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Symbolism and Sources of Outlander: The Scottish Fairies, Folklore, Ballads, Magic and Meanings That Inspired the Series

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Outlander is much more than a television romance about a World War II nurse and a Jacobite soldier in a fetching kilt. The series—and the massive serial novel on which it is based—has been categorized as a period drama, adventure saga, military history and fantasy epic. Inspired by the Irish legends of Fionn Mac Cumhaill and the prophecies of Brahan Seer, the storyline is Outlander is much more than a television romance about a World War II nurse and a Jacobite soldier in a fetching kilt. The series—and the massive serial novel on which it is based—has been categorized as a period drama, adventure saga, military history and fantasy epic. Inspired by the Irish legends of Fionn Mac Cumhaill and the prophecies of Brahan Seer, the storyline is filled with mythology and symbolism from around the world, from the Fair Folk and the Loch Ness monster to wendigos, ghosts, zombies and succubae. Literary references abound, from the Bible to the classics, to Shakespeare and the English romantic poets. The series is also rich with its own symbolism: heather and white roses, the dragonfly in amber, Claire’s blue vase and wedding gown, her wedding ring and pearl necklace. This book explains the many myths, legends and symbols and literary references found in the series.


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Outlander is much more than a television romance about a World War II nurse and a Jacobite soldier in a fetching kilt. The series—and the massive serial novel on which it is based—has been categorized as a period drama, adventure saga, military history and fantasy epic. Inspired by the Irish legends of Fionn Mac Cumhaill and the prophecies of Brahan Seer, the storyline is Outlander is much more than a television romance about a World War II nurse and a Jacobite soldier in a fetching kilt. The series—and the massive serial novel on which it is based—has been categorized as a period drama, adventure saga, military history and fantasy epic. Inspired by the Irish legends of Fionn Mac Cumhaill and the prophecies of Brahan Seer, the storyline is filled with mythology and symbolism from around the world, from the Fair Folk and the Loch Ness monster to wendigos, ghosts, zombies and succubae. Literary references abound, from the Bible to the classics, to Shakespeare and the English romantic poets. The series is also rich with its own symbolism: heather and white roses, the dragonfly in amber, Claire’s blue vase and wedding gown, her wedding ring and pearl necklace. This book explains the many myths, legends and symbols and literary references found in the series.

30 review for Symbolism and Sources of Outlander: The Scottish Fairies, Folklore, Ballads, Magic and Meanings That Inspired the Series

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sharon Blair Scott

    Most of what is written was gotten from places assessable by us all. The benefit is that it was put into context and into one place. I did fine a few things of interest, like the fact that Gabaldan had planned to write a book about Jamie’s parents and the 15’s.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Mandy Havert

    This book did a good job covering a lot of ground. It is academic in nature but would benefit from more substance in its research. The editing was not the best as many typos and even typesetting errors are present. Still, this gift from my husband fed my love of Diana Gabaldon’s body of work on her Outlander series.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Rose

    Interesting yet very readable book on the genesis of THE OUTLANDER series.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ivana

    https://bookprejudice.wordpress.com/2... This amazing book was sent to me by the writer, Valerie Estelle Frankel, herself. I am a person who has not long ago delved into the Outlander series. I have read the first book and watched the first season of the series. All the other books are yet to be discovered. I fell in love with Outlander the moment I opened the covers. I was filled with warmth and a beautiful feeling of familiarity. And as that happened I wanted to discover more and more about the https://bookprejudice.wordpress.com/2... This amazing book was sent to me by the writer, Valerie Estelle Frankel, herself. I am a person who has not long ago delved into the Outlander series. I have read the first book and watched the first season of the series. All the other books are yet to be discovered. I fell in love with Outlander the moment I opened the covers. I was filled with warmth and a beautiful feeling of familiarity. And as that happened I wanted to discover more and more about the mesmerizing world I had discovered. When Valerie Estelle Frankel contacted me about the reviews, she did not realize she was doing me a great favor as well as I was doing one to her. I wanted everything Outlander and there she was handing me this great read. I did have some problems with the book itself, in the way that I felt like she could have digged deeper into some things such as the explanation of certain symbols, but other than that everything was really quite interesting! My favorite chapter was Scottish Folklore, and inside it People and Their Talents. I loved reading about those topics. I also enjoyed Myth and the part about Standing Stones, which I felt was very informative. In conclusion, you must look into this book if you enjoy the Outlander series!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Mara

    Fans of the Outlander series who, like me, will read anything to get just a taste of the books (in between our periodic re-readings of the entire series), will pick up this book just for that taste, and maybe also in hopes of gaining some deeper understanding of the world that Diana Gabaldon has created. In some areas, readers will be rewarded, such as in Frankel's exploration of Caribbean voodoo practices. In other areas, readers will be disappointed by Frankel's lack of exploration. It's terri Fans of the Outlander series who, like me, will read anything to get just a taste of the books (in between our periodic re-readings of the entire series), will pick up this book just for that taste, and maybe also in hopes of gaining some deeper understanding of the world that Diana Gabaldon has created. In some areas, readers will be rewarded, such as in Frankel's exploration of Caribbean voodoo practices. In other areas, readers will be disappointed by Frankel's lack of exploration. It's terribly ironic that I should say this because I was always the one in English class complaining about having to read analytically, but I think that if you are going to mine a book for its symbolism, you should do some delving into what those symbols mean. For example, Frankel lists many of the Biblical references in the series, but without any hint of what meaning understanding those references might bring. The treatment of the "symbolism and sources" is quite uneven, and more than a little dry, but it all adds up to an exploration of the series that fans will appreciate.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Betty

    I am an avid Outlander fan of both the books and the TV series, so when I saw this book advertised I knew I just had to have a copy. I was utterly thrilled when I won a copy through Library Thing and looked forward to its arrival. I was definitely not disappointed. What a wonderful addition to my collection of "All Things Outlander" and a definite compliment to Diana Gabaldon's books. It is laid out well, very informative, and thorough. I enjoyed the book very much and will treasure it. I'm sure I am an avid Outlander fan of both the books and the TV series, so when I saw this book advertised I knew I just had to have a copy. I was utterly thrilled when I won a copy through Library Thing and looked forward to its arrival. I was definitely not disappointed. What a wonderful addition to my collection of "All Things Outlander" and a definite compliment to Diana Gabaldon's books. It is laid out well, very informative, and thorough. I enjoyed the book very much and will treasure it. I'm sure as I re-read Diana's books I will be using this one as additional resource. What a wonderful way to spend "DroughtLander". Thank You Library Thing and Valerie Estelle Frankel.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Apanakhi Buckley

    Outstanding analysis! I wondered if Frankel would tread on Diana Gabaldon's toes by writing about the fantasy/historical fiction/romance author's sources. After all, Gabaldon had already written The Outlandish Companion. No, not at all. Instead, Frankel has contributed a literary analysis that positions Gabaldon where she belongs among great writers. I would recommend this book to fans of Gabaldon and to those who would like to improve their own writing. Outstanding analysis! I wondered if Frankel would tread on Diana Gabaldon's toes by writing about the fantasy/historical fiction/romance author's sources. After all, Gabaldon had already written The Outlandish Companion. No, not at all. Instead, Frankel has contributed a literary analysis that positions Gabaldon where she belongs among great writers. I would recommend this book to fans of Gabaldon and to those who would like to improve their own writing.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly

  9. 4 out of 5

    Nella Belfiore

  10. 5 out of 5

    Idella

  11. 5 out of 5

    Mikee Delony

  12. 5 out of 5

    Deniese Palmer-Huggins

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jill

  14. 5 out of 5

    Noël

  15. 4 out of 5

    Natalie Slife

  16. 5 out of 5

    Adelina Esquibel

  17. 4 out of 5

    Meredith

  18. 5 out of 5

    Cecilia Dunbar Hernandez

  19. 4 out of 5

    Linda

  20. 5 out of 5

    juanita williams

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Jackson

  22. 5 out of 5

    Alexandra Leto

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kina Stefka

  24. 5 out of 5

    Megan Pursell

  25. 4 out of 5

    dianne leonardis

  26. 5 out of 5

    Shawn Mathison

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jill

  28. 4 out of 5

    Anette

  29. 5 out of 5

    CarolineSueEmerson4, I love to read these book,s they awesome,wonderful,Great Store,Thank You All.God Bless you all for writting a wonderful books.

  30. 5 out of 5

    McFarland

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