Outlander’s Scottish Fan’s Tricky Dilema

Today’s question is from Jocky McTalbot, a shoesmith from Portmahomack

Dear Declan,

I love Outlander . It’s not a patch on Braveheart (what is?) but its at least as good as Rob Roy with Liam Neeson. It really gets me fired up. I keep dreaming about it. In my dream I lead the Bonnie Prince to safety, easily outwiting those soft, southern so and so’s. However, I wake up suddenly with an awful screeching going on inside my head, between the ears, where the thinking happens. What is it? I get so confused that I don’t know if the Bonnie Prince has made it to safety or not and I sepnd the next day anxiously checking the internet for updates on Outlander ‘s filming schedule for the next series and the latest pictures of the actors looking, well, Outlanderish.

Why can’t I complete my dream, save the Bonnie Prince and go about my life without the weight of history pressing down on my stylish Tam O Shanter?

Help me Declan Foxly. You’re my only hope!

Dear Jocky,

Outlander is fantastic. On paper it really shoulnd’t work. It’s a time travelling love story draped in tartan. Even Dr Who couldn’t pull that off. It parchutes fictional charachters into a version of real history. It makes you want to believe. There is some deep magic at work there. It could be the same magic that makes deep fried anything irresistable to Scottish people. By following the strict research methodology employed in writing romantic hitorical fiction with a side order of time travel I have carried out random internet based searches based on a number of keywords including, Scotland, Jacobite, Kilts, Bonnie Prince Charlie, tartan and high pitched screeching. By painstakingly pulling together the somewhat surpirising results I can now fully anwer you question.

Declan’s Discovery

The Outlander effect has had a huge impact with visitors coming to experience the land that inspired the popular books and TV series.

Scottish tourism body VisitScotland has hailed the latest tourism figures for Scotland as “absolutely phenomenal”.

Resurgence in interest in Jacobite culture has uncovered a little known story of Bonnie Prince Charlie’s unusual travelling companions, a troop of monkeys known as ‘Squinions’ who accompanied him from Italy on his ill-fated quest to claim the thrones of Great Britain and Ireland in 1745.

The Squinions were said to have been ‘the gayest of companions’ who could ‘raise the Prince’s dampened spirits even on the bleakest of Scottish mornings’ with their ‘furtive dances and mischievous countenances’.

Paintings depict them dressed in similar garb to the Prince, who, through generations of interbreeding within the European royal families had been born small in stature but with most of his body covered in a thick dark hair.

Bonnie Prince Charlie and Squinion
Bonnie Prince Charlie and Squinion

The Prince was known to shave several times a day in an attempt to hide his hideous hereditary and its believed that the confusion surrounding the Battle of Culloden wasn’t helped by the Prince insisting that the settlements around Cawdor be ‘scoured for an oval looking-glass’ on the morning of the battle when he accidently smashed his own one while attempting the Gay-Gordons dance in a confined area with the Squinions and some unwilling members of the McLachlan Clan.

The aftermath of the battle saw the Squinions successfully deployed as body-doubles for the Prince, easily outwitting their Hanoverian pursuers who were well known to be all mouth and no kilts allowed.

Several of the Squinions went on to establish successful monkey communities around the western fringes of the Scottish Highlands – a climate that they found most agreeable.

Remnants of these communities still exist today and the recent upsurge in interest Jacobite culture fuelled by Outlander and a part Scottish President of the United States of America has led to an expansion of the breeding program of the Squinion family tree.

Jocky, please review the details of your family tree as a matter of urgency. You could be a descendent of the Squinions which I now believe may be causing the agitations you are experiencing. If left untreated this could result in the continuing emergence of your inner chimp who will slowly take over your life, your families life, then everyone in Portmahomack and then, well, who knows …

Donald Trump's family are from the Western Isles
Donald Trump’s family are from the Western Isles


VisitScotland https://www.visitscotland.com/

Outlander https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outlander_(TV_series)


Battle of Culloden https://www.nts.org.uk/Visit/Culloden/

Gay Gordons https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gay_Gordons_(dance)

Donald Trump https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump