What is a Highlander?
She asked me yesterday, "What exactly is a Highlander?"
Loooonnng pause, while dozens and dozens of images, scenes, quotes from the OUTLANDER books flashed through my mind. :-) We have no Scots ancestry at all,, and although I did try to get my mom to read OUTLANDER once, about three years ago, her reaction was rather tepid and I don't think she remembers much. (Oh, well. Maybe I'll try again, after we get back from this trip.) How best to explain, succinctly?
Finally I said, "They're from the northern part of Scotland. In the mountains, you know? And traditionally they were the ones that wore the kilts and such."
How would YOU answer that question, if you were talking to someone who knew nothing whatever about Scotland, or Diana Gabaldon's books? Are there particular scenes or quotes that come to mind when you think of the word "Highlander"?
My favorite, of course, is this one:
"A Highlander in full regalia is an impressive sight--any Highlander, no matter how old, ill-favored, or crabbed in appearance. A tall, straight-bodied, and by no means ill-favored young Highlander at close range is breath-taking.That was the point where, on my first reading of OUTLANDER, I fell in love with the series forever. <vbg>
The thick red-gold hair had been brushed to a smooth gleam that swept the collar of a fine lawn shirt with tucked front, belled sleeves, and lace-trimmed wrist frills that matched the cascade of the starched jabot at the throat, decorated with a ruby stickpin.
His tartan was a brilliant crimson and black that blazed among the more sedate MacKenzies in their green and white. The flaming wool, fastened by a circular silver brooch, fell from his right shoulder in a graceful drape, caught by a silver-studded sword belt before continuing its sweep past neat calves clothed in woolen hose and stopping just short of the silver-buckled black leather boots. Sword, dirk, and badger-skin sporran completed the ensemble."
(From Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 14 ("A Marriage Takes Place"). Copyright© 1991 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
What about the rest of you? What images, quotes, scenes, etc. from the books best describe what a Highlander is?