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 Post subject: VOYAGER: Lawrence Stern
PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 10:05 pm 
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Clan Fraser
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Lawrence Stern, Doctor of Natural Philosophy, of the Gesellschaft von Naturwissenschaft Philosophieren, Munich, is a character who has interested me for some time. We are introduced to him via Jamie when he tells Claire about an acquaintance of his from the brothel in Edinburgh in Chapter 29 of Voyager. Claire had her own introduction to Stern when she arrives on the island of Hispaniola after having jumped ship to escape the British. Stern is the first person she meets and guides her to the Hacienda de la Fuente.

What do you make of Stern and his role in the book?

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 Post subject: Re: Lawrence Stern
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 5:39 am 
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Clan Fraser Veteran

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Lady Jayne, I agree that Stern is a fascinating character. You are right about Jamie providing a previous introduction to him (foreshadowing?). He appears at a very intense part of the Story and provides a very useful persona to rescue Claire shortly after landfall, to introduce her to shelter at the hacienda in an otherwise bizarre scene, for a source of local information, and to serve as a guide when looking for Abandawe. I briefly missed him after Jamie and Claire are shipwrecked. But, we were swept up in the flow of the story. I have taken him for granted.


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 Post subject: Re: Lawrence Stern
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 3:52 pm 
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I'm looking forward to re-kilting this book. Who knows what new information I will get out of it, but the first time I read it, I just saw him as a necessary character to help with the storyline. I agree with Repoman about the hacienda being a very bizarre scene. I kept on thinking, "what is this Stern doing by hanging out with these strange persons?" His intelligent, scientific brain probably doesn't mind strangeness. What was he looking out for? Three eyed- fish?


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 Post subject: Re: Lawrence Stern
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 5:39 pm 
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Clan Fraser
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I am hoping we see him yet again in book 8. I would like to think he has an important role yet to play as a fellow scientist (I sort of consider Claire to be a scientist as well as a physician). His part so far has been minor but he did serve to rescue her at a point when she needed it. I would actually like to learn more about Jamie's acquaintance with him too. Brothel, ye ken, strikes interest - was he a patron?

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 Post subject: Re: Lawrence Stern
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 6:55 pm 
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You know I didn't pay that much attention to him and as repoman and Yolie have stated that whole hacienda scene seemed rather odd to me at the time, but I just forgot about it later.

Tink that is a good question how Stern is acquainted with Jamie and/or the Brothel. Most would assume he was there as a patron, but we have learned That not every one who spends time in the Brothel are Patrons. Jamie for one. A Brothel is a good place for a man use for a cover for smuggling and information. What kind of cover could a scientist need though? hmm I hope we will learn more about about him. I wonder if Jamie and Claire will meet him again?

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 Post subject: Re: Lawrence Stern
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 9:10 pm 
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Clan Fraser
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TwilightTINK wrote:
I am hoping we see him yet again in book 8. I would like to think he has an important role yet to play as a fellow scientist (I sort of consider Claire to be a scientist as well as a physician). His part so far has been minor but he did serve to rescue her at a point when she needed it. I would actually like to learn more about Jamie's acquaintance with him too. Brothel, ye ken, strikes interest - was he a patron?


Since you ask, yes Stern was a patron of the brothel in Edinburgh that Jamie was using as his headquarters, so to speak. In Chapter 50: I Meet a Priest, Stern finally recognizes Claire's surname and inquires if she knows a James Fraser from Edinburgh. As coincidence has it, she does indeed--he is her husband. Stern remembers discussing spiders with Jamie perfectly. "Spiders and caves. We met in a--a--" His face went blank for a moment. Then he coughed masterfully covering the lapse. "In a, um, drinking establishment. One of the--ah--female employees happened to encounter a large specimen of Arachnida hanging from the ceiling in her--that is, from the ceiling as she was engaged in . . . ah, conversation with me." . . . I had just succeeded in capturig the animal and securing it in a specimen jar when Mr. Fraser burst into the room, pointed a species of firearm at me, and said--." At this point Stern tries to change the subject and once again coughs profusely. He continues "Oh. Well, in fact, I cannot say I recall precisely what was said. There appeared to have been a slight misapprehension, owing to his impression that the lady's outcry was occasioned by some inopportune motion or speech of my own, rather than by the arachnid."

While letting Stern stew, Claire only is interested in knowing what Jamie had been wearing at the time. To her relief, "he was clad for the street, rather than in dishabille." I can imagine the bonding that occurred between Stern and Jamie following that awkward incident. Jamie must have been pleased to find a philosopher and scientist to talk to about matters that he did not have many occasions to discuss with other acquaintances.

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 Post subject: Re: Lawrence Stern
PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 2:07 am 
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Thank You Lady Jayne, I need to rekilt. I think I went through these books way too fast. I can't tell you all how glad I am to have joined this group.

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I can imagine the bonding that occurred between Stern and Jamie following that awkward incident. Jamie must have been pleased to find a philosopher and scientist to talk to about matters that he did not have many occasions to discuss with other acquaintances.


Yes indeed!

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 Post subject: Re: Lawrence Stern
PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 1:02 pm 
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Clan Fraser Veteran
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Great character, great discussion, Lady Jayne! For some reason, I went through the part where Jamie tells Claire where he met Lawrence Stern, exactly...for some reason I thought it was at Ardsmuir or one of his detentions by the army :oops!: Thanks for the quote here, and it is amazing that he would remember that conversation, so well. Having a scientific conversation, in a setting like that, must have been quite an interesting thing for Stern. It is curious that he wound up in Hispaniola with the settlers there, it will be great to learn more about him.

Any idea about how old he was? I am hoping about Jamie's age, so that we can re-visit with him in a future book...


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 Post subject: Re: Lawrence Stern
PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 1:28 pm 
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Clan Fraser
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I think he'd be a really fun character to turn up again. Who knows? These books have so many twists and turns. Assuming Claire and Jamie are heading back to North Carolina (to a city with the printing press, if not to the Ridge), perhaps Lawrence will decide to study some creatures in that area? I can't recall his specific research interests, but there must be interesting things in the mountains or the Great Dismal (that's Virginia, right?) or somewhere that could allow their paths to cross again.


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 Post subject: Re: VOYAGER: Lawrence Stern
PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 10:03 pm 
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Clan Fraser
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Stern was a naturalist who had been visiting Hispaniola and Fr. Fogden for a few years. According to what he tells Claire, when he found her he had been making his way towards some frigate birds to observe their "breeding display." Interesting choice of study.

We do lost track of Stern by the end of Voyager. Does anyone recall if he continued to travel to the Colonies? It would be great to see him again in Book 8 and find out what he has been doing all these years.

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 Post subject: Re: VOYAGER: Lawrence Stern
PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 10:30 pm 
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Lady Jayne wrote:
Stern was a naturalist who had been visiting Hispaniola and Fr. Fogden for a few years. According to what he tells Claire, when he found her he had been making his way towards some frigate birds to observe their "breeding display." Interesting choice of study.

We do lost track of Stern by the end of Voyager. Does anyone recall if he continued to travel to the Colonies? It would be great to see him again in Book 8 and find out what he has been doing all these years.

The last I remembered Stern was on the ship as the hurricane blew it of course to Georgia. I did a search on my Kindle on the later books, and in DoA Jamie referred to comments Stern had made in the past, but no mention of him other than that. I'd love to see him again too.

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 Post subject: Re: VOYAGER: Lawrence Stern
PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2011 11:00 am 
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Clan Fraser
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Do we know if Lawrence Stern was a real historical figure?

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 Post subject: Re: VOYAGER: Lawrence Stern
PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2011 11:48 am 
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I was so interesting in him, and because DG does such a wonderful job weaving in historical figures into her story, I did some research to see if I could find a real life Lawrence Stern. I couldn't find anything.

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 Post subject: Re: VOYAGER: Lawrence Stern
PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2011 12:55 pm 
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Thanks, Dallis!

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