I really WANT to love this book as I loved Outlander. I am so confused though. I didn't know anything about 18th century Europe before this and I can't keep all of the James, Henrys, and Louis's straight. What exactly is going on? Who exactly are Jacobites? It seems like Gabaldon has assumed a certain level of knowledge that I don't have.
There is a lot going on, to be sure, and if you're really curious to understand, an online search about Jacobites, Bonnie Prince Charlie, etc, will enlighten you. In my opinion, though, understanding all about 18th-century Europe is not necessary to enjoy the book. Just appreciate the gyst of the conflicts and move on.
In words described by wikipedia a Jacobite, is a follower of Jacobitism, the political movement dedicated to the return of the Stuart kings to the thrones of England and Scotland. I do not think this is actually something that you even need to know when reading this book. This book is so fast paced, and has so many other things to concentrate on, being a history buff is not a necessity to enjoy this series.
Before starting to read these books, I didn't have even the sligthest idea about Scotland history, nor many other things from that old Europe. The jacobites where the ones that wanted Scotland restored, out of England grasp, and for that matter, supported that Bonnie Prince Charlie in his efforts to regain his father's throne (King James). Charlie's father tried once before (1715?), but it all went wrong. So now this time everything must be kept well concealed, since the actual King of England, George, would crush to pieces anyone trying anything.
That King Louis of France wasn't too interested in burying his nose (cousin of Charlie as he was and all) in this matter because of the earlier failure (and certain future failure as he could see) and all the money involved.
Now, you can see how the characters work their minds out, to get each what they want from this spider web like difficulty.
Don't know if I'm late on this, but this is the political background in a nutshell.
The Stuart dynasty is the Scottish royal dynasty that succeeded the Tudors when Elizabeth I (Henry VIII's daughter with Anne Boleyn) died childness. King James I (the son of Mary Queen of Scots who was beheaded by Elizabeth I) was the first Stuart King to rule England, Scotland and Wales. James was raised a protestant because lowland Scots adopted the Presbyterian religion. His mother, Mary, was a Catholic. James was succeeded by Charles I, who was overthrown and beheaded by Oliver Cromwell in the 1640s. Not long after Charles' death, his sones Charles and James and their supporters went into exile. After Cromwell died, Charles II, son of the beheaded Charles I, returned from exile and was restored to the thrown. Charles II (the Merrie Monarch) was a protestant, but with some Catholic sympathies. Although he had numerous illegitimate children with several mistresses, his own wife was barren. Thus, he had no legitimate heir to the throne. His brother James became King James II. James long had Catholic sympathies and openly became a Catholic. Since he only had daughters with his first wife - and those daughters were raised Protestant - people weren't concerned, but once he had a son and began to behave in a more authoritarian manner, he was forced into exile in the so-called Glorious Revolution of 1688 and Catholics were forever banned from inheriting the throne in the Act of Succession. This happened in 1688. James' daughter Mary was brought in as Queen, along with her husband William of Orange. William and Mary ruled Englad as joint monarchs. Eventually, they were succeeded by Mary's sister Anne, who was childless and the House of Hanover (all the Georges) succeeded her when she died in 1714.
The Jacobite movement sought to restore the House of Stuart to the English throne. They gained momentum after the Death of Anne because of the comparatively weak claim on the throne by the Elector of Hanover, whose claim to the throne was based on Sophia, Electress of Hanover, granddaughter of James I. The Hanover claim was strengthened by the Act of Settlement of 1701 in an attempt to root the succession in a staunchly Protestant line.
EDIT: Scots were drawn to the Stuarts because the Stuarts were Scots. Highlanders in particular supported the Stuarts because they, like the Stuarts, were Catholic. Lowland Scots were Protestant.
Oh boy. Marie, James and Breanna don't meet in this book. They don't meet until the fourth book.
I really disliked DIA. I read the back jacket cover and was COMPLETELY MISLEAD as to what the book was supposed to be about. On top of it, the book DIA just dragged, and dragged, and dragged! I was seriously debating whether or not I should even read the third book, Voyager, but I'm glad I did because it was MUCH better than DIA. And I'm absolutely LOVING the fourth book, Drums of Autumn.
i know they don't meet in dragonfly in amber that's why i'm asking for the people who read the 3rd book did breanna and james get along ex: was it awkward between them, did breanna like james better than frank? can you tell me about their relationship
I didn't like Dragonfly at all either, but kept on till I finished the then last book, Breath of Snow and Ashes. Then while waiting for Echo in the Bone, I went back and reread all of them. I couldn't believe how much I had forgotten about the plot and characters, and the second time I actually liked Dragonfly in Amber.
As for Jamie and Brianna's relationship--like all of Gabaldon's characters and relationships, it's complicated but a favorite part of the story for me. I don't want to give anything away, so I won't say more.
Gosh, I was hoping it wasn't just me but I am working hard to get through DIA...because Voyager is on its way to me and I so enjoyed Outlander. I'm hoping I didn't make a mistake ordering the whole series because this one is not nearly as enjoyable. I'm pushing myself hard to get through it.
Yeah, me TOO, Jami. I've been fighting for a week to finish it, thinking I was about 3/4 done and then noticing today that I'm only 17% done and want to just give UP. I only came online because this book had 4 1/2 stars on it and I was trying to figure out why. Now I see that it's likely because it's the whole series that earns 4 1/2 stars. THIS book sure can't!
It was awkward at times in the beginning for a number of reasons, but yes, she does come to love Jamie. However, it is never a question of which father she loved more. She loves them both and there is no reason why she shouldn't.
How could anyone think this novel, DIA, dragged and was slow reading? All the books Diana G. wrote in this series are well researched, well written, have awesome plots and amazing interactions between characters. They are rich reading, and for me each book flew by and then I was left waiting for years to find out answers to my questions, let alone realizing with each book and novella I discovered I had more and more questions that needed answering. Can't wait for Hal and Minnie Grey's novella coming in Fall '16, hopefully. You must read the novellas in the proper order between each novel. Can't wait to find out the rest of Joan's story, does she become a nun ??