Happy Birthday Claire!
Claire Elizabeth Beauchamp Randall Fraser would be 92 years old today, October 20th. Happy Birthday to Claire, and many thanks to Diana Gabaldon for creating such an unforgettable character!
If you're on Twitter, you can help celebrate Claire's birthday by tagging your tweets today with #Happy92Claire.
In honor of the occasion, here are some of my favorite Claire moments from the OUTLANDER series. It wasn't easy to limit myself to one per book. I hope you enjoy these!
1) After the "wife-beating" episode:
I whipped my hand from the concealed pocket in my skirt, and the dawn light struck sparks from the blade of the dagger pressed against his chest.2) On the eve of Culloden:
"If," I said through my teeth,"you ever raise a hand to me again, Jamie Fraser, I'll cut out your heart and fry it for breakfast!"
(From Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 22 ("Reckonings"). Copyright© 1991 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
Then all at once, the fear left me. I could not leave him, and I would not.3) After she finds out about Jamie's marriage to Laoghaire:
"Jamie," I said, into the folds of his plaid. "I'm going back with you."
He started back, staring down at me.
"The hell you are!" he said.
"I am." I felt very calm, with no trace of doubt. "I can make a kilt of my arisaid; there are enough young boys with the army that I can pass for one. You've said yourself it will all be confusion. No one will notice."
"No!" he said. "No, Claire!" His jaw was clenched, and he was glaring at me with a mixture of anger and horror.
"If you're not afraid, I'm not either," I said, firming my own jaw. "It will...be over quickly. You said so." My chin was beginning to quiver, despite my determination. "Jamie--I won't...I can't....I bloody won't live without you, and that's all!"
(From Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 46 ("Timor Mortis Conturbat Me"). Copyright© 1992 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
The thought of Laoghaire turned shock and sorrow to rage in a moment. I rubbed a fold of green wool savagely across my face, leaving the skin red and prickly.4) Arguing with Jamie about the fact that he didn't tell her the overseer, Byrnes, was dying:
Damn him! How dare he? If he had married again, thinking me dead, that was one thing. I had half-expected, half-feared it. But to marry that woman--that spiteful, sneaking little bitch who had tried to murder me at Castle Leoch...but he likely didn't know that, a small voice of reason in my head pointed out.
"Well, he should have known!" I said. "Damn him to hell, how could he take her, anyway!"
(From Voyager by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 34 ("Daddy"). Copyright© 1994 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
"I am not a young girl who needs protection, nor yet an idiot! If there's some reason for me not to do something, then tell me and I'll listen. But you can't decide what I'm to do and where I'm to go without even consulting me--I won't stand for that, and you bloody well know it!"5) After Roger's hanging, when she inserts the breathing tube that will save his life:
(From Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 13 ("An Examination of Conscience"). Copyright© 1997 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
The cartilage here was U-shaped, the esophagus behind it soft and vulnerable; I must not stab too deeply. I felt the fibrous parting of skin and fascia, resistance, then the soft pop as the blade went in. There was a sudden loud gurgle, and a wet kind of whistling noise; the sound of air being sucked through blood. Roger's chest moved. I felt it, and it was only then that I realized my eyes were still shut.6) After her rescue in ABOSAA:
(From The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 69 ("Hideous Emergency"). Copyright© 2001 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
"I have lived through a fncking world war," I said, my voice low and venomous. "I have lost a child. I have lost two husbands. I have starved with an army, been beaten and wounded, been patronized, betrayed, imprisoned, and attacked. And I have fncking survived!" My voice was rising, but I was helpless to stop it. "And now should I be shattered because some wretched, pathetic excuses for men stuck their nasty little appendages between my legs and wiggled them?" I stood up, seized the edge of the washstand and heaved it over, sending everything flying with a crash--basin, ewer, and lighted candlestick, which promptly went out.7) Saying goodbye to Adso the cat:
"Well, I won't," I said quite calmly.
(From A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 29 ("Perfectly Fine"). Copyright© 2005 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
I cried until my throat hurt and I couldn't breathe, then sat in the grass, curled into myself like a dried leaf, tears that I couldn't stop dropping on my knees like the first fat drops of a coming storm. Oh, God. It was only the beginning.Happy Birthday Claire!
I rubbed my hands hard over my eyes, smearing the wetness, trying to scrub away grief. A soft cloth touched my face, and I looked up, sniffing, to find Jamie kneeling in front of me, handkerchief in hand.
"I'm sorry," he said, very softly.
"It's not--don't worry, I'm...He's only a cat," I said, and a small fresh grief tightened like a band round my chest.
(From An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 12 ("Enough"). Copyright© 2009 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)