Outlander Television series (2014)
Other Scottish Country Dances for this Day
Today's Musings, History & Folklore
"What's new, Sassenach?"
Of the many available Scottish-themed romance novels, the Outlander novels (and television series) stand above for their devoted cult following. The recent television series, with its inspired casting and marvelous costuming has been responsible for the "Outlander Effect" a resurgence of interest in Scottish history, culture, and fashion. The oft-used term in this series, "Sassenach" is Gaelic for “Outlander” or “English" and refers to Claire Randall, the novel's narrator and heroine. Both the Irish Sasanach or Gaelic Sasunnach (derived from the Gaelic Sasunn and Old English Seaxan, Saxon) have been historically and pejoratively used as a mild oath to describe an English person, foreigner, or even a Lowland Scot! However, the Outlander novels and series have succeeded in also making it a playful and intimate term of endearment, particularly used by Highlander Jamie towards Claire in scenes and dialogue which make Highland, Lowland, and Sassenach hearts flutter everywhere!
Outlander is a British-American television drama series based on the historical time-travel Outlander series of novels by Diana Gabaldon, first published in 1991. World Outlander Day celebrates the publication of this namesake novel, which won the Romance Writers of America's RITA Award for Best Romance on the year of its release.
Of the many available Scottish-themed romance novels, this one stands above all for its devoted cult following. The recent television series, with its inspired casting and marvelous costuming has been responsible for the "Outlander Effect" a resurgence of interest in Scottish history, culture, and fashion.
A mix of several genres, the Outlander series features elements of historical fiction, romance, adventure and science fiction and fantasy. The novel focuses on 20th century nurse Claire Randall, who time travels to 18th century Scotland and finds adventure and romance with the dashing Highlander, Jamie Fraser.
As the series begins, in 1945, former World War II nurse Claire Randall and her husband Frank are visiting Inverness, Scotland. Exploring the standing stones at the (fictional) Craigh na Dun, Claire faints after she touches the highest stone, and awakes to find herself in the middle of what appears to be a skirmish between Redcoats and rebel Scottish Highlanders.
Rescued from an attack by Frank's sinister double, Redcoat Captain Jonathan "Black Jack" Randall, she uses her medical training to help the injured Scotsman Jamie Fraser. Claire realizes that Randall is Frank's ancestor, and that she seems to have traveled backward in time to 1743! And that's just the beginning!
The oft-used term in this series, "Sassenach" is Gaelic for “outlander” or “English" and refers to Claire Randall.
Historically used as mild oath, Sassenach is a way the Irish and the Scottish refer to the English, or to things that are foreign or typical of the English.
Both the Irish Sasanach or Gaelic Sasunnach (from Gaelic Sasunn, as in Old English Seaxan, Saxon) have be pejoratively used to describe an English person, foreigner, or even a Lowland Scot! The Outlander novels and series have succeeded in making it a playful term of endearment used by Jamie towards Claire.
For a character description of the red-headed love interest, taken straight from the novels (and sure to make hearts flutter) click the picture of the Outlander series "Sassenach's Pleasure," James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser, played by actor Sam Heughan. Oh my!