Outlander Series discussion

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message 1: by Musician (new)

Musician | 24 comments I love this series - the characters are so brilliantly written, the plots are excellent too.
I have a little difficulty with the geography as described in Scotland - in the first book, it sounds as if Jamie is a Borderer - I can't imagine how - he'd have spoken Gaelic and French, but maybe not nearly so much Scots. The Borderers would have regarded a Highlander as as a complete foreigner and they'd have spoken Scots, neither French nor Gaelic. At another point, Jamie's described as going to Bargrennan, as if it's near to Loch Ness. Bargrennan's in South Ayrshire, a couple of hundred miles south. Also, the trip to France by boat wouldn't be across the Channel, it'd have been maybe a week's voyage through the North Sea - the Channel's only the narrow bit between England and France.
In a later book, Roger trots off to Oxford and returns the same day. Even today, in a car, Inverness to Oxford would be an 8, 10, hour journey each way.
I do love the stories, but these inconsistancies jar a bit. I don't know America at all, is there the same strange geography in the North Carolina stories too??


message 2: by Lynda (new)

Lynda | 66 comments DG says she had never been to Scotland when she began writing the series. Maybe now she has someone checking the places with time elements. I am not sure myself about the NC distances, but it seems that Fraser Ridge is far to the west in my imagination and many places are on the coast. The travel seems loosely described.


message 3: by Musician (new)

Musician | 24 comments Do you find ot slightly detracts form the otherwise excellent story??


message 4: by Musician (new)

Musician | 24 comments ops, sorry, that should be "from"!


message 5: by Allison (last edited Mar 12, 2010 10:22AM) (new)

Allison | 25 comments Musician wrote: "I love this series - the characters are so brilliantly written, the plots are excellent too.
I have a little difficulty with the geography as described in Scotland - in the first book, it sounds a..."


Im not sure if maybe i'm mistaken, its been awhile since I read the first one. But when they travel across the channel its after they get Jamie out of the English prison and travel on horse back for a few days. Is it possible that they were in England when they took the channel across to France. It would fit what you are describing.

Im not sure which book you are talking about with Roger goes between Oxford and Inverness but in the fourth book I also thought something didnt add up about his travel so I re-read that part. There is a point in the story when Roger does go visit oxford and then returns home, but not to his home in Inverness. He returns to a small apt or dorm, which I think is on campus.

I might be completely wrong on these so dont quote me, but Diana does do her research so i'd think she would be pretty good about her geography.


message 6: by Musician (new)

Musician | 24 comments Thanks for this Allison.

Trouble is, he was in prison until rescued by Claire and a Scot like a bear - sorry, I can't remember his name. I seem to recall that that took place in Scotland, not England, although the garrison were British soldiers, so again, unless Jamie had gone into England with no reason, I don't know how he'd have been near the Channel. In those days, it was a week's journey from London to Edinburgh - ther's no such journey described.
It doesn't ruin the books - they're brilliantly written, it's just a niggle!
Also worth keeping in mind that the soldiers were just as liely to have been lowland Scots as English - the Highlands were regarded as dangerously different!


message 7: by Allison (new)

Allison | 25 comments Musician wrote: "Thanks for this Allison.

Trouble is, he was in prison until rescued by Claire and a Scot like a bear - sorry, I can't remember his name. I seem to recall that that took place in Scotland, not En..."


Like I said, I wasnt sure and I just wanted to help clear things up if I could. You sound very knowledgeable about this topic so i'll take your word for it! :) Her books are still great though.


message 8: by Musician (new)

Musician | 24 comments not so much knowledgeable as I've just finished re-reading "Outlander"! They are great stories.


message 9: by Mary G. (new)

Mary G. (nonometoo) | 319 comments On the inside cover of "The Outlandish Companion" there is a map with locations of interest on it. I don't know how accurate the scale is, but it did help me to put the locations in perspective. On DG's site, she asked for suggestions to be included in the "OC II"; maps were one of the most requested. So, here's hoping they will be alittle more detailed to help us get oriented.


message 10: by Musician (new)

Musician | 24 comments I'll look out for that - thank you.


message 11: by Fiona (new)

Fiona (yahoodymcewan) | 116 comments Mary wrote: "On the inside cover of "The Outlandish Companion" there is a map with locations of interest on it. I don't know how accurate the scale is, but it did help me to put the locations in perspective. ..."


The maps of Scotland on the inside cover of O.C 1 is well off & i have actually made this clear to the publishers & illistrator so tey can get it right next time.


message 12: by Mary G. (new)

Mary G. (nonometoo) | 319 comments Oh, ok. Sorry, hopefully they will. I didn't think to check it out for accuracy.


message 13: by Fiona (new)

Fiona (yahoodymcewan) | 116 comments Mary ye've nothing to be sorry for it's not your fault. :)
It just really got up my nose when i saw it thats all, such a wonderfull series with a wonderfull companian book then they go & stuff it all up but getting the maps wrong. They can't even use the excuse that the maps in the 1700's are to blame because they at least have the towns & cities in the right place. End of rant, sorry ladies! :(


message 14: by Lisa (last edited Mar 17, 2010 05:52PM) (new)

Lisa | 27 comments Remember, folks, fiction is sometimes fictional. It seems to me that in order for Jamie to not die on the journey, it would have to be relatively short to get to a ship to cross, and it would be the channel, since that is so short a crossing.

As for being in Scotland or England, I think that I recall that the big Bear Scotsman's land was just north of the border, and he did have a delicately civil relationship with the English garrison slash prison that was not far over the border...at least, I THINK that is as I recall it.

You know, and this is a bit of a different thread, I guess, but along the same lines as the geography being irritating, I found it irritating to see the characters doing things that I considered out of character. Like Claire up and leaving Jamie when she found out about his "wife". How logical was that? She was married, why wouldn't he be...and whose fault was it that she didn't tell him the little B set her up 20 years earlier. Also, when the little scene took place in their library when Jamie was supposed to have had an "affair" with Malva...she ran out of there like a jealous girlfriend...so out of character, I thought. But, sigh, it usually only irritates me for awhile. Because, GAWD can our Diana write(:>)


message 15: by Musician (new)

Musician | 24 comments Yeah, the problem with all of that is that the story of Jamie in prison with Randall seemed to be taking place, I thought, near Fraser lands, or where the story seemed to take place, which I thought, was around Fort William. I may be totally wrong, but that was the impression I had. Now Jamie's a Highlander. There's no way he would have had connections with the Borders. The Highlands were almost a separate country both in custom and language. Highlanders spoke Gaelic. The educated Highlanders spoke French, Latin and other languages. English or Scots maybe. The Borderers spoke Scots.
Either there's an, "it's in Scotland, where everyone knows everyone else" idea, which is nonsense, or there's a complete lack of any geographical/social sense of the country then.
Actually, in the book where Bree goes to Lallybroch, Ian wears a kilt. Ther's no way he would have. The wearing of tartan was proscribed till Walter Scott persuaded George IV to wear it on a visit to Edinburgh, but that was in 1822, decades after the books are set.
I really like the stories, but when a story is set in a place and time, it should be accurate to them. I think.
...and don't get me started on "Braveheart"!!!!!!!


message 16: by ChristinaRae (new)

ChristinaRae | 295 comments I thought Ian's kilt was his old one from before proscription (which he was illegally keeping) and he was bringing it out (illegally) for Bree's benefit. :)


message 17: by Mishelle (new)

Mishelle LaBrash (mishalabrash) | 397 comments ChristinaRae wrote: "I thought Ian's kilt was his old one from before proscription (which he was illegally keeping) and he was bringing it out (illegally) for Bree's benefit. :)"

Yup, I'm fairly certain it was.


message 18: by Musician (new)

Musician | 24 comments I'm sure it was too - if he had managed to keep it despite the penalties, but as to whether he'd actually wear it then.....
The only way tartan could be worn legally was to join the army.
sorry if I sound really pedantic, but I truly believe it matters, even if it's fictitious. The story is set firmly in a historical context, with reality attached surely?


message 19: by Musician (new)

Musician | 24 comments The following is a quote from the site www.kinnaird.net/tartan.htm

In the nineteenth year of the reign of our sovereign Lord George the Second by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, France and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith... 1746... An Act for the more effectual disarming the Highlands in Scotland: and for the more effectually securing the peace of the said Highlands and for refraining the use of the Highland dress.

From and after the first day of August one thousand, seven hundred and forty-seven, no man or boy within that part of Great Britain called Scotland, other than such as shall be employed as officers and soldiers in His Majesty's forces, shall, on any pretence whatsoever wear or put on the clothes commonly called Highland clothes, (that is to say) the plaid, philibeg or little kilt, trowse, shoulder belts, or any part whatsoever of what peculiarly belongs to the Highland garb: and that no tartan or partly-coloured plaid or stuff shall be used for great coats, or for upper coats: and that if any such person shall presume, after the said first day of August, to wear or put on the aforesaid garments, or any part of them, every such person so offending, being thereof convicted by the oath of one or more credible witness or witnesses before any court of justiciary, or any one or more justices of the peace for the shire or stewartry, or judge ordinary of the place where such offenses shall he committed, shall suffer imprisonment, without bail, during the space of six months, and no longer: and being convicted for a second offense before a court of justiciary, or at the circuits, shall be liable to be transported to any of His Majesty's plantations beyond the seas, there to remain for the space of seven years.

There was immediate and widespread resentment of the measure in the Highlands. Men like Duncan Forbes of Culloden, who had supported the Hanoverian government in the 1745 Rising, and who was Lord Advocate, and Lord President of the Court of Session, tried to stop the ban being implemented. It was widely felt that the humiliation of the Highlanders in this way would be unwise and counter-productive. However, the ban was strictly enforced, causing much hardship, and further legislation was introduced in 1747-8 extending the ban. The plaid, philabeg or little kilt and tartan itself were all specifically prohibited. The penalties of imprisonment for a first offense and transportation for a second were later changed to enforced military service in Britain's American colonies at a time of growing French influence there. These measures had a seriously demoralising effect on the Highlanders. Those under suspicion of Jacobite sympathies were asked to take an oath which demonstrated a shrewd understanding of the character of the people:

"I ... do swear, and as I shall have to answer to God at the great day of judgment, I have not nor shall have in my possession, any gun, sword, pistol or arm whatever: and never use any tartan, plaid or any part of the Highland garb, and if I do so, may I be cursed in my undertakings, family, and property - may I never see my wife and children, father, mother, and relations - may I be killed in battle as a coward, and lie without Christian burial in a strange land, far from the graves of my forefathers and kindred - may all this come across me if I break my oath."

The ban on the wearing of tartan was not repealed until it became plain that the Jacobite claims to the throne of Britain had ceased to be an important threat. It lasted for thirty-five years. This meant that more than two-thirds of the generation that saw the ban imposed had died before it was lifted, which caused much traditional tartan lore to be lost. Fortunately, through the men of the Highland regiments, or militia, tartan survived."

The Lallybroch family would certainly be under suspicion on many counts. Lovat was beheaded aged 80 in London for starters. He was the Head of the clan. There was a large military presence in the Highlands even then and people being people, not saints, there could have been someone willing to gain a little favour by informing that Ian was wearing tartan, even if a patrol hadn't been around.


message 20: by Susan (new)

Susan | 35 comments I spent oodles of time last night on GoogleEarth looking at Scotland. My husband, who is tired of hearing about Jamie and Claire, but who loves maps, helped me find places mentioned in the book. I have such a desire to go to Scotland now, as I'm sure everyone who reads the books does too!


message 21: by Fiona (new)

Fiona (yahoodymcewan) | 116 comments Susan wrote: "I spent oodles of time last night on GoogleEarth looking at Scotland. My husband, who is tired of hearing about Jamie and Claire, but who loves maps, helped me find places mentioned in the book. I ..."

Hey Susan if ye iver get the chance to come over to oor wee country then maybe ye could let me know where ye are & we could meet up. There is only about 6 maybe 7 Scots on this forum that i ken of. lol


message 22: by Susan (new)

Susan | 35 comments I started to save my $$ for a trip about halfway through Outlander! I'll let you know how that goes - :)
I was lucky enough to visit Scotland a loooong time ago - in 1979 - and I loved it! My favorite place was Kyle of Lochalsh. This weekend I'm going to dig out my old photos.


message 23: by Fiona (new)

Fiona (yahoodymcewan) | 116 comments Great year, i was born then lol. Mam & Dad used to take us to places like that when we went "doon the road"(Glasgow) to visit grandparents during all the school holidays.
Enjoy ye trip doon memory lane this weekend.:)


message 24: by Dougie (new)

Dougie | 19 comments As a Scot, I suppose I should be annoyed when Diana gets her geography of Scotland in a bit of a tangle. But then I remind myself that she is not producing a travelogue (as we spell it), she is simply giving us what are among the best historical novels ever written. I may have a smile or two now and again, but my advice to everybody is, just enjoy the journey


message 25: by Mishelle (new)

Mishelle LaBrash (mishalabrash) | 397 comments Dougie wrote: "As a Scot, I suppose I should be annoyed when Diana gets her geography of Scotland in a bit of a tangle. But then I remind myself that she is not producing a travelogue (as we spell it), she is sim..."

Well said Dougie... :)


message 26: by Musician (new)

Musician | 24 comments Hi,
I haven't looked at this for a few weeks. I wasnt suggesting it was a travelogue, but when I read books, if I know the place it's about, I often have a mental map of where the characters are and where they move as the story progresses. It's jarring when the places given are real, (unlike "Lallybroch", even if it's shown on Google Earth) like Bargrennan, The Border etc, to have them where they're not geographically.
It maybe that not everyone reads in this way, but I do, hence my original point.
I still love the stories - the characters are brilliantly written.


message 27: by ChristinaRae (new)

ChristinaRae | 295 comments I think it is actually more challenging to find brilliantly written people than it is accurately written geography, so I'll take my lumps. :)


message 28: by Musician (new)

Musician | 24 comments It certainly is, and there are very few better than the Outlander Series, so it's strange that with such superb writing skills, half an hour with a map would have sorted the gaffs. The again, we all read in different ways, so it may be that what's important to one reader isn't to another! It won't stop me reading the books. ::)


message 29: by ChristinaRae (new)

ChristinaRae | 295 comments I suppose the DG is mortal, after all. We can't realy expect her to know EVERYTHING. (like the fact that a woman with curly hair would never sit around brushing it!) Still, whenever I read other (less revered) authors I'm impressed with her ability to write a variety of characters and places well.


message 30: by Susan (new)

Susan | 35 comments I'm closing in on the end of Fiery Cross, and I'm so tired of being in America! I want them to go back to Scotland! lol


message 31: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Vaile (jessnic) | 33 comments Susan wrote: "I spent oodles of time last night on GoogleEarth looking at Scotland. My husband, who is tired of hearing about Jamie and Claire, but who loves maps, helped me find places mentioned in the book. I ..."

I want to also! I actually started planning a trip for June or July 2011, and started a blog to track my progress a few days ago. Thinking it will be a fun way to track the experience... :-)

http://jess2scot.blogspot.com/


message 32: by ChristinaRae (new)

ChristinaRae | 295 comments Hey Jessica,
I'm trying to get over there next summer too (with the family in tow). You might be intersted in this website for hostels in Scotland. (My kids and I want to stay at the castle!)

http://www.syha.org.uk/hostels.aspx


message 33: by Cristina (new)

Cristina (Cristina_) | 38 comments Musician wrote: "The following is a quote from the site www.kinnaird.net/tartan.htm

In the nineteenth year of the reign of our sovereign Lord George the Second by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, France and I..."


But that ban was lifted in 1782, no? So when Bree goes to Lallybrook in the 20th century, theres was no problem with the wearing of tartan.

I was in Edinburgh for 10 days in April, and saw a lot of kilts. Saw a bunch of badly made ones too. Planning a two week trip to Inverness next year.


message 34: by Carren (new)

Carren Kay | 953 comments My husband and I are going to Scotland in September, can't wait. I've been to Ireland (family is from there) but always wanted to see Scotland, even before I read the Outlander series. Going there will put it all in perspective.


message 35: by Musician (new)

Musician | 24 comments Hello,
I know tartan is now worn - my male family usually wear it to wedings, rugby matches etc etc,and very fine they look too - but when Bree went back to the 18th C Lallybroch, Ian wouldn't have dared wear it because of its proscription at the time.
Glad you saw lots of guys in kilts!


message 36: by Annie (new)

Annie (annieargyll) Carren wrote: "My husband and I are going to Scotland in September, can't wait. I've been to Ireland (family is from there) but always wanted to see Scotland, even before I read the Outlander series. Going there ..."

Have a good time! Where do you plan to visit? Scotland is gorgeous. Ireland is beautiful but Scotland has a more dramatic beauty and lots more water with lochs everywhere!


message 37: by Carren (new)

Carren Kay | 953 comments Annie:
We'll start and end in Edinburgh. We will see Culloden and some of the islands. I'm just looking forward to the highlands myself.


message 38: by Annie (new)

Annie (annieargyll) Make sure you get to Clava Cairns. As I recall it's close to Culloden. http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk...


message 39: by Carren (new)

Carren Kay | 953 comments We are slated to go to Clava Cairns. I'm amost wishing summer away just so I can go. But I can't do that because our last winter was just so long!


message 40: by Carren (new)

Carren Kay | 953 comments Annie:
Also, thanks for the link to the Clava Cairns.


message 41: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 1124 comments I would love to go back to scotland - my ship (in the Navy) pulled into a port not far from Glasgow..unfortunately, i was only there 2 days before I left


message 42: by Annie (new)

Annie (annieargyll) Dee wrote: "I would love to go back to scotland - my ship (in the Navy) pulled into a port not far from Glasgow..unfortunately, i was only there 2 days before I left"

Greenock or Dunoon?


message 43: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 1124 comments Faslane...I think...it was about an hour and a half to Glasgow (if I remember rightly)...its been a while though


message 44: by Annie (new)

Annie (annieargyll) Dee wrote: "Faslane...I think...it was about an hour and a half to Glasgow (if I remember rightly)...its been a while though"

Faslane is not very far from me either. Glasgow is very close by boat.


message 45: by Chrissie (new)

Chrissie | 1 comments I am from NC and some of the places in North Carolina are real. Cross Creek is Fayetteville, NC; Wilmington is Wilmington. I am currently trying to ascertain where Fraser Creek might be-- It may be in Ashe County, although that is certainly more than 30 miles from Salem, current day Winston-Salem. In her descriptions of the Moravians, she is a bit off, they were German-speaking, not Czech speaking, however, they may have had an accent... It could either be Pilot Mountain or the foothills of Yadkin county... Not sure, though.


message 46: by Jen (at last!) (new)

Jen (at last!) (jenkeith) | 1052 comments Chrissie wrote: "I am from NC and some of the places in North Carolina are real. Cross Creek is Fayetteville, NC; Wilmington is Wilmington. I am currently trying to ascertain where Fraser Creek might be-- It may be..."

I seriously want to move to NC just so I can feel like I live where they might have lived!!


message 47: by Sue (new)

Sue Pittman | 94 comments I'm also from North Carolina. I live about an hour from where Fraser's Ridge was supposed to be. I understand it's really close to Boone. Could be in Ashe or Wilkes Counties. This is considered part of the Blue Ridge Mountains. I've done a lot of research on genealogy in this region since my family has lived here for hundreds of years. There are a lot of Scots- Irish descent in this area, as well as English, German (which includes the Moravians), and also some Scandinavian. I love the fact that I live so close to where Jamie and Claire lived (sigh....., if only they were real!)


message 48: by Addie (new)

Addie Mcgarity | 20 comments Sue wrote: "I'm also from North Carolina. I live about an hour from where Fraser's Ridge was supposed to be. I understand it's really close to Boone. Could be in Ashe or Wilkes Counties. This is considered par..."

I'm also from NC. Born and raised in Fayetteville (Cross Creek & Campbellton combined into one town after American Rev.) As a teenager, I used to go to the Cross Creek cemetery all the time to look at the old tomb stones. My son is named for one of the Scot soldiers who is buried there.

I was up in the mountains this past weekend and kept wondering how close I was to "Fraiser Ridge". I was trying to calculate the distance from Winston Salem on I-40 to where the ridge should be.


message 49: by Jen (at last!) (new)

Jen (at last!) (jenkeith) | 1052 comments That's so great! I will be moving to the Asheville region next year. I know it's nowhere close to where the books are, but it'll be cool to be in the same state. :)


message 50: by Addie (new)

Addie Mcgarity | 20 comments You will love that area. Be sure to check out the Gathering of the Clans on Grandfather's Mountain. They gather every June.


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