Sunday, March 16, 2014

Memorable Irish characters in Diana Gabaldon's books



I don't have a drop of Irish blood myself, but I'm reliably informed that everybody's Irish on St. Patrick's Day!  So, in celebration of the day, here are my top 10 most memorable Irish characters from Diana Gabaldon's books, in alphabetical order:

1) Bernard Adams.  You may remember that Lord John gouged his eye out at the end of BROTHERHOOD OF THE BLADE.  He later confessed to the murder of Lord John's father, the Duke of Pardloe.

2) Stephen Bonnet. One of Diana's most memorable villains.  I think Brianna gave him a more merciful death than he deserved.

3) Father Donahue, the priest who baptizes Germain, Jemmy, and Joan in FIERY CROSS.  He seemed a very pragmatic, adaptable sort of person, perfectly willing to baptize the children with whisky instead of water if that was the only option available.  (And IMHO he gets extra points for managing to keep a straight face while listening to Jamie's confession involving Claire and the butter churn. <g>)

4) Father Michael FitzGibbons, abbot of Inchcleraun monastery, Ireland.  The abbot is a decent man (despite his desire to get Jamie involved in the Jacobite scheme), with a curiosity about the natural world that I was surprised to see in a priest.

5) Jeffries, the Dunsanys' coachman in VOYAGER.  Besides Jamie, and Lord and Lady Dunsany, he's the only other eyewitness to the death of the Eighth Earl of Ellesmere.  I wonder if we'll see him again in a future book?

6) Aloysius O'Shaughnessy Murphy.  Ship's cook aboard the Artemis, in VOYAGER. He makes a truly memorable (or should we say infamous?) turtle soup! <g>

7) The O'Higgins brothers, Rafe and Mick, who helped to smuggle Percy Wainwright out of prison near the end of BROTHERHOOD OF THE BLADE.  They played only a relatively minor role in that book, but I thought they were pretty entertaining.

8) Tobias Quinn.  He was certainly a memorable character in THE SCOTTISH PRISONER, although I found him somewhat irritating and a nuisance most of the time.  I liked his sense of humor.

9) Finbar Scanlon. The apothecary in LORD JOHN AND THE PRIVATE MATTER.  Among other things, he cured Maria Mayrhofer of syphilis by deliberately infecting her with malaria.

10) Gerald Siverly.  He saved Lord John's life in "The Custom of the Army", but that's his only redeeming quality, as far as I'm concerned.  He was a very memorable villain in THE SCOTTISH PRISONER!

Have a wonderful St. Patrick's Day, everybody!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Don't forget Rollo who is part Irish Wolfhound!

Catherine MacGregor said...

Loved this post, Karen, and with your lovely red hair you could of course be a Celt, Scottish or Irish -- as a mutt myself, I'd happily claim you as kinfolk today or any other day on either side of the family. We could also, because of their Irish names, include Murtagh, Mrs. Fitz, and even Laoghaire. The Scots Gaels, as you know, originally came from Ireland. (Digression: Glasgow comedian Billy Connolly, the light of madness glinting in his eyes, speculating on what the original Irishman who'd volunteered to check out the island across the way would have said to his tribesman when he returned: "I've found a place with weatherrrrrr even worrrrrse than this: FOLLOW ME!!!"
May the road rise to greet you, etc.