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I agree with so much of this. I hope that for the TV adaptation, they enhance BPC much as they did with Frank. I like the “history lesson” aspect to the story, and BPC is fascinating. I didn’t know much about this period of time for Scotland, and from what I read after, BPC wanted to play at being King more than he actually wanted to BE the king. My SO likes the series but he doesn’t come to it for the love story — it’s the history and the politics that attract him.
It raises some interesting questions for Jamie and Claire as well: they have foresight into the future, so is it their responsibility to stop what they know is coming? That knowledge is a huge burden for them. Approaching this as a scientist, Claire has to wonder what she can do to stop it. But as a healer, I don’t think Claire could bring herself to murder someone who isn’t directly threatening her life or Jamie’s. Jamie can’t bring himself to murder the man that he calls King. Even if they do kill him, there’s a younger brother who could pick up the cause. Claire and Jamie are both too righteous to simply save themselves and have too much hubris (in this instance) in thinking they can change the course of history.
And much like you (Rachel), the story picked up for me again when they returned to Scotland, when they are a part of history rather than trying to steer it. I’d said this earlier, but Jamie and Claire interest me the most when things are not so easy for them. With Jarad’s wealth, they had access to so much in Paris, and I found Jamie to be less appealing as the learned gentleman of the court than when he’s more rough-and-tumble Highland laird and warrior. Claire slipped into the role of wealthy hostess a little too easily for me, and while I bought that it bored her, I did wonder how she knew all the mannerisms and court procedures and such with her unusual upbringing. The scenes in the hospital were the most real to me.
So in summation, I hope that time in Paris is brief and we get back to Scotland fast. I’ll miss Dougal, Rupert and Angus when they’re across the sea. Speaking of sea, a perverse part of me is looking forward to Jamie’s sea-sickness. The SO thinks Jamie is just too perfect, and I keep saying, “wait until he gets on a boat!”