Omg will you do 'scandalous ankles'? Can they be Sherlock's? I will die.
Aaaand we’re back to the Victorian era! So when I first got this one my thought was, oh this is definitely gonna be cute and silly. Well…it seems that all I know how to do with these historical prompts is to get feelsy and romantic lol. Hope you don’t mind! :D (and I also hope you don’t mind that the focus on the actual ankles is pretty minimal lol)
“Good heavens!” Molly exclaimed as Sherlock burst through the door.
“Yes yes,” he sighed. “I realize my socks and shoes are missing. There are perils of chasing a criminal through the streets of London. Now, where is Mrs. Hudson?”
“She went out. Was there something you needed?” Molly asked, standing from her chair and doing her best not to stare at the amusingly bare feet of Mr- her fiancé, she reminded herself. It was awfully easy to forget sometimes, seeing as he hardly treated her as his bride to be. Though it would be hard to forget in two more days, seeing as then they would actually be getting married.
“Nothing,” he huffed. “Just looking for tea.”
Molly stood there for a moment, hesitating. But Lord knows she needed to try and put at least a little crack in the walls that seemed to surround this man.
“Why don’t you sit? I’ll make some tea.”
Martha Hudson’s had been kind enough to take Molly in upon the death of her father, who happened to be the older landlady’s younger brother. She was kind and hospitable, making Molly feel comfortable and welcome. And naturally Molly was soon introduced to her aunts tenant.
Sherlock Holmes had Molly head over heels within the first day. And he seemed pleased with her too, in his own way. They got on swimmingly; their mutual love of science and medicine creating an instant connection. But their innocent friendship was quickly noticed by the rest of the Holmes family, and it wasn’t long before Sherlock’s parents and brother thought up and orchestrated a rather surprising arrangement.
A few silent minutes of preparation later and Molly set the tea down at the table.
“Are they cold?”
Sherlock frowned. “Pardon?”
“Forgive me,” she laughed while handing him a cup. “I mean your feet.”
“Ah, that,” he acknowledged, glancing down. “A bit, I suppose.”
Molly convinced him that they should move to the chairs by Mrs. Hudson’s fireplace so he could warm his tired and cold feet. He seemed to settle in and relax after that, sipping his tea after divesting himself of his coat and suit jacket.
“So…two days then?”
He looked at her over the edge of his cup, still for a moment before quietly responding in agreement.
“Two days, yes.” He cleared his throat. “You’ll no doubt miss living here once having to move upstairs to what Mrs. Watson calls my ‘scruffy old flat.’”
“It’ll be our scruffy old flat…and it won’t bother me,” Molly replied with a soft smile, though that faded a second later. “Though, perhaps I’ll be the bother to you.”
“No!” Sherlock responded, more forcefully than Molly would have expected, which he clearly registered.
The tired looking detective sighed, set his tea down, and shut his eyes for a moment before looking at her again. “Miss Hooper, please forgive me but I cannot pretend to know what it is I am doing…with you. I have always considered myself married to my profession, and it has been a rather easy relationship. But you are…”
Molly watched him with baited breath, unsure of what he would say next.
“You are so much more,” he murmured. “The idea of being a husband to you is not repulsive to me, it is simply unfamiliar. It is unlike anything I’ve undertaken before and I fear that if I am not careful I could…fail you. And if I have been distant during our engagement this past month, it is only because of that fear.”
Molly would swear later that it was the forceful beating of her heart which propelled her out of her own chair and into the lap of her fiancé. She’d never so much as held his hand in affection before, but somehow this seemed as natural as drawing her next breath.
As she sat across his legs, she caught his face in her hands and pressed her lips to his, silencing any possible question forming in his mouth. And then she felt the delicious pressure of his hands around her waist as his lips and tongue responded instinctively in just the way she’d hoped. She melted into him for a few moments before pulling away and resting her forehead against his.
“Never be afraid you’ll fail me,” she whispered. “To be sure, we shall both be trying our best to learn something new. But along the way I cannot help but believe we shall also be having a truly marvelous time!”
His half lidded eyes smiled back at her. “Yes, I’m beginning to see that.”
Molly blushed a little. “I suppose you know now what you do to me, Sherlock Holmes…see that you use your power responsibly,” she teased.
“Am I allowed to use this sort of power anytime I need coddling after coming home barefoot?” He punctuated the statement with a kiss to her nose.
“Oh, especially then!” Molly agreed with a giggle and then sighed contentedly, leaning into him again.
“Well…it seems that I now only have one more pressing concern,” Sherlock murmured low.
Sherlock let out a little huff of frustration while clinging to her affectionately.
Lame adaptations and sequels are always like, “how can Mina go back to her stifling Victorian marriage after her experience with the dark, seductive Dracula??”
Meanwhile, Mina marries her best friend, who she’s known since they were children, who she share common interests with, they build a home together, work as partners, make immense sacrifices for each other, support each other through their traumas.
Guys, a marriage isn’t stifling and restrictive just because two people… get along, I guess?
@likingthistoomuchrequested an angsty (with happy at the end) Victorian or Regency Sherlolly where Molly breaks off their engagement because of how she believes Sherlock feels about Irene. I’m gonna go with Victorian and I also went with Sherlock’s POV. Enjoy! ;)
Sherlock passed by the library in his parent’s estate, catching sight of Molly lingering by the fireplace and wringing her hands a bit. The silvery gown she wore glistened with the kiss of the nearby flames, and for a moment she looked almost unearthly.
“Ah, Miss Hooper,” he announced casually as he entered the room. “Watson said he saw you head this way. Perhaps it would be best if you rejoined the party, seeing as my father is preparing to announce our engagement.”
She remained silent.
Sherlock frowned to himself. Something wasn’t right.
“Miss Hooper?” he questioned, stepping further into the room now.
“I cannot,” she said very softly.
Molly turned then, revealing the shimmer of tears on her cheeks which matched her gown. She gave him a quick smile.
“Mr. Holmes, I cannot go through with this. This engagement and marriage…it is so obviously a mistake.”
When we set up the library we painstakingly created a whole series of user-friendly pages - which can be found here.
We plan to fill these with all and every Hannigram, AU and Rare Pair Omegaverse fic/art/creation we can find from ao3 and tumblr. However, we realised early on that most (possibly all) Tumblr Apps cannot access tumblr pages and just reroute back to the main blog. It has taken us a while to come up with the solution and there may still be access issues (the Library Pages continue to be available in browsers), but we hope this solution is viable.
Having meticulously tagged reblogs and library shelving updates, we have set up this Masterpost to link to blog posts rather than pages via tag links. Below is a list of those tags, which will likely be added to over time (those currently with no links have no active tags as yet). You can use these to look up stories we have, and continue to, post and reblog.
Happy browsing, oh, and if you find our missing box of knotting dildos on one of the shelves, just had it in at the helpdesk!
Aaaand also a fluffy one 51 😍😍😍 please and thank you 💞
I decided to go Victorian arranged marriage with this one. Somehow the romance of the prompt swept me away and made me want a period setting. :)
51. “I’m your husband. It’s my job.”
Molly sat by the fire with her feet tucked under her, still sniffling occasionally and dabbing at her eyes. She hated how deeply she was still affected by this; just by the simple calendar date. There were times she wished she was as little influenced by emotions as her husband was. In fact, it was probably a mercy that he wasn’t home yet.
This was the fifth anniversary of her father’s death, and the first one that she’d experienced while being married to Sherlock Holmes, which in some ways made it more distressing. Shouldn’t she be happier overall? Some sadness was surely normal, but this? No, this was not how a newly married woman should feel on the day she lost her father a full five years earlier.
She felt so alone.
That was when she heard the door to the flat open and she desperately tried to wipe the remaining moisture from her eyes and fully turn to the fire so that Sherlock couldn’t see her face. She hoped he would just putter around and perhaps go to bed, leaving her in peace. It gave her a start when she felt his hand come to rest on her shoulder.
“Forgive my late return,” he said softly, eyes sweeping her face and seeing what she wished he wouldn’t
“Forgiven,” Molly mumbled, her voice not steady enough to truly speak aloud.
Sherlock’s hand slid down her shoulder, down her arm, and then grasped her hand as he took a seat in his chair across from her.
“I am sorry that you are grieving so painfully today,” he whispered.
Molly’s face instantly crumpled again at the his acknowledgement of her sadness and she tried to cover her face. But he pulled her hand away.
“Molly, you needn’t hide this from me.”
“You do not want- you cannot endure…” she tried to catch her breath through sobs. “You cannot endure a flood of emotion and sentiment like this! This is precisely wh-what you hate!”
“It doesn’t matter what I’ve said in the past about emotion because right now you are hurting and I love you.”
Her sobs stilled. He had never said that before. Nothing even close. In the six months since their arranged marriage, mostly courtesy of the elder Holmes brother, Molly had barely heard a peep of her husband’s actual feelings for her. He seemed to tolerate her presence. He clearly liked having her help. But affection? No, Molly had quickly abandoned that possibility. So to hear those three little words tumble from his lips so vehemently was truly unreal.
Sherlock gave her hand a gentle tug to ease her out of the chair, and then he guided her over to instead be seated across his lap. Her cheeks flushed at this level of affection which had been unknown in their marriage till now. At least, not outside of the bedroom. And even then, he’d joined her there only a handful of times since their wedding day.
Molly gave him a cautious smile. “You really love me?”
He nodded. “I apologize that I’ve been remiss about displaying it. Just today I had a rather…frank talking to by Mrs. Watson.”
Molly smiled in amusement along with him, seeing as she knew Mary well enough to imagine how forcefully she would have spoken to Sherlock if he was in need of it.
“She reminded me,” Sherlock went on, “that I am now a husband first, and a detective second, and that my actions and behavior toward you as my wife should make that more than clear. So I promise that from here forward you will not need to feel unsure about how I feel and that I’ll always be here for you in cases of need, both physical and emotional, because…I’m your husband. It’s my job.”
Molly let out a heavy sigh of relief as she leaned into him and hugged him close, burying her face in his shoulder.
“Heavens, I am grateful that you came to your sense today,” she mumbled into his shirt.
“I should not have held back for so long,” he whispered back. “Letting go was rather…frightening though. I felt ill equipped to truly allow myself to fall.”
She held him tighter. “It’s all right, because I’ve got you. And I love you too.”
He pulled back and cleared his throat. “But this is hardly about me! I am here for you this evening. So I was hoping that perhaps…you would tell me a bit about your father.”
Molly smiled. There truly was so much that she’d like to share. So much that Sherlock would be fascinated to hear and that might even make him laugh. But she decided to start by softly saying what felt the most wonderfully fitting in that blessed moment.
Sarah Bernhardt will forever be my biggest celebrity crush. She was a French Jewish actress who rose to prominence in the Victorian era. Sarah was known to sleep in a coffin in order to better understand her roles (talk about method acting!!) and her good friend Victor Hugo once gifted her with a human skull. She also preferred men’s roles. She criticized roles designated for women as lacking depth and emotional range. In regards to preferring men’s roles, Sarah once stated: “The woman more readily looks the part, yet has the maturity of mind to grasp it.”
The Arrangement: A Victorian Fraser Christmas Tale. Prologue One.
Set in 1850: Victorian Britain.
“Oi! Wretch, you’ve mail,” the quartermaster barked, kicking Claire swiftly in the ribs as she dozed on the workhouse floor. Being ‘well to do’ had labelled her as different from her *new* peers and sleeping amongst them had elicited only negative responses. Therefore, she had made herself at home under some old, forgotten equipment in a far off forgotten corner of their draughty government imposed prison.
The small envelope hit her on the head and she feigned sleep, waiting anxiously for the grumpy old man to disappear. As his footsteps vanished down the corridors of the empty building, she reached out and pulled the letter to her chest praying it was what she thought it might be. Squeezing her eyes shut, she tried to bat away the memories of how she’d come to be sequestered here of all places, fifteen and alone.
Uncle Lamb often left Claire in the capable hands of his man servant, Firouz, when he was called to duty abroad; being only young, she was a burden when travelling long distances. In return he wrote and brought home strange artifacts for her.
Having lost her parents before her first birthday in a tragic horse and cart collision, Claire had been thrust into her uncle’s mad world. Taken from country to country, she often travelled on dirty ships with hostile crew members. But, as she’d reached her teenage years, Lamb had thought it more beneficial for her to have a stable upbringing with a *good* education.
Boarding school had been his first suggestion, but Claire had been nothing but defiant when it came to being abandoned in a grotty old schoolhouse with people she did not care for.
Lamb, very conscious of Claire’s natural stubbornness, had succumbed pretty easily and had removed her before any serious damage could be done. But he still refused to sacrifice her schooling, and so, had hired Firouz to act as caregiver and educator during his absences.
Then, halfway through her fifteenth year, disaster had struck. Lambert Beauchamp had been aboard a ship bound for the America’s, a large passenger freight that had been caught short in a storm. The wreckage had been spotted by a returning ship.
No survivors were recorded, and no bodies retrieved.
It hadn’t taken long for the news to be conveyed to all relatives aboard the capsized vessel.
In mere weeks, Lamb’s Oxford home had been stripped and sold off and Claire had been torn from Firouz and thrust into a workhouse, a ward of the state. With no living relatives to claim either her or her dowry, she’d been left at the mercy of the government as a minor with no rights and no time to grieve for her loss.
Daylight shone through the grimy, tiny, windows of the tall brick building, shining a tainted black-yellow light over Claire as she shook the memory of the horror of her ordeal from her filthy skin. Misery wouldn’t solve her situation, not now. Instead, her only hope lay in the hands of one Brian Fraser.
Running the off-cream envelope through her dirty fingers, she brushed the pad of her thumb over the seal.
“Je suis prest.” it read, and she was, she surmised; ready to be out of this place for good.
Brian stood and watched as the rider cantered off, back on his journey to London no doubt.
“Is this the only way, my own?” Ellen’s voice drifted over the fading sound of hoofprints against the dry ground.
“Aye, mo ghaol. I ken it isna ideal for us, but I canna leave the bairn to rot in a *workhouse*,” he spat the word as if it were poison on his tongue, the stale, retched scent of the last one he’d been in clinging to the roof of his mouth as he shuddered at the recollection.
“Ye’ve a good heart, Brian Dubh…” she whispered, brushing the stray strands of his long black hair from around his ears, “tis why I married ye. But what if yer condemning the weans to a life in an unhappy marriage. Ye ken Jamie weel. He loves ye fiercely and he’d do anything to make ye proud. But he’s like me, aye? What if he falls madly in love wi’ another?”
Brian’s heart sank as he contemplated the risks. “Yer right, mo nighean ruaidh, o’ course ye are. I wish things were different, I wish that Lambert was still here wi’ us so that we didna have to make such bold moves. But he isne. So I have to rescue his niece, *we* have to do all we can to get her safely awa’ from that fate…” Wrapping his arm around Ellen’s waist, he pulled her to his side, drawing strength from her presence alone, “however I can.”
“I do love ye so, a ghràdh,” she returned, her heart swelling in affection for the lengths he was willing to go to in order to protect a lass he’d never even met. “Whatever comes o’ this, I’m sure our Jamie will see the benefit of it. And, I’m sure wee Mistress Beauchamp will be ever grateful.”
The harsh October chill whisked through the Scottish air as Brian and Ellen turned, as one, towards Lallybroch. Deal done, all they could do was wait. Claire would need to turn sixteen before she’d be released for her impending nuptials. Only a few days stood between her and freedom, the Frasers could only hope that she survived those and made it to them unscathed.
Rubbing her aching arm, Claire pulled at the tatty dress she’d been given for her long journey up to the highlands. Winter had well and truly set in. The deal that had been proposed months before had taken longer to secure than she’d have liked and it was mid-November before her freedom had been assured.
Dowry lost to unscrupulous fatcats and lawyers, Claire stood outside the vile workhouse with only a battered suitcase and a few measly possessions to call her own. Luckily, that hadn’t stopped Brian Fraser from coming to her aid, money or no, he’d been determined to do his duty by her.
“Mistress Claire?” came the deep Scots burr, breaking Claire from her thoughts as she twisted on her heel in the direction of the calm voice of her rescuer.
“Y-yes, that’s me,” she replied, her voice nearly lost to the rattle of carriages as they whizzed passed, splattering her already soiled dress with mud and muck from the over-clogged cobbled streets.
“Ach! Good. I have an inn for the night, ye dinna mind I hope. Only it’s a long ride back to Broch Tuarach and I didna ken if ye would wish fer a comfortable bed for the evening afore we start out.”
Blushing, Claire dipped her head and curtsied as best as she was able, conveying her appreciation. The overcrowded workhouse had been such a nightmare that she hadn’t stopped to contemplate whether accepting the marriage proposal of a man she’d never met could land her in an even worse situation than the one she’d actually been living. Now, watching as Brian Fraser offered out his hand to her, his kind eyes soft as he’d allowed her to make the first move, she felt the sweet rush of relief fill her right to the marrow.
“Thank you, sir. Yes, that would be most pleasant.”
“Nay, lass, no ‘sir’,” Brian admonished, a smile gracing his soft features, “we’re to be father and daughter-in-law after all, aye?”
At this reminder, Claire gulped. Fear overtaking comfort she’d allowed herself to feel.
Brian, seeing distress colour her features, took her by the hand and brought her to his chest, as gently as he was able.
“Jamie’s a good lad, Claire lassie. I promise ye he’ll do right by ye, no need to fret. Yer uncle was a good friend, he helped us in so many ways, and I wouldna do his memory a disservice by condemning ye to a bad marriage. I ken that words dinna mean a whole lot to ye at the moment, but I’m asking for yer trust on this, please?”
The lulling lilt of his accent soothed Claire as she rested her head against Brian’s chest, inhaling the soft scent of hay and whisky that clung to him like a fine musk. He smelt as a father should, she thought, fatigue seeping through every inch of her.
Nodding, she grasped her hands together behind his back, accepting his request. Having expended all that energy to obtain her immunity, she had to allow him that one courtesy.
Sparking, the fire crackled, filling the gaps in silence in Lallybroch’s main living room. Sitting around its warmth, basking in the glow, all three Fraser siblings sat with a wee dram each discussing the spring harvest regime.
“Jamie, lad?” Ellen called, hating to disrupt the harmony that she usually revelled in.
Dusting himself off, the youngest Fraser stood, placing his (now empty) tumbler back onto the silver tray by the decanter as he answered his mother’s request.
“Aye, mam?” he responded, kissing her cheek softly as she pulled him from the room.
“If everything has gone t’ plan, yer da should be well on his way by now, ken? We’ve everything prepared here. The bands have been read, so it shouldna take more than a week afore ye can be wed properly, ye and Claire.”
There was a faint tinge of sadness in her tone that worried Jamie. As a strong lad of eighteen, it was uncommon for him to still be without a bride, Janet and William were both married after all. But Brian and Ellen being as they were, they had left their youngest be, certain that his heart would guide him right in the end. Now, with his union sealed to a woman he hadn’t even met, Ellen was feeling supremely guilty for breaking the vow she and Brian had made in reference to their youngest surviving bairn.
“What’s amiss, mam?” he questioned, not wishing to see his mother so torn.
“Do ye begrudge me and yer da for arranging yer wedding like this, son?” she broached, a demure lilt to her usually upbeat voice.
Jamie swallowed back any doubts and shook his head, a small smile pulling at his lips.
“Nay, mam, I dinna,” he began, his mind wandering as he pictured what Claire Beauchamp might actually be like. “I dinna ken what a work-house is, and I think I’m fair lucky that I don’t from what da says. The puir lass needs our help, and I wouldna see her in the hands of the English either.”
Ellen’s eyes shone with tears at hearing his words. A conscientious man by nature, Jamie had always been wise beyond his years but seeing him standing tall, his vibrant red hair clubbed at his neck, made her proud of the man he’d become.
“Yer a fair lad, Jamie.” Reaching her hand out, she laid it gently against the soft arc of his high cheekbones. “How can she no’ fall for ye?” she whispered, more to herself than to him causing him to flush bright red.
“I dinna ken, Mam. Maybe she’ll be put off by a rather large Scots farmer?” he jested, a twinkle in his eye. “After all, I do have a tang of horse about me, aye?”
– — –
Claire dozed lightly as the carriage bumped over the winding roads that lead her and Brian up into the Scottish wilds. Having spent nearly a week on the road, the weary pair were glad to be nearly home.
Home. The very word sent tingles down Claire’s spine. She had spent the last six months locked away in a building filled with the forgotten under the constant supervision of a number cruel guards. In that time, she’d seen women birth babies they had no means to care for, she’d witnessed families torn apart by famine and poverty, and she’d seen death in the most horrific ways. Mangled in the machinery, women often lost limbs as well as their lives.
The foul stench of spilt blood and feces wafted around her as if she’d willed it to be so and she wrapped her arms around her middle to avoid losing the contents of her stomach in the close confines of the carriage.
“Claire, are ye alright lassie? Ye’ve gone sae green…” Brian interjected on seeing her crumple in front of him.
Nodding, she lay her head against the cool wood of the interior, unwilling to discuss it whilst they were still on the move. The motion combined with the memories was bad enough, but to dredge it up and have to actively talk about it during their rickety journey would not end well.
Letting the subject drop for the time being, Brian turned his attention to the scenery outside as it flashing by in brown and white blurs.
“The roads along here used to be impassable in winter, aye? We’re lucky now that they have men clearing the way for us, else we’d be stuck in Inverness until the worst of the snow passed,” he chatted, animatedly moving his arms in front of his chest as he pointed to the melting icicles hanging from the trees that lined the thin mud path.
Subdued by his tales of his childhood, Claire began to calm. She dropped her arm as she sat up straight again, relaxing her back against the soft cushions that lined the seats. Sitting for so long had its disadvantages and she squirmed, her back aching at the contact.
As well as various injuries from the worn machines in the factories, Claire had been thwacked with the strap more than necessary. In her final weeks in Oxford, with the taste of freedom coating her tongue like the finest of foods, Claire had been less cautious with her words. Her captors had not been the type to let her sass go unpunished and the final straw had been to strip her bare, haul her in front of the entire factory and thrash her to within an inch of her life with their threadbare leather belts.
Now, angry, sore welts lined the fine skin of her back. Lacing over one another, they were a staunch reminder of the bother her sharp tongue could get her in.
Sensing her anguish, Brian reached below and passed her his whisky flask, eager to offer her some relief. He didn’t know the ins and outs of her injuries, but he could guess that she wasn’t unharmed. Not many escaped the close confines of a workhouse without some form of physical abuse.
“Nearly home now, wee Claire. That willna fill yer belly, but it will make ye forget the hunger, aye? I’m sure Mrs. Crook will have something nice to eat once we’re back, too.”
Taking a swig of the spirit, Claire coughed as the sharp liquid hit the back of her throat.
“I want to thank you, Mr. Fraser…” she sighed, her sweaty palms running over the skirts of her dress as she tried to make herself as comfortable as possible, “for everything you’ve done for me.”
“Ach, Claire. Call me Brian, please, lass? Mr. Fraser is as bad as ‘sir’, ken?” He chuckled as he took back his flask and placed it back in his top pocket.
The sun was hanging low on the horizon as the horse and carriage began its ascent towards Lallybroch. Claire sat up straight, eyes focused out of the window on the faint glow of candlelight ahead, heart racing with nervousness as reality squarely hit home.
Silence filled the enclosed space as the intrepid adventurers came to a stop. Refusing to make eye contact, Claire waited for Brian to leave and come back to open her door before making a move to exit, her feet seemingly attached, firmly, to the floor.
Seeing candlelight flicker to Brian’s immediate left, Claire made it her mission to keep her gaze rigidly affixed to the floor.
“Come now, lass,” Brian cooed, his warm palm resting on her knee as if he were talking to an agitated animal rather than to a wee slip of a girl. “It’s no’ sae bad as all that. Come inside, there’s bannocks and honey.”
At the mention of food, Claire’s belly rumbled loudly, the echo of it resounding around the small space as she admitted defeat and allowed Brian to lead her from the carriage and out into the Scottish night.
“I ken yer uncle didna get chance to bring ye to meet us. Which, under the circumstances, was unfortunate. But he loved the big house.”
Blinking back tears, Claire glanced up, finally. “Y-yes, he did. He told me many stories about its fabulous architecture and its history,” she responded, unable to hold back the fond recollections of Lambert Beauchamp and his excitable recounts of his adventures.
She missed him terribly.
“Good evening, Claire,” a tall red-headed woman interjected, disturbing Claire’s thought as she took her place by Brian’s side, a lovely smile tugging at her pinked lips. “I’m Ellen Fraser. It’s so nice to finally meet yer acquaintance.”
Holding her hands behind her back, Claire couldn’t help but feel a tiny kinship with the Fraser matriarch. Even with only an introduction, Ellen Fraser felt like the mother Claire so desperately needed.
Slowly but surely, the Fraser brood began to step out of the shadows of the main doorway, assessing their newest family member as they looked her up and down.
“Hallo, Claire. I’m William, and this is Janet…”
William Fraser truly was a giant amongst men, and Claire’s eyes widened as she took in his massive stature.
“Ach, awa’ wi’ ye, Willie. I am Janet, Claire, but ye can call me Jenny, aye? Everyone else does,” Jenny quipped, patting Claire on the shoulder as she shoved her eldest brother aside as if he weighed nothing.
Overwhelmed, Claire simply nodded along, grateful that they had left her intended until last.
Jamie, tapping his fingers lightly against the thick wood of the doorframe, had remained hidden in the entranceway. He had watched from the window of the sitting room as his mother had rushed out to greet his father, intrigued by what would emerge from the family carriage but unwilling to spook the poor thing before she’d even stepped foot on Broch Tuarach soil.
Shifting his weight, he pondered his next move. He was half determined to meet his affianced, intrigued as he was by the prospect. But he also half longed for the sanctuary of his rooms, away from the pressure of marrying a complete stranger.
His heart picked up pace as he peeked his head around the door, watching as his mam held the candle she had aloft, lighting Claire’s face. A yellow glow surrounded her, illuminating her features as her eyes darted to and fro, from one Fraser to another.
“Ah Dhia…” he muttered, his lungs contracting as she blinked her large blue eyes, her eyelashes casting a beautiful shadow over her stained cheeks.
She was dazzling. Her delicate face tilted away from the luminous blaze of the wee flame, shining an orange hue along her graceful neck.
“Blessed Mary and Bride,” he muttered, moving outside into the courtyard as if compelled to do so by an unknown force.
“Och,” Brian exclaimed, his shoulders relaxing as he saw Jamie emerge, eyes glazed and mouth open, “laddie, come aye? Introduce yerself…”
Suddenly an eerie stillness swept through the quiet highland evening as all eyes rested on Jamie, his expression turning coy as he came forward, an alluring blush covering his cheeks.
Claire, her heart thudding loudly, shuffled her feet, her thin broken shoes disturbing the damp ground and sending small puffs of wet dust floating around her ankles in dark flurries.
He was *ravishing*. A subtle mix of statuesque grace and enticing handsomeness.
“Claire,” he began, forgetting his manners for the smallest of seconds, “I-I mean, Mistress Beauchamp,” he corrected, dipping his head in a courtly bow, “it’s a pleasure to meet ye. I’m James Fraser…”
His words pulsed through her and she felt alive, her whole body ignited with courage as she advanced towards him. Above all else, Jamie Fraser was beguiling. The word floated into her subconscious as she unconsciously reached her hand up to move a stray curl from his brow.
Hovering her fingers just above his ear, Claire suddenly came to, her brain finally catching up to her body as she went to pull back and then just –stilled.
Taking her hand under his, Jamie pulled her palm to rest over his heart and held her there, his touch light and gentle.
“…and I hope ye and I will grow to be fond of one another, ye ken?” he finished, humour lacing his tone as he stood tall in front of her.
“Please,” she replied, finally finding her voice, “call me Claire, Jamie.”
Twitching her fingers against his thin shirt, she focused on the fast rhythm of his heart as she counted its soothing beat.
He was as scared as she was. She could feel it.
“Thank you….” she burst out, taking a deep breath before continuing, “for, –well–, y-you know.” Losing her nerve, Claire let her chin fall to her chest.
Seeing her unease, Jamie leaned his forehead against hers, growing bolder by the second.
“Dinna fash, lassie,” he whispered, completely forgetting his audience, “there’s two of us now.”
You honestly give some of the best, more thorough recommendations ever! I was wondering if you could recommend me any feminist literature? And also books about feminism/the history of feminism? Thank you in advance! Your blog is amazing <3
Hey, sure! This is a fairly extensive list, but I’ve put a * on ones I think are good starting points or are particularly important.
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood*
The Edible Woman by Margaret Atwood
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie*
NW by Zadie Smith*
An Untamed State by Roxane Gay
Swamplandia! by Karen Russell
The Awakening by Kate Chopin
The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
Paradise by Toni Morrison*
The Flamethrowers by Rachel Kushner*
The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories by Angela Carter
Orlando by Virginia Woolf*
Three Guineas by Virginia Woolf (not a novel technically but w/e, also not her most flawless work, very different in style to what you’d normally expect reading Woolf, but the effort is prodigious & worth a look)
Saint Joan of Arc by Vita Sackville-West
Why Be Happy When You Could be Normal? by Jeaneatte Winterson
The Yellow Wallpaper and Other Stories by Charlotte Perkins Gilman*
Aurora Leigh by Elizabeth Barrett-Browning*
Women by Chloe Caldwell
The Heavenly Twins by Sarah Grand (an often-ignored Late Victorian feminist writer)*
The Beth Book by Sarah Grand
And I know you didn’t ask, but a short list of feminist poets: Adrienne Rich, Margaret Atwood, Maya Angelou, Eavan Boland, Anne Waldmann, Alice Walker, Elizabeth Bishop, Emily Dickinson, Susan Howe, Edna St. Vincent-Millay, Marianne Moore, Eilen Myles, Anne Sexton, Sappho
Feminist theory or literary criticism (the list starts with history & kind of segues into theory!):
Feminisms: An Anthology of Literary Theory and Criticism edited by Robyn R. Warhol Diane Price Herndl (the revised edition, though I guess either works!)*
The Feminist Reader: Essays and the Politics of Literary Criticism edited by Belsey Catherine and Jane Moore
The Madwoman in the Attic by Susan Gubar and Sandra Gilbert*
“Tradition and the Female Talent” by Gilbert & Gubar (in the book The Poetics of Gender, edited by Nancy Miller)
Heroines by Kate Zambreno*
Literary Women by Ellen Moers*
“The Laugh of the Medusa” by Hélène Cixous*
“Castration or Decapitation” by Hélène Cixous
This Sex Which is Not One by Luce Irigaray
In Other Worlds: Essays on Cultural Politics — in it, the essay “French Feminism in an International Frame” by Gayatri Spivak
The Kristeva Reader by Julia Kristeva — particularly the essays “The System and the Speaking Subject” and “Women’s Time”
I Love Dick by Chris Kraus
A Literature Of Their Own: British Women Novelists From Brontë To Lessing by Elaine Showalter*
Between Women: Friendship, Desire, and Marriage in Victorian England by Sharon Marcus
A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollenstonecraft
Gender Trouble by Judith Butler*
Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of “Sex” by Judith Butler
Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination by Toni Morrison*
Women by Annie Leibovitz and Susan Sontag
How to Suppress Women’s Writing by Joanna Russ*
Men, Women, and Chain Saws: Gender in the Modern Horror Film by Carol J. Clover (more of a niche interest, but really good if you’re interested)
Over Her Dead Body by Elisabeth Bronfen
Literature after Feminism by Rita Felski
“Interview” by Audre Lorde in Black Women Writers at Work
“Mama’s Baby, Papa’s Maybe: An American Grammar Book” by Hortense J. Spillers
ablogwithaview this is a slightly more extensive version of the feminist crit post you reblogged today!