Random Thoughts: Droughtlander is Over!

MARA Blog

Published: September 25, 2017 by Katie Kuryla 

Are you an avid fan of the series Outlander,  have you’ve been watching the new season on Starz channel since September 10th, or are you fan of the books? If you haven’t heard of Outlander, it follows the story of Claire Randall, a married combat nurse from 1945 who is mysteriously swept back in time to 1743, where she is immediately thrown into an unknown world in which her life is threatened.

When she is forced to marry Jamie Fraser, a chivalrous and romantic young Scottish warrior, a passionate relationship is ignited that tears Claire’s heart between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

Diana Gabaldon is the author of the Outlander series and her books have Well-drawn characters and vivid descriptions and traces the political and physical revolution from the Jacobite rising all the way through the American Revolution., but Gabaldon’s use of historically accurate details—aside from the time travel—also undergirds the plots. Through her writings, she’s become an expert in 18th-century Scotland but that wouldn’t be possible without using archives and history research.

Gabaldon, a research professor, has spent the past 24 years researching clans of Scotland, battles, folk-medicines, and plenty more through books, archives, and the internet. She researches as she writes to help keep her books historically accurate. One of her best finds had to do with how she came to name her highlander, Jamie Fraser. -Spoiler alert – She was reading a book for research called the Prince in the Heather, by Eric Linklater, which described what happened after the Battle of Culloden. In the book, it was said that, following the battle, 19 wounded Jacobite officers took refuge in the farmhouse by the side of the field. There they lay for two days with their wounds, unattended in pain. At the end of that time they were taken out and shot, except one man, a Fraser of the Master of Lovet’s regiment, who survived the slaughter. And she thought that if she expect Jamie to survive Culloden then his last name better be Fraser.

Archives resources can shed light on pivotal periods throughout history which help researchers, writers, and more be able to entertain us with their knowledge. I believe that the Outlander series, book and show, wouldn’t be as entertaining had Diana Gabaldon just made up history in her books. Have you ever wonder wear your favorite television show or book from a certain time period gets their information?