However, the figure of the Devil that featured in much of the documentary material associated with Scottish witchcraft is a much more complex being and indeed was rarely red-skinned or horned. Demonic figures may well have been most frequently male and they often wore black, but they could also wear other colours, some of which were symbolic of spiritual beliefs, notably that of fairies or ‘good neighbours’. The figures could be old or young, handsome or ugly, or grim or gentlemanly in appearance. The demon might wear a hat or bonnet, a shawl or hood, or carry a staff. He could offer food, drink or some other relatively small-scale rewards. The demonic figure could appear in female form, albeit quite rarely, or take the form of an animal. Finally, he could take a more ethereal guise and appear as a spirit – sometimes as a ghost or angel.
Joyce Miller, “Men in Black: Appearances of the Devil in Early Modern Scottish Witchcraft Discourse,” Witchcraft and Belief in Early Modern Scotland. (Palgrave Macmillan). pp. 144-145
A scatter of stones, picked up because of their feel in the hand or a pretty color. He counted them; there were eleven[…] He must look out for another now: the right stone for William. He wondered briefly why he had not done that before. Because he hadn’t felt the right to claim William even in the privacy of his own heart, he supposed.
The Scottish Prisoner by Diana Gabaldon
I love this passage for Jamie’s reflections on William but also because it always comes down to stones. The stones brought Claire to him and made Faith and Brianna possible, and the stones took her (and Brianna) away again. That he keeps stones with him to feel close to his family is so perfectly poetic (especially that Claire’s stone is an amethyst, exactly the kind of gem stone that helps with traveling through the standing stones).
“No matter how much a man may try to do what is right, the outcome may not be one that he foresees or desires. And that’s ground for regret–sometimes verra great regret,” he added more softly, “but not for everlasting guilt. For it is there we must throw ourselves on God’s mercy and hope to receive it.”
-Jamie Fraser, The Scottish Prisoner by Diana Gabaldon
Every time I read this quote I can’t help but believe that Jamie is speaking about Claire and the many things he wishes to relive with her. He always did what was right: married her, loved her, let her go, felt guilty for her choosing to stay with him, feeling guilty for not being able to protect her, saving her countless times, breaking his promise, FAITH, sending her back. All of these moments were most likely rushing through his head, and he ached to have her back. His desires are not as obtainable now so he throws himself at God’s mercy and does what he can to keep moving forward.
I've been reading The Scottish Prisoner over the past few days and I really enjoyed the parts with Jamie and Willie. Men + babies will be the death of me and makes me kinda super mad that DG didn't have Jamie see Willie grow up. Do you think they will include some of it in S3?
I really hope they do. There are some better Jamie and Willie scenes in TheScottish Prisoner than there are in Voyager. And it is one of the bright spots in the 20 years when Jamie lives without Claire. One of my favorites is Jamie introducing Willie to the horses and remember his father doing the same with him.
Relief washed through him, as the wide eyes stared into his face. His guilty conscience had convinced him that William was an exact small replica of himself, whose resemblance would be noted at once by anyone who saw them together. But William’s round face and snub nose bore not the slightest likeness to his own features. While the child’s eyes could be called blue, they were pale, an indeterminate shade between gray and blue, the color of a clouded sky.
That was all he had time to take in, as he turned without hesitation to settle the little boy on the horse’s back. As he guided the chubby hands to grasp the saddle’s edge, though, talking in a conversational tone that soothed horse and child together, he saw that William’s hair was—thank God!—not at all red. A soft middling brown, cut in a pudding-bowl style like one of Cromwell’s Roundhead soldiers. True, there was a reddish cast to it in the sunlight, but, after all, Geneva’s hair had been a rich chestnut.
He looks like his mother, he thought, and sent a heartfelt prayer of thanksgiving toward the Blessed Virgin.
“Now, then, Willie,” said Lord Dunsany, patting the boy’s back. “Just you hold on tight. MacKenzie will take you round the paddock.”
Willie looked very dubious at this proposal, and his chin drew back into the neck of his smock. “Mo!” he said, and, letting go the saddle, swung his fat little leg awkwardly to the rear, plainly intending to get off, though the ground was some feet below him.
Jamie grabbed him before he could fall.
“Mo!” Willie repeated, struggling to get down. “Momomomomo!”
“He means ‘no,’ ” the nurse murmured, not displeased, and reached for the boy. “I said he was too young. Here, poppet, you come to Nanny Elspeth. We’ll go back to the nursery and have our nice tea.”
“Mo!” Willie said shrilly, and capriciously flung himself round, burrowing into Jamie’s chest.
“Now, now,” his grandfather soothed, reaching for him. “Come to me, lad, we’ll go and—”
Jamie put a hand over the child’s mouth, stilling the racket momentarily.
“We’ll go and speak to the horses, aye?” he said firmly, and hoisted the child up onto his shoulders before Willie could make up his mind to shriek some more. Diverted by this splendid new perch, Willie crowed and grabbed Jamie’s hair. Not waiting to hear any objections, Jamie took hold of the chubby knees wrapped round his ears and headed for the stable.
“Now, this sweet auld lad is Deacon,” he said, squatting down to bring Willie to eye level with the old gelding, who lifted his nose, nostrils flaring with interest. “We call him Deke. Can ye say that? Deke?”
Willie squealed and pulled on Jamie’s hair but didn’t jerk away, and after a moment, urged on by his grandfather, put out a hand and ventured a hasty pat. “Deke,” he said, and laughed, charmed. “Deke!”
Jamie was careful to visit only those horses of age and temperament to deal well with a two-year-old child, but he was pleased—as was Lord Dunsany—to see that William wasn’t afraid of the enormous animals. Jamie kept as careful an eye on the old man as he did on the child; his lordship’s color was bad, his hands skeletal, and Jamie could hear the air whistle in his lungs when he breathed. In spite of everything, he rather liked Dunsany and hoped the baronet wasn’t about to die in the stable aisle.
“Oh, there’s my lovely Phil,” said Dunsany, breaking into a smile as they came up to one of the loose boxes. At his voice, Philemon, a beautiful eight-year-old dark bay, lifted his head and gazed at them for a moment with a soft-lashed, open look before putting his head down again, nibbling up some spilled oats from the floor.
Dunsany fumbled with the latch, and Jamie hastily reached to open the door. The horse didn’t object to their coming into the box, merely shifting his huge rump a bit to one side, tail swishing.
“Now, ye must never go behind a horse,” Jamie told William. “If ye startle them, they might kick, aye?” The little boy’s soft chestnut hair whorled up in a cowlick at his crown. He nodded solemnly but then struggled to get down.
Jamie glanced at Dunsany, who nodded, then he set William carefully on the floor, ready to snatch him up again if he shrieked or made a rumpus. But William stood stock still, mouth a little open, watching in fascination as the huge head came close to him, soft lips nibbling at the grain, and with the oddest sense of dislocation, Jamie suddenly felt himself on the floor of a stable, hearing the deep slobbering crunch of a horse’s chewing just beside him, seeing the huge, glassy hooves, smelling hay and oats and the wonderful pungent scent of the horse’s warm hide. There had been the feeling of someone behind him, he’d been aware of the man’s big legs in their woolen hose and he heard his father laugh and say something above him, but all he’d had eyes for was the horse, that massive, beautiful, gentle creature, so amazing that he’d wanted to embrace it.
William did embrace it. Entranced, he toddled forward and hugged Philemon’s head in an access of pure love. The horse’s long-lashed eyes widened in surprise and he blew out air through his nose, ruffling the child’s clothes, but did no more than bob his head a bit, lifting Willie a few inches into the air, then setting him gently down as he resumed his eating.
William laughed, a giggle of pure delight, and Jamie and Lord Dunsany looked at each other and smiled, then glanced aside, each embarrassed.
Later, Jamie watched them go, William insisting upon walking, his grandfather limping behind the sturdy little form like an aged black crane, leaning heavily on his walking stick, the two of them washed in the pale gold of the soft spring sun.
On this day in 1587, Mary, Queen of Scots, was executed at Fotheringhay castle aged 44. Born in 1542, Mary was the only child of King James V of Scotland and Mary of Guise. Just six days after Mary was born, James died and the infant became queen, with her mother acting as regent. Mary was initially betrothed to Edward, son of King Henry VIII of England, but her Catholic family broke off the engagement, much to the anger of the English king. Mary was instead sent to France, at the court of Henry II, and married to his son Francis. However, Francis died soon after their marriage, aged sixteen, and Mary returned to Scotland to rule. She married the Earl of Darnley, but their turbulent marriage ended in bloodshed when Darnley murdered. Mary waited just three months before marying her close adviser, the Earl of Bothwell, who was suspected of killing Darnley. The Catholic Mary had long been opposed by the nobility of predominantly Protestant Scotland, and suspicions that she was involved in her husband’s murder finally severed their relationship. Mary was forced to abdicate in July 1567 in favour of her son, James. The former queen was imprisoned, but she managed to escape and fled to England seeking the protection of her cousin, Elizabeth I. However, Mary’s claim to the English throne - as great-granddaughter of Henry VII - threatened Elizabeth, whose eligibility was questioned by those who did not recognise Henry VIII’s divorce from Catherine of Aragon and marriage to Elizabeth’s mother Anne Boleyn. Elizabeth thus decided to imprison the former Scottish queen, who was held for 19 years. English Catholics conspired for many years to assassinate Elizabeth in order to seat Mary on the throne. In 1586, Elizabeth’s spies intercepted correspondence between Mary and one of the plotters, leading Elizabeth’s advisers to convince her to have Mary tried for treason. Mary was sentenced to death, and, while initially reluctant, Elizabeth ultimately signed the death warrant and Mary was executed in February 1587. Just before her beheading, Mary removed her black dress to reveal a red dress, symbolising Catholic martyrdom. Upon Elizabeth’s death in 1603, Mary’s son James ascended to the English throne, uniting the thrones of Scotland and England. The new king had his mother’s body exhumed and buried in Westminster Abbey.
“So long as there is life in her, there is hope; so as they live in hope, we live in fear” - Elizabeth I’s advisers
Choose Life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big television, choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players and electrical tin openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol, and dental insurance. Choose fixed interest mortgage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends. Choose leisurewear and matching luggage. Choose a three-piece suit on hire purchase in a range of fucking fabrics. Choose DIY and wondering who the fuck you are on Sunday morning. Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing, spirit-crushing game shows, stuffing fucking junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pissing your last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, fucked up brats you spawned to replace yourselves. Choose your future. Choose life… But why would I want to do a thing like that? I chose not to choose life. I chose somethin’ else. And the reasons? There are no reasons. Who needs reasons when you’ve got heroin?
this day in 1996, 20 years ago, at Dunblane Primary School in Scotland, a gunman killed
17 people. The perpetrator, 43 year old Thomas Hamilton, was armed with
four handguns and killed 16 children and one adult before committing
suicide. Hamilton, an unemployed former shopkeeper and Scout leader,
entered the school gymnasium and fired on a class of 5 and 6 year olds.
He killed 16 children and their teacher, Gwen Mayor, while injuring many more. Hamilton then shot at other
classrooms, before returning to the gym where he killed himself. The shooter’s motives
remain unknown, but it had been reported that Hamilton was a paedophile.
Future world-renowned tennis player Andy
Murray attended Dunblane school and was present during the shootings. In the
aftermath of the shootings, a campaign was mounted for stricter gun
control laws in Britain, and in 1997 two Firearms Acts were passed which
banned private ownership of handguns in the United Kingdom. 20 years on, we remember the victims, and the fortitude and determination of the victims’ families in ensuring legislation was passed to prevent such a tragedy from happening again.
really incensed me was that, until he came into the gymnasium and took
his first shot at me, everything he had was legal. This should never
have been able to happen.” - Eileen Harrild, a teacher at Dunblane
His Scottish accent is so broad, he says, that he often plays the American to get by “because even Siri doesn’t understand me! She doesn’t get a word I say. I’m like, ‘What time’s the next train?’ And Siri’s like: ‘Calling: ex-girlfriend.‘
[x] Richard Madden on his oft-times incomprehensible Glaswegian.
His most intimate keepsake was one that could not be lost or stolen, though. He flexed his left hand, where the thin white line of the letter ‘C'–carved a little crookedly, but still perfectly legible–showed on the mound at the base of his thumb. The 'J’ he had left on her would be likewise still visible, he supposed. He hoped.