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 Post subject: OL SERIES: Why didn't Frank believe Claire?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 1:44 pm 
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Claire says that Frank never believed that she went back in time, but elected against pressing the matter further.

Later books suggest he might have wavered in later life, but for the most part he seemed to regard Claire's story as a delusion (even if he thought they might be others that didn't).

Obviously, it is a pretty fantastical story. But there was plenty of evidence to suggest Claire was telling the truth.

1. Claire's abrupt disappearance was wildly out-of-character. Despite being separated by war, their marriage seems to have been a happy one, and Claire showed no sign that she was upset or preparing to leave him. And even if she was planning to leave him, simply disappearing would be a particularly cruel and cowardly way to do so.

2. Claire didn't have a history of making up anything like this. I understand why the idea of Claire creating an elaborate delusion she had created to justify a 3-year affair seemed probable initially, but Claire goes on to live a perfectly normal life without any other mental health issues or similar "delusions."

3. Claire had physical proof. She was dressed in authentic 18th century clothing with several equally old-looking items (and as a historian, Frank would be able to verify authenticity of those items with relative ease). So either she's telling the truth or she went to a ton of effort to secure authentic 18th century clothes and trinkets. That's a lot of effort for a delusion.

4. Claire looked (and smelled) pretty rough. By the time she returned, she had spent months on the road with soldiers. Frank said she came back "filthily, abused, and pregnant." The article about her reappearance said that she looked a bit "malnourished." And while Claire was probably cleaner than the average Highlander, she had still spent the last three years in a time period with irregular bathing, poor nutrition, and very few mirrors, and I'm sure she looked it.

5. Claire obviously didn't come back voluntarily. It's not as though she came back and said "Frank, I made a mistake, I'm sorry I left." She came back insisting that she traveled though time and been with another man, and now he had died. It's an unusual chain of events, to say the least.

6. Frank should want to believe Claire's version, even if it's illogical. Frank had undoubtedly spent the last three years believing that Claire had (rather heartlessly) left him. She returns, and says that it was circumstances beyond her control. She did fall in love with someone else, but Frank already assumed that. The key difference is that Claire insists she left him involuntarily. No matter how insane her story, a small part of Frank should want to believe that Claire did not act maliciously. On a separate but related note, a Jacobite historian would give their left arm for a primary source like Claire. I would have thought sheer intellectual curiosity would have made him want to research the matter further. If only to confirm his initial assumption that Claire was delusional.

I know that Claire was in a highly emotional state and Frank had a good reason to want to put it behind him, but it still seems crazy to me that he wouldn't make any effort to believe her. Jamie, Roger, and even Brianna believed her.


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 Post subject: Re: OL SERIES: Why didn't Frank believe Claire?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:16 am 
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I think it was just too much of a tall tale for Frank to wrap his mind around at first. There wasn't a perfectly preserved 18th century dress in the books like in the show. They stated that she was basically wearing "rags." I think the authorities' statement that her mind was broken by abuse and she had made up the time travel story as a coping mechanism made more sense to him at first. Then eventually he saw that she never recanted the story while showing no obvious signs of mental stress from the **** and captivity she supposedly endured.

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 Post subject: Re: OL SERIES: Why didn't Frank believe Claire?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:35 pm 
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I've always been on the fence about this. You would think coming from a historian who has probably read countless stories that could easily pass for fiction, he would have more of an open mind. But then on the other hand, I don't know that I would believe somebody, even if all that evidence was placed right in front of me. And that's coming from someone who loves reading fantasy and sci-fi, and would love nothing more than to believe that somewhere in the universe stories like this could really happen.

Plus, maybe there was a part of him that just didn't want to believe it. As you said, Claire left involuntarily, but then she did fall in love and did choose to stay in that time until it wasn't safe for her anymore. So even though the initial decision wasn't Claire's, maybe Frank was just too hurt to accept that she then chose not to return home to him. And coming back pregnant as well, she was months away from having a brand new family, something Claire and Frank struggled with. So I don't know, I think it's hard to judge the situation too much.


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 Post subject: Re: OL SERIES: Why didn't Frank believe Claire?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:41 am 
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If someone told me they went to the past and came back, I wouldn't believe them no matter what they brought back. Would you? And I love time-travel books and shows. I'm reading Steven King's 11/22/63 and really enjoying it.


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 Post subject: Re: OL SERIES: Why didn't Frank believe Claire?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:41 am 
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Demetria, I'm a big Stephen King fan and I liked that one much more than I thought I would as time travel is not my 'usual' thing. :D


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 Post subject: Re: OL SERIES: Why didn't Frank believe Claire?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:49 am 
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Clan Fraser
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I agree. Somebody here at the OBC recommended Steven King's 11/22/63 a while ago, so I read it, and I really enjoyed it. It is the only one of his books that I have read.


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 Post subject: Re: OL SERIES: Why didn't Frank believe Claire?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:29 am 
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The Stand is the other one of his I read. It's really good! No time travel. It's Dystopian Future.


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 Post subject: Re: OL SERIES: Why didn't Frank believe Claire?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:41 pm 
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Clan Fraser
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I absolutely love Stephen King's books (including 11/22/63), and always bring one along when I travel. :)

But back to the topic...

Frank eventually did find enough evidence to let him believe Claire -- but when she first came back, he really had no reason to think she was anything but delusional, perhaps having been through a trauma (therefore in rags, starved, pregnant). She's married to a historian specializing in Jacobite history -- if she was delusional, it would make sense to have incorporated some of the facts of that era into her delusions.

I just mainly think that Frank is too logical to accept a "fairy tale", when the fact pattern gives him ample alternatives.

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 Post subject: Re: OL SERIES: Why didn't Frank believe Claire?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 12:29 pm 
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I totally agree with you Lisa! Frank is definitely too logical..........but, he did hear this kind of thing happening from Mrs. Grahm when Claire disappeared so maybe deep, deep down he did question if this could be true but his logical mind may have prevented him from really believing it.


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 Post subject: Re: OL SERIES: Why didn't Frank believe Claire?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 1:04 pm 
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I don't remember Mrs. Graham saying anything about people disappearing through the stones in the book like she did in the show. Of course, we saw nothing of what happened to Frank after Claire's disappearance so because we didn't see it, doesn't mean that it didn't happen. That might explain why Frank was more willing to accept Claire's explanation in the show, though, in addition to the perfectly preserved 18th century dress.

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 Post subject: Re: OL SERIES: Why didn't Frank believe Claire?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 3:38 pm 
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You know Vala, after I posted, I looked that up cause I was afraid I was thinking of the show, not the book and no there isn't a mention that I can find.......but.......thinking off page.......I would wonder why she wouldn't say something to Frank. The dress vs rags does make a difference.


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 Post subject: Re: OL SERIES: Why didn't Frank believe Claire?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 8:09 pm 
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I definitely see how someone could be too logical to believe Claire's story, but I do think you reach a point where time travel is the most logical option, given the evidence at hand.

Not only was there ample evidence for Claire's story, there was also no evidence disproving it. Under normal circumstances, a story like hers would fall apart quite quickly.

But Claire literally ceased to exist for three years. Frank had spent three years searching for her (and I'm sure he called in every favor with every shadow-y contact he had). But he obviously wouldn't have found anything to suggest she was still in the land of the living.

She didn't touch her bank accounts, didn't contact anyone, left everything she owned behind (including identity documents), evaded detection by the police or Frank, left no record of her life (e.g., a marriage license), and made no friends. And obviously, when she returned, nothing on her person nor anything she said would out her as someone who had been living in the present for the past 3 years.

So either Claire is a master dissembler capable of executing a flawless disappearance with nothing but the clothes on her back, or there's something else going on.


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 Post subject: Re: OL SERIES: Why didn't Frank believe Claire?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 9:41 am 
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Diana herself sets the stage in the prologue to Outlander for how common it is for people to disappear without a trace. "People disappear all the time... Many of the lost will be found, eventually, dead or alive. Disappearances, after all, have explanations. Usually." I don't think it was unreasonable of Frank to have initially assumed that there was a rational explanation, something that was more mundane than time travel, for Claire's disappearance and he just didn't know the exact details yet.

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 Post subject: Re: OL SERIES: Why didn't Frank believe Claire?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 10:05 am 
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You took the words out of my mind, Vala, I was going to quote the introducción myself. There's also the fact that people like the Police and Rev. Wakefield are trying to get Frank to leave it alone, because they think she got away from him on purpose.


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 Post subject: Re: OL SERIES: Why didn't Frank believe Claire?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 10:23 am 
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Then there is the fact that Frank saw Jamie's ghost looking up at Claire. Did he think he was a ghost which would at least give him a hint of something other than what he knows as reality or a flesh and blood man that Claire ran off with? He had to have thought about the strange feeling he had when he saw Jamie, and yes melissak334 you're right, she took nothing with her and I'm not sure how Frank would rationalize that but I agree with Vala, Frank is too logical to go with the time travel theory and remember Claire wasn't exactly real thrilled to be back as some might be after finding their way back from the stones.

If you were in Franks's place, would anyone believe Claire's story?...............of course all of us who would like to time travel would! :lol:


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