Terry Dresbach

Outlander Costume Designer

Reply To: Can we get past Jaimie's looks?


Ok, that makes total sense. I’m only about 200 pages into “Claire & Jamie: The American Years” (aka Drums of Autumn), so I wasn’t even really thinking about the situation in the colonies.

Still, it’s interesting to me that a Catholic author who clearly values her faith created a Catholic character who clearly values his faith but doesn’t include much information about how he practices that faith — besides having him go to confession for the first time in a long time in Voyager. Not even anything formal when they were living in strongly Catholic France.

That leads me to think that there are other ways in which Jamie’s faith presents itself, and while I am keen enough to pick up on some of the more overt spiritual bits, I wonder if I just don’t know enough about Catholicism to see others. For example, there was a discussion on DG’s Compuserve board about the line in Outlander that goes something like “It is better to marry than to burn.” I interpreted the “burn” part along the lines of “burning with lust,” but apparently a) it’s Biblical in origin (which I did NOT pick up on, though that was probably just me being dense because I think Jamie even said it was St. Paul who wrote it) and b) there are certain translations of the Bible that make it clear that the missing words at the end are: “in hell.” That NEVER would have occurred to me, I think because I come from a very secular background.

Of course, I also come from a literary-analysis background, during which I was trained to find religious allegory in just about every text, so when I’m reading something that has a character who strongly (and repeatedly) identifies as Catholic, I wonder where the religion is.

And just a tiny disclaimer: I’m starting to feel like these posts are coming off as super serious, and I want to be clear that I actually enjoy the stories first and foremost and don’t spend a ton of time worrying about the religious influences in Outlander. It is true, though, that my personal literary-analysis expertise is in examining non-canonical texts for cultural influence, and this board seems to provide a willing forum, so I guess there you go. 😀