For those of you who read romance novels, you are most likely familiar with this genre.
Of all the novels set in the early or late Middle Ages, Scottish Highlanders are among the most popular characters. These tall and broad, rugged males make the ladies swoon (as much the female readership as their lead lady characters) equally for their looks and strong characters.
The protagonists are most often paradoxical and the sum of a complex mix of traits; they are fierce people, fierce men. They love as strongly and deeply as they hate, they protect the “weak” from harm at all cost, and they are fearless when it comes to ensuring the greater good, to defending their honour or their women. They have more nobleness of characters than any noblemen or noble women of their time. And, of course, they have the shortcomings of their qualities.
No one will deny the stereotypical portrayal of the Scott and the English: it has been rendered in every possible flavour and yet we all go back for more.
The Outlander TV series represents the literary genre perfectly (minus the fantastic element).
It brings me to reflect on the values of their time and ours, to reflect on how little—despite the centuries past since then—society has changed. Nothing new under the sun… Women work has much with about the same level of recognition. Good and noble characters are hard to find … if not harder since there are fewer and fewer examples of such people to observe and mimic.
Also, where are those noble heroes today? Where are such passion and fierceness? Where is this inner fire the Scots have?
Who had their mettle tested and came out stronger on the other side of the trials?
Are we in such a shortage of quality people?
Sad. Just simply sad.
I think it takes strong values, a healthy dose of idealism, and a powerful desire to grow and live so this much fire can burn.
What are your thoughts?
In no way, shape, or form am I trying to offend the English or to praise the Scots. I do not know any Scot or English personally and would not presume novels or one person could be a reliable enough source of cultural information on a people. This is about literature, stereotypical portrayal, fictitious characters, and the human condition. Most lead men or women—regardless of the setting and the genre, possess the qualities listed above.