common bonnet

As far back as the 1960s in Britain, when anti-nuclear protesters - mainly women - set up a peace camp at Greenham Common, they turned an air force fence into a work of art with their knitting and material crafts. In fact, knitting’s association with political dissent goes back hundreds of years - to the grim days of the the French revolution. Women known as les tricoteuses (knitting women) famously sat by the guillotine in Paris during the “reign of terror” - and were later immortalised by Charles Dickens in the sinister character of Madame Defarge in A Tale of Two Cities. They would watch the executions calmly - knitting the symbolic red “liberty cap” between deaths, according to some stories. Those bonnets rouges are a symbol still worn by the figure of Marianne, the embodiment of France. The United States adopted that patriotic-yet-productive spirit during its own revolution, when women knitted clothing for soldiers during the war of independence - a wartime tradition that continued into the twentieth century.
—  “Pussyhat’ knitters join long tradition of crafty activism’, BBC
Drums of Autumn - ch.13 - favourite

“Your face is my heart, Sassenach,” he said softly, “and love of you is my soul. But you’re right; ye canna be my conscience.”

In spite of everything, I felt a lightening of spirit, as though some indefinable burden had dropped away.

“Oh, I’m glad,” I said, adding impulsively, “it would be a terrible strain.”

“Oh, aye?” He looked mildly startled. “Ye think me verra wicked, then?”

“You’re the best man I’ve ever met,” I said. “I only meant … it’s such a strain, to try to live for two people. To try to make them fit your ideas of what’s right … you do it for a child, of course, you have to, but even then, it’s dreadfully hard work. I couldn’t do it for you—it would be wrong even to try.”

I’d taken him back more than a little. He sat for some moments, his face half turned away.

“Do ye really think me a good man?” he said at last. There was a queer note in his voice, that I couldn’t quite decipher.

“Yes,” I said, with no hesitation. Then added, half jokingly, “Don’t you?”

After a long pause, he said, quite seriously, “No, I shouldna think so.”

I looked at him, speechless, no doubt with my mouth hanging open.

“I am a violent man, and I ken it well,” he said quietly. He spread his hands out on his knees; big hands, which could wield sword and dagger with ease, or choke the life from a man. “So do you—or ye should.”

“You’ve never done anything you weren’t forced to do!”


“I don’t think so,” I said, but even as I spoke, a shadow of doubt clouded my words. Even when done from the most urgent necessity, did such things not leave a mark on the soul?

“Ye wouldna hold me in the same estimation as, say, a man like Stephen Bonnet? He might well say he acted from necessity.”

“If you think you have the slightest thing in common with Stephen Bonnet, you’re dead wrong,” I said firmly.

He shrugged, half impatient, and shifted restlessly on the narrow bench.

“There’s nay much to choose between Bonnet and me, save that I have a sense of honor that he lacks. What else keeps me from turning thief?” he demanded. “From plundering those whom I might? It is in me to do it—my one grandsire built Leoch on the gold of those he robbed in the Highland passes; the other built his fortune on the bodies of women whom he forced for their wealth and titles.”

He stretched himself, powerful shoulders rising dark against the shimmer of the water behind him. Then he suddenly took hold of the oars across his knees and flung them into the bottom of the boat, with a crash that made me jump.

“I am more than five-and-forty!” he said. “A man should be settled at that age, no? He should have a house, and some land to grow his food, and a bit of money put away to see him through his auld age, at the least.”

He took a deep breath; I could see the white bosom of his shirt rise with his swelling chest.

“Well, I dinna have a house. Or land. Or money. Not a croft, not a tattie-plot, not a cow or a sheep or a pig or a goat! I havena got a rooftree or a bedstead, or a pot to piss in!”

He slammed his fist down on the thwart, making the wooden seat vibrate under me.

“I dinna own the clothes I stand up in!”

There was a long silence, broken only by the thin song of crickets.

“You have me,” I said, in a small voice. It didn’t seem a lot.

He made a small sound in his throat that might have been either a laugh or a sob.

“Aye, I have,” he said. His voice was quivering a bit, though whether with passion or amusement, I couldn’t tell. “That’s the hell of it, aye?”

“It is?”

He threw up his hand in a gesture of profound impatience.

“If it was only me, what would it matter? I could live like Myers; go to the woods, hunt and fish for my living, and when I was too old, lie down under a peaceful tree and die, and let the foxes gnaw my bones. Who would care?”

He shrugged his shoulders with irritable violence, as though his shirt was too tight.

“But it’s not only me,” he said. “It’s you, and it’s Ian and it’s Duncan and it’s Fergus and it’s Marsali—God help me, there’s even Laoghaire to think of!”

“Oh, let’s don’t,” I said.

“Do ye not understand?” he said, in near desperation. “I would lay the world at your feet, Claire—and I have nothing to give ye!”

He honestly thought it mattered.

I sat looking at him, searching for words. He was half turned away, shoulders slumped in despair.

Within an hour, I had gone from anguish at the thought of losing him in Scotland, to a strong desire to bed him in the herbaceous borders, and from that to a pronounced urge to hit him on the head with an oar. Now I was back to tenderness.

At last I took one big, callused hand and slid forward so I knelt on the boards between his knees. I laid my head against his chest, and felt his breath stir my hair. I had no words, but I had made my choice.

“ ‘Whither thou goest,’ ” I said, “ ‘I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried.’ ” Be it Scottish hill or southern forest. “You do what you have to; I’ll be there.”

So I actually live very close to Charleston, SC and we have a museum there. Well in the kid’s section of this museum, there was a little subsection on famous Pirates of the Charleston Coast. Now I was completely aware of this, but to my followers, I thought I might share this tidbit of information. Considering there is a Pirate Bonnet in the Outlander books, I thought you might like to know about the real Pirate Bonnet. You’ll find that he has much in common with the Bonnet of the books I’d wager, though the two lived in completely seperate timeframes. Just a little History fun for you guys.