Fangirl Fridays – Traveller in Time, Claire Beauchamp Randall Fraser

Today for Fangirl Fridays I would like to tell you about my favorite book character: Claire Beauchamp Randall Fraser. Claire is the heroine of Diana Gabaldon’s wildly successful Outlander series. I had hoped to fangirl about Diana Gabaldon herself, but Wench Kathi beat me to it (and she did an absolutely stupendous job!). So I would like to share some of my favorite quotes by and about Claire that really show the kind of woman she is and why I admire her so much.

Any Outlander fan knows that Jamie calls Claire mo nighean donn, which means “my brown lass” in Gaelic. She is also known as Sassenach, which isn’t quite as pleasant. The Gaelic refer to the English as Sassenachs, and they aren’t being complimentary when they use it. When Jamie calls Claire Sassenach, I imagine he says it in a teasing or tender way.

Why do I love Claire so much? It’s kind of hard to put into words, to tell you the truth. I don’t know if I’m up to the task to adequately express my admiration for her, but I’ll do my best.

For starters, she is brave, ruthless, resourceful, passionate, intelligent, beautiful, capable, practical, pragmatic, courageous, resourceful, irreverent, and curious. No matter what century she’s in.

At the beginning of Outlander, I met Claire and her first husband, Frank, who had taken a second honeymoon to Inverness, Scotland, at the end of World War II. Claire had been raised by her Uncle Lamb after the death of her parents. Claire had an unorthodox upbringing, and accompanied her uncle on his archaeology expeditions. She met and married Frank Randall shortly before they were separated by war. She became a nurse, tending to the sick and injured. Afterwards, she and Frank sought to reconnect and rekindle their marriage.

Not one to dither over petty details like an orphaned niece, Uncle Lamb had promptly enrolled me in a boarding school. Not one to accept the vagaries of fate without a fight, I declined absolutely to go there. And recognizing something in me that he had himself in abundant measure, Uncle Lamb had shrugged, and on the decision of a heartbeat, had taken me forever from the world of order and routine, of sums, clean sheets, and daily baths, to follow him into vagabondage. (Dragonfly in Amber)
Life among academics had taught me that a well-expressed opinion is usually better than a badly expressed fact, so far as professional advancement goes. (Outlander)

Their second honeymoon was going along swimmingly, and they were providing lots of excitement for Mrs. Baird, the landlady of the bed and breakfast where they were staying. When they paid a visit to the local vicar to get some historical information about one of Frank’s ancestors, Claire had tea with Mrs. Graham, his dignified housekeeper (who just happened to be a witch). Later, they witnessed a ceremony involving the local witches at Craigh na Dun, a circle of standing stones just outside town.

To be polite about it, I’ll make a bit of a prediction for you, and say your husband isna like to stray far from your bed. (Outlander)
“Really, Claire,” he murmured, sliding his hand under my skirt and up my thigh to the soft, unprotected warmth between my legs, “you are the most terrifyingly practical person I have ever known.” (Outlander)
“You’ll have to keep it up for longer than that if you expect ecstatic moans,” I answered. “Two minutes doesn’t deserve any more than a giggle.” (Outlander)
You look wonderful by candlelight, you know. Your eyes are like sherry in crystal, and your skin glows like ivory. A candlelight witch you are. (Outlander)
“Perhaps I’ll go out in search of a local kilt-wearer whilst you’re cavorting with vicars and ask him.” “Well, do try not to get arrested, Claire. The dean of St. Giles College wouldn’t like it all.” (Outlander)

Claire went back to the stone circle on her own, because she was curious about some flowers she had noticed there. When she is suddenly thrust backwards through time, her quick wits and survival instincts kick in and we see another side of her. Even though her initial assumption that she had ended up in the middle of a film set was quickly disproved, she kept a clear head. Everyone she encounters is immediately suspicious of her. The English and the Scottish both think she might be a spy, as she doesn’t have a very good explanation for being where she was found.

“There isna any reasonable explanation I can think of for you. You might be one of the Wee Folk, for all I know”—he peeked sideways from under his arm—“no, I suppose not. You’re too big.” (Outlander)
“I don’t suppose you’d be inclined to tell me who—or what—you are?” I hesitated for a moment. But a man with belief in neither God nor Devil was not likely to believe the truth of my presence here, either. I squeezed his fingers lightly and released them. “Better call me a witch,” I said. “It’s as close as you’re likely to get.” (Dragonfly in Amber)
“Which are you?” the Duke inquired suddenly. “An English hostage, a fervent Jacobite, or a French agent?” I rubbed two fingers over the ache between my eyes. The correct answer was “none of the above,” but I didn’t think it would get me very far. (Dragonfly in Amber)
Her penchant for foul language and outspoken manner are a little shocking to the men around her, whether they are in the twentieth or the eighteenth century. People in the eighteenth century are not used to women who speak their minds, let alone show independence or intelligence.

“Well, if you don’t believe I am who I say, who in bloody hell do you think I am?” I demanded. (Outlander)
Who in bloody hell do you think you are, frigging John Wayne!? (Outlander)
“St. Paul says ‘Let a woman be silent, and—’” “You can mind your own bloody business,” I snarled, sweat dripping behind my ears, “and so can St. Paul.” (Outlander)
“Go to hell, Jamie,” I said at last, wiping my eyes. “Go directly to hell. Do not pass Go. Do not collect two hundred dollars. There. Do you feel better now?” “Aye, I do,” he said, his expression lightening. “When you start to talk daft, I know you’re all right. Do you feel better, Sassenach?” (Dragonfly in Amber)
“Damn ye, woman! Will ye never do as you’re told?” “Probably not,” I said meekly. He turned a black scowl on me, but I could see the corner of his mouth twitching under the copper stubble. (Voyager)
“Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ,” I said. "Bloody Timmy’s in the well!” (A Breath of Snow and Ashes)
“Can ye stop cursing, ma’am? It’s only that the weans can hear ye.” “I jerked round at her, only then realizing that I had in fact been repeating ‘Bloody, fucking hell’ out loud, over and over as I worked.” (A Breath of Snow and Ashes)

When she meets an injured, handsome young Scotsman named Jamie, she is put in charge of his care. She uses her nursing skills to forge a place for herself with the Highlanders who have rescued her taken her captive. No one knows quite what to do with her, but she is accorded a certain level of respect and considered to be a valuable commodity. When she reaches Castle Leoch she is questioned by the Laird, but is allowed a certain amount of freedom. She looks for an opportunity to escape and find her way back to Craigh na Dun, hoping that she will be able to return to her own time.

The preparations had steadied me a bit. If I didn’t know for certain where I was, or why I was there, at least I knew what to do for the next quarter of an hour. (Outlander)
“Murtagh said that you are an accomplished physician yourself.” This provoked a real smile. “I see that you do not suffer from the sin of false modesty,” he observed. “I have others,” I said, smiling back. (Outlander)
Feeling flesh and blood beneath my fingers, taking pulses, inspecting tongues and eyeballs, all the familiar routine, had done much to settle the feeling of hollow panic that had been with me since my fall through the rock. However strange my circumstances, and however out of place I might be, it was somehow very comforting to realize that these were truly other people. Warm-fleshed and hairy, with hearts that could be felt beating and lungs that breathed audibly. (Outlander)

One of the things I admire about Claire is her ability to stay level headed in the face of uncommon adversity. Throughout the series, we see many examples of this. Whether she is fighting for the lives of herself or those around her, she stays unfailingly composed and unflappable. One of the most striking scenes in Outlander is when she has been cast out of Wentworth Prison and encounters a hungry wolf. It’s kill or be killed.

Strangely enough, I was not at all frightened now, though I had been terrified watching the wolf stalk me. There was room in my mind for only one thought: I would kill this animal, or it would kill me. Therefore, I was going to kill it. (Outlander)
Past that certain point, you lose all fear of pain or injury. Life becomes very simple at that point; you will do what you are trying to do, or die in the attempt, and it does not really matter much which. (Outlander)

Throughout it all, Claire is able to find comfort by pitching in wherever she is and helping others. She has little use for feminine wiles; she relies on her nursing skills, medical and scientific knowledge, and her fierce intelligence. Indeed, once she returns back to the twentieth century, she goes to medical school and becomes a highly respected doctor.

Dougal and I leaned close together over the struggling body, murmuring and comforting, sharing the messy, heartrending, and necessary task of helping a man to die. (Outlander)
One dictum I had learned on the battlefields of France in a far distant war: You cannot save the world, but you might save the man in front of you, if you work fast enough. (Dragonfly in Amber)
“You learn it when you become a doctor. Not in school—that isn’t where you learn, in any case—but when you lay your hands on people and presume to heal them. There are so many there, beyond your reach. So many you can never touch, so many whose essence you can’t find, so many who slip through your fingers. But you can’t think about them. The only thing you can do—the only thing—is to try for the one who’s in front of you. Act as though this one patient is the only person in the world—because to do otherwise is to lose that one, too. One at a time, that’s all you can do. And you learn not to despair over all the ones you can’t help, but only to do what you can.” (Dragonfly in Amber)
“Look,” I said, groping for words. “I’m a doctor. They’re sick, and I can do something about it.’s...well, I have to, that’s all!” (Outlander)
“I’m not a real physician. Not yet.” I couldn’t have said what made me add that last sentence. (Dragonfly in Amber)
I knew, as he didn’t, what lay ahead—hours and days and possibly weeks of labor and exhaustion, when the senses would blur, and only bodily habit and blind instinct—and the leadership of a tireless chief—would keep those caring for the sick on their feet. I was far from tireless, but the illusion would have to be kept up. (Voyager)
“I’m not a lady, Elias,” she said tiredly, “I’m a Doctor.” (Voyager)
I felt more like a sheepdog than a doctor—snapping and growling at their heels, and hoarse now with the effort. (Voyager)
My eyes flicked over the tabletop, seeking inspiration. And found it. With a mental apology to the shade of Aesculapius the physician, I picked up the late surgeon’s bone-saw, a wicked thing some eighteen inches long, a rust-flecked steel. I looked at this thoughtfully, turned, and laid the toothed edge of the instrument gently against the injured leg, just above the knee. I smiled charmingly into the seaman’s terrified single eye. “Mr. Tompkins,” I said, “let us talk frankly.” (Voyager)

Claire is a brave and determined woman. As the saying goes, “courage is not the lack of fear, but the ability to face it.” She shows the fortitude that allows her to face her fears and survive. Her courage and tenacity are why she is a heroine like no other. She uses all the tools in her arsenal to protect her loved ones, and she always does what she thinks is right.

He will let you go because he thinks you are helpless. I know you are not. (Outlander)
“You’re no coward, I’ll give you that. In fact, you’re a fit match for him,” he nodded at Jamie, who was beginning to stir a bit, “and I can’t give you a better compliment than that.” (Outlander)
I had never held anyone at gunpoint before; the sensation was quite oddly intoxicating, in spite of the way the pistol’s barrel wavered. At the same time, I had no real idea what to do. (Voyager)
To stand against a crowd would take something more than ordinary courage; something that went beyond human instinct. And I feared I did not have it, and fearing, was ashamed. (Outlander)
“You’ve the courage of a lion, mo duinne,” he murmured in my ear. “Of a bear, a wolf! But you know I willna let ye do it.” (Dragonfly in Amber)
I felt a small flicker of the blaze of desperate courage that had taken me inside Wentworth Prison, in pursuit of my heart. If I could do that for you, I told Jamie silently, I can do this as well. But help me, you bloody big Scot—help me! (Dragonfly in Amber)
Yes you took him, you bastard! But I took him back, I freed him from you. You have no part of him! (Dragonfly in Amber)
“I must say Mrs. Fraser that you are amazingly difficult to kill”—he bowed slightly in my direction, that smile still on his lips—“but I feel sure that it could be accomplished, given sufficient determination.” (Dragonfly in Amber)

Forced to marry Jamie in order to avoid torture and death at the hands of Captain Black Jack Randall, Claire struggles to come to terms with her feelings of disloyalty to Frank and the knowledge that she is trapped two hundred years in the past. Her growing feelings for Jamie conflict with her struggle to find a way back to the future and her life with Frank. She is surprised by the depth of her physical reaction to Jamie, and eventually a deep and abiding love grows between them.

“Nay, he needs a woman, not a girl. And Laoghaire will be a girl when she’s fifty.” The grim old mouth twisted in something like a smile. “Ye may think I’ve lived in a stable all my life, but I had a wife as was a woman, and I ken the difference verra weel.” The blue eyes flashed as he made to get up. “So do you, lass.” (Outlander)
“Does is bother you that I’m not a virgin?” He hesitated a moment before answering. “Well, no,” he said slowly, “so long as it doesna bother you that I am.” He grinned at my drop-jawed expression, and backed toward the door. “Reckon one of us should know what they’re doing,” he said. (Outlander)
Lacking experience or the pretense of it, Jamie simply gave me all of himself, without reservation. And the depth of my response to that unsettled me completely. (Outlander)
“Murtagh was right about women. Sassenach, I risked my life for ye, committing theft, arson, assault, and murder into the bargain. In return for which ye call me names, insult my manhood, kick me in the ballocks and claw my face. Then I beat you half to death and tell ye all the most humiliating things have ever happened to me, and you say ye love me.” He laid his head on his knees and laughed some more. Finally he rose and held out a hand to me, wiping his eyes with the other. “You’re not verra sensible, Sassenach, but I like ye fine.” (Outlander)
“Because I wanted you.” He turned from the window to face me. “More than I ever wanted anything in my life,” he added softly. I continued staring at him, dumbstruck. Whatever I had been expecting, it wasn’t this. Seeing my openmouthed expression, he continued lightly. “When I asked my da how ye knew which was the right woman, he told me when the time came, I’d have no doubt. And I didn’t. When I woke in the dark under that tree on the road to Leoch, with you sitting on my chest, cursing me for bleeding to death, I said to myself, ‘Jamie Fraser, for all ye canna see what she looks like, and for all she weighs as much as a good draft horse, this is the woman’” I started toward him, and he backed away, talking rapidly. “I said to myself, ‘She’s mended ye twice in as many hours, me lad; life amongst the MacKenzies being what it is, it might be as well to wed a woman as can stanch a wound and set broken bones.’ And I said to myself, ‘Jamie, lad, if her touch feels so bonny on your collarbone, imagine what it might feel like lower down...’” He dodged around a chair. “Of course, I thought it might ha’ just been the effects of spending four months in a monastery, without benefit of female companionship, but then that ride through the dark together”—he paused to sigh theatrically, neatly evading my grab at his sleeve—“with that lovely broad arse wedged between my thighs”—he ducked a blow aimed at his left ear and sidestepped, getting a low table between us—“and that rock-solid head thumping me in the chest”—a small metal ornament bounced off his own head and went clanging to the floor—“I said to myself...” He was laughing so hard at this point that he had to gasp for breath between phrases. “Jamie...I said...for all she’s a Sassenach bitch...with a tongue like an adder’s ...with a bum like that...what does it matter if she’s a f-face like a sh-sh-eep?” I tripped him neatly and landed on his stomach with both knees as he hit the floor with a crash that shook the house. “You mean to tell me that you married me out of love?” I demanded. He raised his eyebrows, struggling to draw in breath. “Have I not...just been...saying so?” (Outlander)
Whether it was health of mind or body, the love of him was necessary to me as breath or blood. My mind reached out for him, sleeping or waking, and finding him, was satisfied. (Dragonfly in Amber)
“Well, you’ve made a good start at ravishing me.” I dropped the other shoulder, and the torn cloth fell free to my waist. “You may as well come and finish the job properly.” (Dragonfly in Amber)
I had perhaps done Laoghaire an injustice, after all, in assuming her feelings to be less than my own. Whether she had acted from immature spite or from a true passion, I could never know. In either case, she had failed. I had survived. And Jamie was mine. (Dragonfly in Amber)
“Sometimes I want to ride you like a wild horse, and bring you to the taming—did you know that? I can do it, you know I can. Drag you over the edge and drain you to a gasping husk. I can drive you to the edge of collapse and sometimes I delight in it, Jamie, I do! And yet so often I want” my voice broke suddenly and I had to swallow hard before continuing—“I want... to hold your head against my breast and cradle you like a child and comfort you to sleep.” (Dragonfly in Amber)
At last, as usually happened here, I ceased to think. Whether it was the stoppage of time in the presence of eternity, or only the overtaking of a bone-deep fatigue, I didn’t know. But the guilt over Frank eased, the wrenching grief for Jamie lessened, and even the constant tug of motherhood upon my emotions receded to the level of background noise, no louder than the slow beating of my own heart, regular and comforting in the dark peace of the chapel. (Voyager)

Having the knowledge of what will come to pass is both a blessing and a curse. Everything she does, and everyone she interacts with can change the future as she knows it. Claire is constantly faced with this responsibility. She handles it the best way she knows how. Because her enemy is an ancestor of her husband, Frank, she is caught in the untenable position of needing to keep him alive long enough to procreate, and keep herself and Jamie safe from his clutches.

Being a prophet was a very uncomfortable occupation, I thought, not for the first time. I felt considerable sympathy with Jeremiah and his Lamentations. I also realized exactly why Cassandra was so unpopular. Still there was no help for it. On the crest of a Scottish hill, the night wind of an autumn storm whipping my hair and skirts like the sheets of a banshee, I turned my face to the shadowed skies and prepared to prophesy. (Outlander)
“Witch I am. Witch, and I curse you.” “I curse you with knowledge, Jack Randall—I give you the hour of your death.” (Outlander)
“Sometimes our best actions result in things that are most regrettable. And yet you could not have acted otherwise.” (Outlander)
“Claire,” he said quietly. “Tomorrow I will die. This all that will be left of me—ever. I ask ye, Claire—I beg you—see it safe.” I stood still, vision blurring, and in that moment, I heard my heart break. It was a small, clean sound, like the snapping of a flower’s stem. (Dragonfly in Amber)
“Jamie—I won’t...I can’t...I bloody won’t live without you, and that’s all!” He opened his mouth, speechless, then closed it, shaking his head. The light over the mountains was failing, painting the clouds with a dull red glow. At last he reached for me, drew me close and held me. “D’ye think I don’t know?” he asked softly. “It’s me that has the easy part now. For if ye feel for me as I do for you—then I’m asking you to tear out your heart and live without it.” (Dragonfly in Amber)
It was 1773. And on the 18th of April, in Seventy-five... the shot heard round the world was already being loaded. The room was warm, but I shuddered convulsively. What in the name of God did I think I could shield them from? Any of them. (A Breath of Snow and Ashes)
I had seen everything with that clarity that attends tragedy; every detail fixed in my mind’s eye, to be shown again and again, always with that half-conscious feeling that this time, I should be able to alter it. (Voyager)
I had not dared to think what life might be like once I had found Jamie, lest I not find him after all. Then I had found him, and in quick succession, had contemplated life as a printer’s wife among the political and literary worlds of Edinburgh, a dangerous and fugitive existence as a smuggler’s lady, and finally, the busy, settled life of a Highland farm, which I had known before and loved. Now, in equally quick succession, all these possibilities had been jerked away, and I faced an unknown future once more. Oddly enough, I was not so much distressed by this as excited by it. I had been settled for twenty years, rooted as a barnacle by my attachments to Brianna, to Frank, to my patients. Now fate—and my own actions—had ripped me loose from all those things, and I felt as though I were tumbling free in the surf, at the mercy of forces a great deal stronger than myself. (Voyager)

Number 9!

Claire’s self-confidence and self-awareness are two of her most admirable qualities. They set her apart from the women of the eighteenth century. In fact, they set her apart from the women in the middle of the twentieth century too. She is never afraid to show her intelligence, which greatly surpasses that of most of the people she encounters. Her life-saving skills and knowledge of science and botany make people suspicious of her, often referring to her as a witch, or “white lady.” She uses this fear to her advantage.

“Well, we take what God sends us, though occasionally I wonder whether He sends them to us only in order to keep them out of greater trouble elsewhere. Still, the bulk of our physicians are better than nothing—even if only marginally so. You”—and teeth flashed once more, reminding me of a genial draft horse—“are a great deal better than nothing, Madame.” (Dragonfly in Amber)
Most physicians of my acquaintance would say, “All I can do is try to heal her.” You will help her to heal? It’s interesting that you perceive the difference, madonna. I thought you would. (Dragonfly in Amber)
“The White Lady,” he murmured. “She is called a wisewoman, a healer. And yet... she sees to the center of a man, and can turn his soul to ashes, if evil be found there.” (Dragonfly in Amber)
“Goodness, madonna! You are a most uncommon woman. Have you any idea how rare such directness is?” “Yes,” I admitted, “but there isn’t really any help for it. I’m not good at beating round bushes.” (Dragonfly in Amber)
I left then, feeling at once extremely foolish and halfway pleased, amidst an eager flood of relieved thanks. I wasn’t sure whether I was becoming a better physician or merely a more practiced charlatan. Still, if I couldn’t do much for Rabbie, I could help his mother—or let her help herself, at least. Healing comes from the healed; not from the physician. That much, Raymond had taught me. (Dragonfly in Amber)
It had happened many times before, but it always took me by surprise. Always in the midst of great stress, wading waist-deep in trouble and sorrow, as doctors do, I would glance out a window, open a door, look into a face, and there it would be, unexpected and unmistakable. A moment of peace. The light spread from the sky to the ship, and the great horizon was no longer a blank threat of emptiness, but the habitation of joy. For a moment, I lived in the center of the sun, warmed and cleansed, and the smell and sight of sickness fell away; the bitterness lifted from my heart. I never looked for it, gave it no name; yet I knew it always, when the gift of peace came. I stood quite still for the moment that it lasted, thinking it strange and not strange that grace should find me here, too. Then the light shifted slightly and the moment passed, leaving me as it always did, with the lasting echo of its presence. In a reflex of acknowledgment, I crossed myself and went below, my tarnished armor faintly gleaming. (Voyager)
“She said she wasna going to let me die,” he said, with a rueful smile. “And she didn’t. My opinion didna seem to have anything to do wi’ the matter, so she didna bother to ask me.” She said she wasna going to let me die, and she wasna going to have me be a cripple, and she wasna going to have me lie about all the day feelin’ sorry for myself, and—” He shrugged, resigned. “By the time she finished tellin’ me all the things she wouldna let me do, it seemed the only thing left to me was to get well.” (Voyager)
“No, a knife is verra much what you are, now I think of it. A clever-worked scabbard, and most gorgeous to see, Sassenach”—he traced the line of my lips with a finger, provoking a smile—“but tempered steel for a core...and a wicked sharp edge, I do think.” “Wicked?” I said, surprised. “Not heartless, I don’t mean,” he assured me. His eyes rested on my face, intent and curious. A smile touched his lips. “No, never that. But you can be ruthless strong, Sassenach, when the need is on ye.” (Voyager)
I dinna like ye, and I reckon ye ken that, but Da says you’re a wisewoman, and I think you’re maybe an honest woman, even if you are a whore, so you’ll maybe tell me. (Voyager)
“I haven’t got that,” he said quietly at last. “I’m good, all right. At what I do—the teaching, the writing. Bloody splendid sometimes, in fact. And I like it a good bit, enjoy what I do. But the thing is—” He hesitated, then looked at me straight on, hazel-eyed and earnest. “I could do something else, and be as good. Care as much, or as little. I haven’t got that absolute conviction that there’s something in life I’m meant to do—and you have.” “Is that good?” The edges of my nostrils were sore, and my eyes puffed from crying. He laughed shortly. “It’s damned inconvenient, Claire. To you and me and Bree, all three. But my God, I do envy you sometimes.” (Voyager)
You’ve known forever who you are. Do you realize at all how unusual it is to know that? (Voyager)
“Is that how it’s done, then, in the company of physicians?” he asked. “Ye hold yourself bound to help whoever calls for it, even an enemy?” “It doesn’t make a great difference, you know, if they’re ill or hurt.” I looked up, searching his face for understanding. “Aye, well,” he said slowly. “I’ve taken an oath now and then, myself—and none of them lightly.” He reached out and took my right hand, his fingers resting on my silver ring. “Some weigh heavier than others, though,” he said, watching my face in turn. He was very close to me, the sun from the hatchway overhead striping the linen of his sleeve, the skin of his hand a deep ruddy bronze where it cradled my own white fingers, and the glinting silver of my wedding ring. “It does,” I said softly, speaking to his thought. “You know it does.” (Voyager)
Without the slightest notion as to what moved me to do it, I dropped the rock, ran the fingers of my right hand across the cut, and in one swift motion, reached out and drew them down the thin man’s cheek. I repeated the nasty laugh. “Curse, is it?” I said. “How’s this? Touch me again, and you’ll die within twenty-four hours.” (A Breath of Snow and Ashes)
A feeling of excitement began to grow in me; the feeling of a diagnosis just under my hands, and the sure knowledge of how to proceed with it. The call of trumpets to a warhorse, I thought with wry amusement. (Voyager)

Claire went back through the stones at Craigh na Dun on the eve of the Battle of Culloden. She did so because she was pregnant with Jamie’s child, and he needed to know they would survive. Claire had told him about the crushing defeat suffered by the Scottish at the hands of the English, and he was prepared to die alongside his kinsmen.

Once she returned to the present time and reunited with Frank, she raised daughter Brianna with Frank by her side. Their marriage was reasonably happy, I think, but did not come close to what she shared with Jamie. After Frank’s death, she found out that Jamie had survived Culloden and made arrangements to try and return to the past. Choosing to leave behind her career, adult daughter, and modern life to try and find Jamie took a special kind of courage. She had no way of knowing if she would survive a third trip through the stones.

I had been taking careful note of the machines—all the contrivances of modern daily life—and more important, of my own response to them. ... Could I live without all the “conveniences,” large and small, to which I was accustomed? I had been asking myself that with each touch of a button, each rumble of a motor, and was quite sure that the answer was “yes.” (Voyager)
Once you’ve chosen a man, don’t try to change him, I wrote, with more confidence. It can’t be done. More important—don’t let him try to change you. He can’t do it either, but men always try. (Voyager)
I had found him, and whatever unknowns life now held, they didn’t seem to matter. I felt reckless and indestructible. (Voyager)
Love for a child cannot be free; from the first signs of movement in the womb, a devotion springs up as powerful as it is mindless, irresistible as the process of birth itself. But powerful as it is, it is a love always of control; one is in charge, the protector, the watcher, the guardian—there is great passion in it, to be sure, but never abandon. Always, always, I had had to balance compassion with wisdom, love with judgment, humanity with ruthlessness. Only with Jamie had I given everything I had, risked it all. I had thrown away caution and judgment and wisdom, along with the comforts and constraints of a hard-won career. I had brought him nothing but myself, been nothing but myself with him, given him soul as well as body, let him see me naked, trusted him to see me whole and cherish my frailties—because he once had. (Voyager)

Of all the books I’ve read and loved, Claire Beauchamp Randall Fraser is my absolute favorite character. Written In My Own Heart’s Blood (Outlander #8) is about to be released, and many things have happened with Jamie and Claire since she returned to him. They are now grandparents, but definitely not the frail or doddering kind. Of course, they are facing new challenges and dangers. The American Revolutionary War is about to happen, and Claire will do whatever she can to make sure their family is safe and sound.

* Pics from Starz Outlander and fan art


  1. What a lovely tribute to Claire, Donna! She's one of my favorite characters--I'm not sure I could choose a very favorite, especially since there's Jamie also--and I'm so glad that you shared her with us instead of trying to keep her all to yourself! I love her more with every passing year...she just gets better with time and age (both mine and hers). Can't wait to see how she gets out of her little situation in the books, and how Cait brings her to life in the tv show.


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