Favorite gifts in the OUTLANDER series

Jamie and Claire with medicine box from Outlander Episode 401

As the holiday season gets underway, I've been thinking about the most memorable gifts in the OUTLANDER series. Here are some of my favorites:
Claire's wedding ring, from the Author's Attic site
1) Claire's wedding ring:

Reaching, he took the package from my lap and tore away the wrapping, revealing a wide silver band, decorated in the Highland interlace style, a small and delicate Jacobean thistle bloom carved in the center of each link.

So much I saw, and then my eyes blurred again. I found a handkerchief thrust into my hand, and did my best to stanch the flow with it.

“It’s…beautiful,” I said, clearing my throat and dabbling at my eyes.

“Will ye wear it, Claire?” His voice was gentle now, and his use of my name, mostly reserved for occasions of formality or tenderness, nearly made me break down again.

“You needna do so,” he said, looking at me seriously over his cupped palm. “The marriage contract between us is satisfied--it’s legal. You’re protected, safe from anything much save a warrant, and even from that, so long as you’re at Leoch. If ye wish, we may live apart--if that’s what ye were trying to say wi’ all yon rubbish about Laoghaire. You need have little more to do wi’ me, if that’s your honest choice.” He sat motionless, waiting, holding the tiny circlet near his heart.

So he was giving me the choice I had started out to give him. Forced on me by circumstance, he would force himself on me no longer, if I chose to reject him. And there was the alternative, of course: to accept the ring, and all that went with it.

(From OUTLANDER by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 23, "Return to Leoch". Copyright© 1991 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)

(The photo above shows Claire's ring from the Author's Attic site, which is based on the drawing of the ring on p. 359 of the OUTLANDISH COMPANION Volume 1.)

Pearl necklace inspired by Outlander

2) The pearl necklace Jamie gave Claire on their wedding day:

Ignoring Dougal’s fuming, he drew a short string of white beads from his sporran. He stepped forward and fastened the necklace around my neck. Looking down, I could see it was a string of small baroque pearls, those irregularly shaped productions of freshwater mussels, interspersed with tiny pierced-work gold roundels. Smaller pearls dangled from the gold beads.

“They’re only Scotch pearls,” he said, apologetically, “but they look bonny on you.” His fingers lingered a moment on my neck.

“Those were your mother’s pearls!” said Dougal, glowering at the necklace.

“Aye,” said Jamie calmly, “and now they’re my wife’s. Shall we go?”

(From OUTLANDER by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 14, "A Marriage Takes Place". Copyright© 1991 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)

(I bought the necklace pictured above a few years ago from Hamilton & Young. It's available here if you're interested.)

Photo of Brianna as a teenager, from Outlander Episode 306

3) Brianna's photos:

“Oh, God!” [Jamie] said, at the picture of Bree at ten, sitting on the kitchen floor with her arms around Smoky, the big Newfoundland. That one was in color; her hair a brilliant shimmer against the dog’s shiny black coat.

His hands were shaking so badly that he couldn’t hold the pictures anymore; I had to show him the last few—Bree full-grown, laughing at a string of fish she’d caught; standing at a window in secretive contemplation; red-faced and tousled, leaning on the handle of the ax she had been using to split kindling. These showed her face in all the moods I could capture, always that face, long-nosed and wide-mouthed, with those high, broad, flat Viking cheekbones and slanted eyes—a finer-boned, more delicate version of her father’s, of the man who sat on the cot beside me, mouth working wordlessly, and the tears running soundless down his own cheeks.

He splayed a hand out over the photographs, trembling fingers not quite touching the shiny surfaces, and then he turned and leaned toward me, slowly, with the improbable grace of a tall tree falling. He buried his face in my shoulder and went very quietly and thoroughly to pieces.

(From VOYAGER by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 24, "A. Malcolm, Printer". Copyright© 1994 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)

Fergus and Marsali's wedding in Outlander

4) Fergus's last name:

“Fergus,” Fergus repeated, with a note of strain in his voice. Fergus was the only name he had ever had—bar his original French name of Claudel. Jamie had given him the name Fergus in Paris, when they had met, twenty years before. But naturally a brothel-born bastard would have no last name to give a wife.

“Fraser,” said a deep, sure voice beside me. Fergus and Marsali both glanced back in surprise, and Jamie nodded. His eyes met Fergus’s, and he smiled faintly.

“Fergus Claudel Fraser,” he said, slowly and clearly. One eyebrow lifted as he looked at Fergus. Fergus himself looked transfixed. His mouth hung open, eyes wide black pools in the dim light. Then he nodded slightly, and a glow rose in his face, as though he contained a candle that had just been lit.

“Fraser,” he said to the priest. His voice was husky, and he cleared his throat. “Fergus Claudel Fraser.”

Father Fogden had his head tilted back, watching the sky, where a crescent of light floated over the trees, holding the black orb of the moon in its cup. He lowered his head to face Fergus, looking dreamy.

“Well, that’s good,” he said. “Isn’t it?”

(From VOYAGER by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 52, "A Wedding Takes Place." Copyright© 1994 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)

wooden toy car

5) The toy cars Roger carved for the children:

Crouching, Roger took the car and rolled it along the hearthstones. “See? Vroom. Vroom-vroom!”

“Broom!” Jemmy echoed. “Lemme do it, Daddy, let me!”

Roger surrendered the toy to Jemmy, smiling.

“Broom! Broom-broom!” The little boy shoved the car enthusiastically, then, losing his grip on it, watched open-mouthed as it zoomed to the end of the hearthstone by itself, hit the edge, and flipped over. Squealing with delight, he scampered after the new toy.

Still smiling, Roger glanced up, to see Brianna looking after Jem, a rather odd expression on her face. She felt his eyes on her, and looked down at him. “Vroom?” she said quietly, and he felt a small internal jolt, like a punch in the stomach.

“Whatsit, Daddy, what’s it?” Jemmy had recaptured the toy and ran up to him, clutching it to his chest.

“It’s a … a …” he began, helpless. It was in fact a crude replica of a Morris Minor, but even the word “car,” let alone “automobile,” had no meaning here. And the internal combustion engine, with its pleasantly evocative noises, was at least a century away.

“I guess it’s a vroom, honey,” said Bree, a distinct tone of sympathy in her voice.

(From A BREATH OF SNOW AND ASHES by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 18, "Vroom!" Copyright© 2005 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)

Claire's medical chest from Outlander Episode 401

6) Claire's medical chest:

“What’s this?” I ran my hand curiously over the box. “Oh, only a wee present.” He didn’t look at me, but the tips of his ears were pink. “Open it, hm?”

It was a heavy box, both wide and deep. Carved of a dense, fine-grained dark wood, it bore the marks of heavy use—nicks and dents that had seasoned but not impaired its polished beauty. It was hasped for a lock, but there was none; the lid rose easily on oiled brass hinges, and a whiff of camphor floated out, vaporous as a jinn.

The instruments gleamed under the smoky sun, bright despite a hazing of disuse. Each had its own pocket, carefully fitted and lined in green velvet.

A small, heavy-toothed saw; scissors, three scalpels—round-bladed, straight-bladed, scoop-bladed; the silver blade of a tongue depressor, a tenaculum...

“Jamie!” Delighted, I lifted out a short ebony rod, to the end of which was affixed a ball of worsted, wrapped in rather moth-eaten velvet. I’d seen one before, at Versailles; the eighteenth-century version of a reflex hammer. “Oh, Jamie! How wonderful!”

He wiggled his feet, pleased.

“Oh, ye like it?”

“I love it! Oh, look—there’s more in the lid, under this flap—” I stared for a moment at the disjointed tubes, screws, platforms and mirrors, until my mind’s eye shuffled them and presented me with the neatly assembled vision. “A microscope!” I touched it reverently. “My God, a microscope.”

(From DRUMS OF AUTUMN by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 8, "Man of Worth". Copyright© 1997 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)

Thanks to Outlander Anatomy for this detailed look at the contents of the medical chest as shown in OUTLANDER Episode 401, "America the Beautiful". It's very much as I pictured from the books.

Adso the kitten

7) Adso the kitten:

“Here’s your wee ratten, Sassenach,” he said, and gently deposited a ball of gray fur on the coverlet. Huge eyes of a pale celadon green stared up at me, unblinking.

“Well, goodness,” I said. “Wherever did you come from?” I extended a finger, very slowly. The kitten didn’t move. I touched the edge of a tiny gray-silk jaw, and the big green eyes disappeared, going to slits as it rubbed against my finger. A surprisingly deep purr rumbled through its miniature frame.

That,” Jamie said, with immense satisfaction, “is the present I meant to give ye, Sassenach. He’ll keep the vermin from your surgery.”

(From THE FIERY CROSS by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 18, "No Place Like Home". Copyright© 2001 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)

Lord of the Rings paperbacks from 1970s<

8) The LORD OF THE RINGS books Bree brought for Jamie. I thought that was hilarious!

Roger coughed, and when Brianna looked at him, he tilted his head toward the bag.

“And…” she said, smiling at Jamie. “For you, Da.” She pulled out a small, thick paperback and handed it to him. “And for you…” A second book followed the first. “And this one’s for you, too.” The third.

“They all go together,” Roger said gruffly. “It’s all one story, I mean, but printed in three volumes.”

“Oh, aye?” Jamie turned over one of the books gingerly, as though afraid it might disintegrate in his hands.

“It’s glued, is it? The binding?”

“Aye,” Roger said, smiling. “It’s called a paperback, that sort of wee book. They’re cheap and light.”

Jamie weighed the book on his hand and nodded, but he was already reading the back cover.

“Frodo Baggins,” he read aloud, and looked up, baffled. “A Welshman?”

“Not exactly. Brianna thought the tale might speak to ye,” Roger said, his smile deepening as he looked at her. “I think she’s right.”

(From GO TELL THE BEES THAT I AM GONE by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 9, "Animal Nursery Tales". Copyright© 2021 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)

rosary made of light brown wood

9) And finally, the wooden rosary Jamie gave six-year-old William as a parting gift:

He smiled down at Willie, then, struck by another impulse, reached into the neck of his shirt.

“Here. Keep this, too, to remember me by.” He laid the beechwood rosary gently over Willie’s head. “Ye canna let anyone see that, though,” he warned. “And for God’s sake, dinna tell anyone you’re a Papist.”

“I won’t,” Willie promised. “Not a soul.” He tucked the rosary into his shirt, patting carefully to be sure that it was hidden.

“Good.” Jamie reached out and ruffled Willie’s hair in dismissal. “It’s almost time for your tea; ye’d best go on up to the house now.”

Willie started for the door, but stopped halfway, suddenly distressed again, with a hand pressed flat to his chest.

“You said to keep this to remember you. But I haven’t got anything for you to remember me by!”

Jamie smiled slightly. His heart was squeezed so tight, he thought he could not draw breath to speak, but he forced the words out.

“Dinna fret yourself,” he said. “I’ll remember ye.”

(From VOYAGER by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 16, "Willie". Copyright© 1994 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)

What about the rest of you? What's your favorite gift from the OUTLANDER series, books or show? Please leave a comment here or on my Outlandish Observations Facebook page.


Donna LaCroix said...

I loved the portrait that Claire left for Bree - and all the motherly advice!

Alison S said...

I love the books Brianna brought back to the Americas for her family when she returned from the future in “Go Tell the Bees I Am Gone”. I particularly like “Lord of the Rings”: a very suitable gift for Jamie. I chuckled at Mandy’s favourite book too. And of course the book for Claire was most suitable.
Alison S

Boca Betsy said...

I loved it when Jamie led Claire down to the warm underground pool at the abbey, at the end of Outlander. He hoped it was close to the hot baths she missed from her time. And afterwards, of course, she told him she was pregnant.

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