What do these things look like?
1. Astrolabe (mentioned in THE FIERY CROSS, chapter 77, "A Package From London")
The Wikipedia article on astrolabes from which I got this picture indicates that this is a 16th century brass model, but you can easily imagine it gold-plated, with Jamie's name engraved on it. <g>
2. Bilboquet (18th century toy)
Placing the hand over his eye, he fixed the other piercingly on the bilboquet and gave the ivory cup a toss. The tethered ball leaped from its socket into an arc, and dropped as though guided by radar, landing back in its cup with a snug little plop.I saw this in a gift shop in Colonial Williamsburg in September. Naturally, the moment I saw it, I decided I had to have one. It's not nearly as easy as it looks! <g> This may not look exactly like the French version mentioned in DRAGONFLY, but the basic idea is the same.
(From Dragonfly In Amber by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 12 ("L'Hopital des Anges"). Copyright © 1992 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.
3. Dirk and sgian dubh
Thanks to Jari Backman for this link, which shows exactly what a dirk looks like. They're larger than I'd thought!
4. Barrel-type butter churn
This is, presumably, the same type of butter churn mentioned in FIERY CROSS:
"Oh, no, Father; it was a barrel churn. The sort that lies on its side, aye, with a wee handle to turn it? Well, it's only that she was workin' the churn with great vigor, and the laces of her bodice undone, so that her breasts wobbled to and fro, and the cloth clinging to her with the sweat of her work. Now, the churn was just the right height--and curved, aye?--so as to make me think of bendin' her across it and lifting her skirts, and--"
My mouth opened involuntarily in shock. That was my bodice he was describing, my breasts, and my butter churn!
(From The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 13 ("Beans and Barbecue"). Copyright© 2001 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
5. Mammoth skeleton
This is a picture of a mammoth skeleton from a museum in Milwaukee. Just imagine what Ian and Brianna must have thought, to see those enormous tusks curving up out of the ground:
The raked arches of ribs rose huge from the dirt, and she had the impression of a scatter of things half-buried in the rubble at the foot of the bank: enormous things, knobbed and twisted. They might be bones or simply boulders--but it was the tusk that caught her eye, jutting from the bank in a massive curve, intensely familiar, and the more startling for its very familiarity.6. Rhododendron hell
(From A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 70 ("Emily"). Copyright© 2005 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
Remember the rhododendron hell Roger was trapped in while trying to escape from the Indians in DRUMS?
He looked upward, through the snarl of branches. He could see small patches of sky, but the rhododendrons rose nearly twelve feet over his head. There was no way to stand up; he could barely sit upright under the interlacing branches.7. Here is a picture of Simon Fraser (the "Old Fox", Jamie's grandfather)
(From DRUMS OF AUTUMN by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 51 ("Betrayal"). Copyright© 1997 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
Also look here for more information. The "Old Fox" was an actual historical figure. Notice the eyes in this portrait; these are the "gull-wing brows" that Jamie inherited. <g>
8. Passenger pigeon
This was something that very much startled me the first time I read FIERY CROSS:
It was impossible to make out individual birds in that violent cascade; it was no more than a river of feathers that filled the sky from one side to the other. Above the thunder of the wings, I could hear the birds calling to each other, a constant sussurrus of sound, like a wind storm rushing through the forest."Finally, here are a couple of items that I was curious about:
(From The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 82 ("A Darkening Sky"). Copyright© 2001 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
9. Banyan (men's dressing gown), worn by Lord John:
10. Stays (women's undergarment):
If you liked these links, check out my other "OUTLANDER Links" blog entries:
OUTLANDER Links, Part 14: 18th Century Clothing
OUTLANDER Links, Part 13: Plants and Herbs
OUTLANDER Links, Part 12: Standing Stones
OUTLANDER Links, Part 11: Science and Technology
OUTLANDER Links, Part 10: Weaponry
OUTLANDER Links, Part 9: Historical Events
OUTLANDER Links, Part 8: 18th Century Medicine
OUTLANDER Links, Part VII: Gemstones
OUTLANDER Links, Part VI: Wildlife
OUTLANDER Links, Part V: Castles and Palaces
OUTLANDER Links, Part IV: Native Americans
OUTLANDER Links, Part III: All Things Scottish
OUTLANDER Links, Part II: Colonial North Carolina
OUTLANDER Links, Part I: Culloden