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 Post subject: MOBY: Chapter 130: A Sovereign Cure
PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:16 pm 
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Clan Fraser
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:bagpipe: As of the beginning of the Written in My Own Heart's Blood rekilt, all books currently published (as of 1/2016) are open for discussion. The spoiler policy can be found here. Please do not discuss excerpts from Diana's Daily Lines related to book 9 or any other not yet published works in the MOBY discussion threads. To discuss excerpts of upcoming works, see the threads here.


Written In My Own Heart's Blood by Diana Gabaldon
Part 8: Search and Rescue
Chapter 130: A Sovereign Cure


Claire decided that she had to make ether now in order to help Sophronia and made a plan to do so in a shed by the kitchen garden out of the town. She went to Jameson’s Apothecary to get oil of vitriol for ether as well as some other things and talked to both the grandfather and grandson, Nigel. She asked if they knew Amaranthus Cowden Grey and learned that she had ordered several things by mail, as she lives in Saperville.

When asked why she wanted the oil of vitriol – it being quite dangerous – she said she was going to make ether and they asked why she would make it herself. Apparently, ether is “a sovereign cure for the seasickness” and with troop transports and increase in shipping it is available.


- Ether as sea-sickness cure: “Ether has also been recommended in sea-sickness, in which a teaspoonful of it may be given in a glass of sherry or madeira wine.” I didn’t find much about this, but this link had a mention of it. I suppose if you were unconscious, you wouldn’t notice feeling seasick, though. :bigsmile:

- I usually think of “sovereign” as a ruler or a coin, but in this case, it is an adjective meaning “possessing supreme or ultimate power.”

- Claire made a plan to make ether, but didn’t tell Jamie to avoid worrying him. Do you think this was the right thing to do? Was her plan a good one? Were you relieved when she was able to get ether without having to make it herself?

- Do you think Claire asked about Amaranthus because she really wants the Grey family to be able to find her? Or so she had an excuse to go see William again to share the information? Were you surprised that she got real information? Does the list of items ordered – including complexion cream and gripe water to help with a baby’s discomfort – seem appropriate given what little we know about Amaranthus?


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 Post subject: Re: MOBY: Chapter 130: A Sovereign Cure
PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:10 am 
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Clan Fraser
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I was VERY relieved to have it turn out that Claire didn't have to make ether herself. At least that's one danger averted! Very interesting about ether being considered a preventive for sea-sickness -- so Jamie will have options besides acupuncture in the future.

I suppose I can't fault Claire for proceeding with looking the vitriol and making plans to make ether without telling Jamie. It sounded like she would have told him before actually doing it, but wanted to spare him the worry ahead of time while she made arrangements.

My impression was that Claire sincerely wanted to help William and the Greys by asking about Amaranthus. I'm sure she'd like more opportunities to connect with William, but she's so fond of the entire family that I don't think ulterior motives would have consciously entered into it.

The order that Amaranthus placed sounds expensive. Gripe water for the baby might be a more practical item, but French soap isn't a necessity. This seems to imply that she has money at her disposal.

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 Post subject: Re: MOBY: Chapter 130: A Sovereign Cure
PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:15 am 
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I was indeed glad that Claire wouldn't have to go through the risky process of making ether, even though it is cooler weather so she probably wouldn't need to worry about sweaty hands as much as last time when she had the accident with it slipping. I was surprised that it was being used for seasickness, but apparently not for pain relief for medical procedures. I guess people liked their laudanum and didn't want to change! I wondered whether a relatively small town at the time, like Savannah, would really have it, but we frankly didn't need to read about how to make it again or the scolding that would ensue when Jamie found out that she was doing it! :)

I think that Claire wanted to help the Grey family since Lord John is now a friend and has always tried to be helpful towards her family. The list of items purchased certainly seemed in keeping with what little we know about Amaranthus so far- that she's a fashionable young lady with a baby.

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 Post subject: Re: MOBY: Chapter 130: A Sovereign Cure
PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:48 am 
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Clan Fraser
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Claire must have been very surprised to find that ether was readily available. The storekeeper sounds like somebody who could be very useful. I'm glad that she does not have to make the ether herself, although the fact that it cures seasickness means she could be tempted to make it again in the future before Jamie sets foot on another boat.

It was clever of her to ask about Amaranthus, although she might have roused curiosity, had William already asked. I think she genuinely wants to help William and the Greys discover what has happened to Henry.

Thanks for explaining the other meaning of sovereign, audiobooklover. I had wondered what the meaning was, as it obviously was not related to money.


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 Post subject: Re: MOBY: Chapter 130: A Sovereign Cure
PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 5:21 pm 
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Clan Fraser
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Vala wrote:
I was indeed glad that Claire wouldn't have to go through the risky process of making ether,
Me too. I remember being so relieved when I read that Claire wouldn't have to make the ether. Irony of ironies, not only was etherreadily available for her purposes in the surgery, but she didn't need to fuss with acupuncture needles either.

audiobooklover wrote:
- Claire made a plan to make ether, but didn’t tell Jamie to avoid worrying him. Do you think this was the right thing to do? Was her plan a good one? Were you relieved when she was able to get ether without having to make it herself?
I'm thinking that given the circumstances, I think Jamie would have been compassionate and sternly admonished his Sassenach to use care, and then he would have taken out the rosary beads. I'm not sure it was right or wrong. But it did help that she didn't have to.

DLT wrote:
It was clever of her to ask about Amaranthus, although she might have roused curiosity, had William already asked. I think she genuinely wants to help William and the Greys discover what has happened to Henry.
I think she wants to help her friends. They've been good to her. I also think she is concerned about Ben, Amaranthus, and the bairn.
Claire was in the right place at the right time, and figured a new mother would want to get to know an apothecary sooner than later.
Lisa SF wrote:
The order that Amaranthus placed sounds expensive. Gripe water for the baby might be a more practical item, but French soap isn't a necessity. This seems to imply that she has money at her disposal.
Good point, Lisa.

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 Post subject: Re: MOBY: Chapter 130: A Sovereign Cure
PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 2:07 am 
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Clan Fraser
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Thanks for another great summary, ABL.

It was ironic that the three soldiers in the shop were making a surreptitious purchase of either condoms or a cure for the pox, given that Claire had distributed cures to the prostitutes earlier.

Did anyone get the sense the younger Mr. Jameson, Nigel, was purposely giving Claire the wrong information about Amaranthus? "Cowden? Of course we have, boy. Or rather, not encountered; she's never come in the shop But we had a request brought by mail, only two or three weeks ago . . ." ". You're a wonder Grandad," Nigel murmered dutifully." (p. 734 hd). How could Nigel forget such an exotic name, and when she had placed an order so recently? Also strange is the fact the order was placed in the mail. No one has actually seen Amaranthus. :thinking:

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