Happy 100th Birthday, Claire Fraser!!
Wishing a very happy 100th birthday (believe it or not!) to our favorite time-traveling Sassenach, Claire Elizabeth Beauchamp Randall Fraser! She was born on October 20, 1918.
If you're on Twitter, please tag your tweets today (October 20th) with #Sassenach100.
In celebration of Claire's centennial, 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!
* * * SPOILER WARNING!! * * *
If you haven't read all of the OUTLANDER books, you will find spoilers below! Read at your own risk.
By now I had sufficient command of myself to speak, and I did so. I stepped back a pace, so that the torchlight fell full on me, for I wanted him to remember my face.
“You asked me, Captain, if I were a witch,” I said, my voice low and steady. “I’ll answer you now. Witch I am. Witch, and I curse you. You will marry, Captain, and your wife will bear a child, but you shall not live to see your firstborn. I curse you with knowledge, Jack Randall--I give you the hour of your death.”
(From OUTLANDER by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 35, "Wentworth Prison". Copyright© 1991 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
DRAGONFLY IN AMBER
Then all at once, the fear left me. I could not leave him, and I would not.
"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.)
You are my baby, and always will be. You won’t know what that means until you have a child of your own, but I tell you now, anyway--you’ll always be as much a part of me as when you shared my body and I felt you move inside. Always.
I can look at you, asleep, and think of all the nights I tucked you in, coming in the dark to listen to your breathing, lay my hand on you and feel your chest rise and fall, knowing that no matter what happens, everything is right with the world because you are alive.
(From VOYAGER by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 42, "The Man in the Moon". Copyright ©1994 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
DRUMS OF AUTUMN
"It’s up to me to keep ye safe!”
I tried to jerk away, but he had a tight grip on me, and he wasn’t letting go.
“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!"
(From DRUMS OF AUTUMN by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 13, "An Examination of Conscience". Copyright ©1997 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
THE FIERY CROSS
"When I am a hundred and one, and you’re ninety-six, I’ll invite you to my bed—and we’ll see which one of us rises to the occasion, hmm?”
He looked at me thoughtfully, a glint in the dark blue of his eyes.
“I’ve a mind to take ye where ye stand, Sassenach,” he said. “Payment on account, hmm?”
“I’ve a mind to take you up on it,” I said. “However ...” I glanced through the screen of branches toward the house, which was clearly visible. The trees were beginning to leaf out, but the tiny sprays of tender green were by no means sufficient camouflage. I turned back, just as Jamie’s hands descended on the swell of my hips.
Events after that were somewhat confused, with the predominant impressions being an urgent rustling of fabric, the sharp scent of trodden onion grass, and the crackling of last year’s oak leaves, dry underfoot.
My eyes popped open a few moments later.
“Don’t stop!” I said, disbelieving. “Not now, for God’s sake!”
He grinned down at me, stepping back and letting his kilt fall into place. His face was flushed a ruddy bronze with effort, and his chest heaved under his shirt ruffles.
He grinned maliciously, and wiped a sleeve across his forehead.
“I’ll gie ye the rest when I’m ninety-six, aye?”
“You won’t live that long! Come here!"
(From THE FIERY CROSS by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 40, "Duncan's Secret". 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.What about the rest of you? Do you have a favorite Claire quote, or scene, from the books or show? What is it about Claire that makes her such an amazing character?
(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.)
Happy 100th Birthday, Claire! Many thanks to Diana Gabaldon for creating such an unforgettable character, and to Caitriona Balfe for bringing her to life on TV!