOT Historically Accurate Fiction. It is simply Fiction.

From what I'm understanding you're saying, any fictional novel written today is not historically accurate. It would have to be a word for word detailed narrative of something that actually happened to somebody in real life.

No. For a very good example of this, check out: Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy - about female spies during the American Civil War on both the Union and Confederate side. While probably most of the dialogue is made up, the stories themselves are taken from letters, newspaper accounts, and journals of the time period. So the pertinent Facts (and dates) of the accounts are real. THAT is Historically Accurate Fiction.

How can you possibly call it Accurate if an author "tweaks" a date of a real, past event to fit their narrative? That is the epitome of gross inaccuracy.

And, once again, (the question everyone seems to be ignoring) exactly how do Magical Fairy Stones and the Loch Ness Monster fit into Historical Accuracy?


message 43: by Kat (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kat Mrsbooks wrote: "I'm saying that when making up, imagining, and writing about something if it's to be historically accurate it should and would stick to how it would play out if it did actually happen.

I was going to edit my last post, but then thought that might get confusing - for me that is. :)

Now, as to this: No. If something is made up, imagined, even if sticks to how something would have played out if it had actually happened, but it *didn't* actually happen - then that is not Historically Accurate Fiction. It is just Fiction.

Now if Outlander presented the Witch trial as legal, that would have been historically inaccurate."

To the best of my recollection, in the book, that is EXACTLY how the witch trial is presented. In the Show, Ned makes a comment about how the trial was illegal and some excuse to continue is given by the 'judges'. But nothing like that was said in the book, therefore, giving the de facto impression that the trial was legal.


Mrsbooks Kat wrote: "Yes, you understood my point. That is EXACTLY what I'm saying. Because this is fiction. As long as everything surrounding the character and what this character goes through was accurate, the real h..."

You know, seeing how we feel so differently about what the definition of historically accurate fiction means - I wonder how this would affect all our previous discussions from the other thread? Not that I'm going to go reread. I'm not that invested lol. But I wonder how those conversations would have gone or if we'd understood each other better knowing this fact.

But we will have to agree to disagree. I find your definition of historical accuracy fiction contradictory.
______________

Obviously fairy stones and the loch ness monster do not fit into historical accuracy. It's not something I think any of us are ignoring. That certainly brings a fantasy aspect to the novel that I'm grateful doesn't extend beyond that. At the same time I'm very grateful that it does exist.

I find far too often our period novels have an historically inaccurate heroine. Do you know what I mean? They are usually modern day characters set in another time. I just hate how over used that is. There have always been forward thinking individuals through out the centuries. But I've rarely come across your typical average modest culturally inclined female character belonging to her century.

With Outlander and time travel I got to have the more forward thinking character, being more modern and having it not feel so awkward.

But I guess that's neither her or there.

I once read a novel that had a character use a pair of scissors a few centuries too early. Seems like a really minor detail. But that's what I love about Outlander, it's accurate detail about every day life. The series is well researched and I don't have to worry about if Claire having to wear that ugly cap on her head was required or not. The details up to, surrounding and including the war(s) and the characters involved were all accurate and interesting to read.

Tra la la la, you know I was going somewhere with this but kind of lost it..... the thought is gone...... I feel this comment is kind of all over the place.... oh well, imma post it anyway.

"In the Show, Ned makes a comment about how the trial was illegal and some excuse to continue is given by the 'judges'. But nothing like that was said in the book, therefore, giving the de facto impression that the trial was legal."

I will have to take your word for it because at this point I'm too tired to look it up and read it. But if so, then that aspect was definitely not historically accurate.
_______

I still maintain though, like many of the other historically accurate fictional novels I've read when the author's message mentioned some tweaking - are still over all historically accurate. If Gabaldon did tweak this, I'd have preferred she also wrote something about that to let us know.

If a novel is trying to be accurate, I feel the writer should let us know when it isn't.


message 45: by Mochaspresso (last edited Feb 06, 2016 08:25PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mochaspresso "To the best of my recollection, in the book, that is EXACTLY how the witch trial is presented. In the Show, Ned makes a comment about how the trial was illegal and some excuse to continue is given by the 'judges'. But nothing like that was said in the book, therefore, giving the de facto impression that the trial was legal.
"


The witch trial is not presented as legal in the book. There may be judges and an investigation and a trial, but that doesn't automatically make any of it "legal". Claire's trial is presented as a hysteria fueled mob rule "witch hunt", for lack of a better phrase.
In Ch. 25, Ned actually says "...Time is on our side, ye see, for the worst of these trials take place in a climate of hysteria, when the soundness of evidence may be disregarded for the sake of satisfying blood hunger."


sublimosa "History, by definition, is what actually occurred."
Uh...
History is what is written which is based on human beings and thereby flawed and skewed by perspective and motive and memory and all kinds of other things.
Historical accuracy is based on written records which aren't wholly accurate which would make it __sort of__ an oxymoron.
Now, back to the debate of your choice...


message 47: by Mochaspresso (last edited Feb 07, 2016 07:09AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mochaspresso Kat wrote: "And, once again, (the question everyone seems to be ignoring) exactly how do Magical Fairy Stones and the Loch Ness Monster fit into Historical Accuracy?
"


These are fantasy elements of fiction. Those parts of Outlander are not historical fiction and from what I have read of this thread and the other, no one has claimed that it is. I personally don't think it is wrong to mix fantasy and historical fiction. I've read other novels that have done the exact same thing.

Kindred by Octavia E. Butler A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain ...both involve time travel.

So does 11/22/63 by Stephen King

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak ...Death or the Grim Reaper or whatever you want to call it is one of the main characters or narrators for this one.




In my opinion, considering the fact that these elements are actually loosely based on pre-existing folklore, I feel it should also qualify as "historical" in that sense. I suppose the American equivalent to a Loch Ness Monster would be a historical novel that included references to someone encountering a Bigfoot. Bigfoot doesn't exist, but the folklore surrounding it does exist. I like to think that someone who reads well enough and is of average intelligence should be able to keep straight what's fantasy/fiction/folklore and what's "historical" and that is probably why everyone seems to be ignoring this question, as you put it. The historical accuracy in Outlander pertains to not only the folklore of the stones, but also to the references to the Jacobite Rebellion and The Battle of Culloden. That is why Outlander is commonly referred to as "historical fiction" and considering how much of the books are devoted to this, I don't feel that the genre designation is inaccurate or misleading. I think the genre definition that you are trying to utilize is far too narrow and exacting.


message 48: by Mrsbooks (last edited Feb 07, 2016 06:25AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mrsbooks Kat wrote: "History, by definition, is what actually occurred. Not what *Could* have occurred. But what did occur. So if a plot, such as I suggested is completely made up, with no historical record whatsoever to even support the possibility that it *might* have happened, then, that is NOT Historically Accurate Fiction. It is simply Fiction.

If when using your example, this person succeeded in stopping the war or even does something that changes the way history occurred then it wouldn't be historically accurate. But if everything flows accurately with history, what you make up about this particular person is the fictional part of the story. Hence making it "historically accurate fiction."

You have drawn a hard line at historically accurate fiction which to me isn't historically accurate fiction. You're definition of historically accurate fiction is merely a historically accurate novel. You're completely leaving out the fiction part.


message 49: by Mochaspresso (last edited Feb 07, 2016 07:27AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mochaspresso Btw, is there an official genre designation for books like "Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter" and "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies"? Does Outlander fit whatever designation they've been given or is it a little different?

I think it's different, but I don't know if I can articulate how or why. I just know that I work p/t in a bookstore and when we make historical fiction displays, books like Outlander and 11/22/63 get put on there, but not Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter. Although, I suspect bottom lines are probably driving the choices rather than doing what is "accurate".

It's the same with the day job at school. Johnny Tremain is under Historical Fiction in most classroom libraries, but The Man Who was Poe is not. There is a difference.


message 50: by Mochaspresso (last edited Feb 07, 2016 08:04AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mochaspresso Getting back to the original post for this particular thread, I have to say that I don't agree with it's tone of ....."You were beaten severely by your Scottish husband 24 hours ago. I am not sure why you are speaking to him right now, especially after you vowed you wouldn't. I have lost all faith in you as a strong female."

I struggle with society constantly trying to dictate to me what a strong female can or can't be or should or shouldn't do. I think Hillary Clinton is a very strong woman despite the fact that she chose to remain married to Bill Clinton after his transgressions. By that same token, I've seen a TED Talk and a few interviews by Monica Lewinsky and I think she is a strong woman for the way she is navigating the stigma and backlash that she has faced for her role in one of Bill's transgressions. To me, "A strong woman" isn't defined by whether or not she does what I would do in her shoes. I personally think that a strong woman is defined by whether or not she is living her life and making her own choices authentically. By that same token, it is also how she navigates the aftermath of her choices. Maya Angelou was raped as a child and remained mute for years after. Does that make her weak? Should that be the only thing that defines her? Should Claire only be defined by her choice to forgive Jamie? There is some talk about the TV show Scandal and whether Olivia Pope can truly be viewed as a strong female character because she is also the President's mistress. Can a woman be flawed and strong at the same time? I think she can.

So what am I really trying to say with all of the stream of consciousness rambling? I believe that a strong woman can be flawed and complicated. She can make mistakes and can make choices that I wouldn't necessarily make for myself. Strength can be exhibited in many different ways. I don't think it's my place to tell other women how to be strong. That is going to be different for each individual. Actually, the only advice that I would give is to make your own choices and make them authentically. In my neighborhood, two phrases that come to mind are "Girl, get your life" and "Do you." As long as you are doing those two things, you are a strong woman.


« previous 1
back to top