• Fri. Aug 12th, 2022

Outlander author Diana Gabaldon based parts of Jamie Fraser on real people

ByRandall B. Phelps

Jun 25, 2022

Foreign is a time-traveling romantic fantasy spanning over two centuries. Even though this is an epic work of fiction, author Diana Gabaldon based the story on real historical elements. She also found inspiration for leading man Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan) from real people.

Sam Heughan as Jamie Fraser | STARZ

Fans will remember Foreign Season 3 saw Scottish Highlander Jamie Fraser hiding in a Scottish cave in order to evade capture by British forces. Locals gave the elusive Jamie the name “the Dun Bonnet” during this time to keep him hidden from soldiers who hoped to catch him.

But this scenario did not come out of Gabaldon’s imagination. There was a Dun Bonnet in real life named James Fraser, the chief of Clan Fraser. And he actually hid in a cave for seven years after the Jacobite rebellion of 1745.

RELATED: Why ‘Outlander’ Author Diana Gabaldon Once Accused Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe Of Having ‘No Incandescent Passion’

Much like in the Starz TV series, the locals did what they could to care for Fraser by bringing him supplies while he was in hiding. As British troops – sent by the Duke of Cumberland – patrolled the area, locals called Jamie “Bonaid Odhair” or Dun Colored Bonnet. That way, the soldiers didn’t know who they were talking about.

Diana Gabaldon named her leading man after a ‘Doctor Who’ character

Gabaldon told National Geographic that when she was writing her original Foreign novel and creating all the characters, she originally called Jamie “Jamie Blank”. She didn’t know which clan he would belong to.

But she knew she wanted to call him Jamie and set the story in Scotland because of a Scottish Highland Warrior character that appeared in a 1960s episode of Doctor Who.

She says she landed on Jamie being of Clan Fraser after reading a research book titled The prince in the heatherby Eric Linklater, who describes what happened after the Battle of Culloden.

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RELATED: Outlander author Diana Gabaldon reveals she’s known how Jamie and Claire’s story would end for 20 years

“It is said that following the battle, 19 wounded Jacobite officers took refuge in the farmhouse beside the field. There they lay for two days with their injuries, untreated in pain,” Gabaldon recalls.

“At the end of this time they were taken away and shot, except one man, a Fraser of the Master of Lovet’s regiment, who survived the massacre. And I thought if I expected Jamie to survive Culloden, then his last name had better be Fraser.

‘Outlander’ author was originally meant to write historical fiction

When Gabaldon started writing Foreign, his intention was to make the entire book a work of historical fiction. She wasn’t planning on using real people as inspiration for her characters, and she certainly wasn’t planning on adding time travel.

But on the third day of writing – when she decided to add the character of a British woman named Claire to the story – Gabaldon says the character insisted she was a 20th-century woman. . The author says she struggled with this character for several pages, but “she had none of that”. Instead of being 18th century, it was making “smart modern remarks”.

“She also took over and started telling the story herself, so I said, ‘Well, I’m not going to fight you through this book. Go ahead and be modern. I’ll find out how you got there later. So it’s his fault if there is time travel in these books!

Foreign Season 7 will air on Starz in late 2022 or early 2023.

RELATED: When Outlander Writer Diana Gabaldon Wrote Another Episode, She Had No Idea It Would Be The Season 7 Premiere