Happy 96th birthday to Claire Elizabeth Beauchamp Randall Fraser!
If you're on Twitter, please tag your tweets today (October 20th) with #HappyBDayClaire, especially between the hours of 8-10 pm in your local time zone. We are going to try to send this hashtag around the world, as we did with #WorldOutlanderDay a few months ago.
In celebration of Claire's birthday, here are some of my favorite "Claire moments" from the OUTLANDER books. It wasn't easy to pick just one per book, but I tried to choose quotes that highlight the many different aspects of Claire's personality. I hope you enjoy them!
Twenty-seven years of propriety were no match for several hundred thousand years of instinct. While my mind might object to being taken on a bare rock next to several sleeping soldiers, my body plainly considered itself the spoils of war and was eager to complete the formalities of surrender.
(From OUTLANDER by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 18, "Raiders in the Rocks". Copyright© 1991 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
DRAGONFLY IN AMBER
"Cut me,” I said urgently. “Deep enough to leave a scar. I want to take away your touch with me, to have something of you that will stay with me always. I don’t care if it hurts; nothing could hurt more than leaving you. At least when I touch it, wherever I am, I can feel your touch on me."
(From DRAGONFLY IN AMBER by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 46, "Timor Mortis Conturbat Me". Copyright© 1992 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
I ached desperately; my head throbbed, my back was stiff and my feet swollen, but none of these was of any significance, compared to the deeper ache that knotted my heart.
Any doctor hates to lose a patient. Death is the enemy, and to lose someone in your care to the clutch of the dark angel is to be vanquished yourself, to feel the rage of betrayal and impotence, beyond the common, human grief of loss and the horror of death’s finality. I had lost twenty-three men between dawn and sunset of this day. Elias was only the first.
(From VOYAGER by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 48, "Moment of Grace". Copyright© 1994 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
DRUMS OF AUTUMN
"What, exactly, are ye doing, Sassenach? And what in the name of God are ye wearing?” Jamie, arms crossed, was leaning against the door, watching me with both brows raised.
"I am improvising a brassiere,” I said with dignity. “I don’t mean to ride sidesaddle through the mountains wearing a dress, and if I’m not wearing stays, I don’t mean my breasts to be joggling all the way, either. Most uncomfortable, joggling."
(From DRUMS OF AUTUMN by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 13, "An Examination of Conscience". Copyright© 1997 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
THE FIERY CROSS
As for sweeping the floor, polishing the windows, dusting, and general drudgery of that sort...well, if women’s work was never done, why trouble about how much of it wasn’t being accomplished at any given moment?
(From THE FIERY CROSS by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 96, "Aurum". Copyright© 2001 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
A BREATH OF SNOW AND ASHES
"I have lived through a fucking 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 fucking 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.
“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.)
AN ECHO IN THE BONE
I had picked up Jamie’s sword before. It was a cavalry sword, larger and heavier than the usual, but I didn’t notice now.
I snatched it up and swung it in a two-handed arc that ripped the air and left the metal ringing in my hands.
Mother and son jumped back, identical looks of ludicrous surprise on their round, grimy faces.
“Get away!” I said.
Her mouth opened, but she didn’t say anything.
"I’m sorry for your man,” I said. “But my man lies here. Get away, I said!” I raised the sword, and the woman stepped back hastily, dragging the boy by the arm.
(From AN ECHO IN THE BONE by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 62, "One Just Man". Copyright© 2009 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART'S BLOOD
A trained surgeon is also a potential killer, and an important bit of the training lies in accepting the fact. Your intent is entirely benign--or at least you hope so--but you are laying violent hands on someone, and you must be ruthless in order to do it effectively. And sometimes the person under your hands will die, and knowing that...you do it anyway.Happy Birthday, Claire! Many thanks to Diana Gabaldon for creating such an amazing character, and to Caitriona Balfe for bringing her to life on TV!
(From WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART'S BLOOD by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 117, "Into the Briar Patch". Copyright© 2014 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)