Season 3, Voyager, has begun. The Outlander producers and writers have brought us back to the 18th century, exposing viewers to the catastrophic events that resulted in the loss of thousands of lives at the Battle of Culloden. We also witness the violent suppression that soon followed to ensure the complete defeat of the Jacobite uprising of 1745. These events have moved Outlander fans, such as ourselves, to look beyond fiction to discover the true realities the Highlanders faced during this difficult time of history. In doing so, we have learned more about The Act of Proscription (1746), a law aimed to destroy the power of the clans and subdue any other attempts of revolt by prohibiting traditional Highland dress and possession of arms. The way of life for the Highlanders was ultimately destroyed, with devastating effects that reached well beyond the boundaries of war.
It is now 271 years after the Battle of Culloden. The strength of emotions that are elicited from the reflection of all that was lost on that battlefield can still be felt today. Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series may have encouraged fans’ initial interest to follow these historical events. However, it is believed that her admirers now do so for a greater reason than solely searching for the literary footsteps of her noble characters. They research components of history, travel to sacred sites, and find ways to experience the magic of this majestic country to discover the true heart of Scotland: the culture, the people, and its heritage. Yet to understand the resilient spirit of this great nation, it is important to recognize the darker and more poignant moments of history that sculpted the past and led to the present. There is no better place to do this than spending time at The National Museum of Scotland.