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Claud Fraser was born in London in 1890. Educated at Charterhouse he entered Westminster School of Art, where he studied under W. R. Sickert.
On the outbreak of the First World War he joined the British Army. Invalided out of the armed forces in 1916 he illustrated several books including Change (1919), The Beggar's Opera (1921), The Woodcutter's Dog (1921), The Lick of the Bean-Rows (1921), The Liar (1922) and Peacock Pie (1924).
Claud Fraser died in 1921.
There are two theories on where the name Fraser comes from:
The first theory is that the Frasers came from France and the name is derived from the French names Fresel, Freseau or Fredarious.
The second theory is that the name Fraser comes from a Roman Gaul tribe whose badge was a strawberry plant – fraisier in French.
Either way, the history books show the first Fraser in Scotland lived in Keith in East Lothian around 1160.
During the Wars of Scottish Independence, the Fraser fought alongside Robert the Bruce, and Alexander Fraser of Cowie even married Bruce’s sister. It was during the 14th century when Clan Fraser split into two separate clans – the Lowland Frasers of Philorth, and the Frasers of Lovat – which are today recognised as two separate clans with common ancestry.
Clan Fraser of Philorth are led by the Lords Saltoun, and they had their seat in Cairnbulg Castle, close to the nearby town and burgh that is today known as Fraserburgh.
Cairnbulg Castle. Photo by Astrid Horn. / CC BY-SA 2.0
A Look at Fergus Claudel Fraser: Outlander Character Journeys
In our continuing blog series exploring the journeys of key Outlander characters, we bring you the son of Jamie’s heart: French brothel-born orphan and reformed pickpocket, the loyal and charming Fergus Claudel Fraser.
Ahh Fergus, another fabulous and underrated character in the Diana Gabaldon universe packed with incredibly diverse characters. Fergus bursts into our lives in Outlander Season 2 as a mischievous Parisian 10-year-old rascal, brimming with self-assured charm, an eager spirit and an impertinence for authority. Outlander casting outdid itself again with the wonderful Romann Berrux as the child version of our lovable scamp. He was, in a word, perfection.
At first, Jamie hires Fergus for his pickpocket talents to steal letters intended for Charles Stuart and the players of the French Court. However, it doesn’t take long for Jamie and Claire to love the boy as their own. By the same token, Fergus’ overriding characteristic from childhood to his adult years is his complete devotion to Jamie, who rescued him from a wretched life on the streets. He loves Jamie and Claire and would do anything for them.
Spending his first 10 years in a French brothel with whores and their noble clientele, Fergus exudes an air of French superiority when it comes to worldly knowledge and women. Of course this makes us adore him all the more.
As an adult (again, brilliantly cast with the talented Cesar Domboy), Fergus is now dark, handsome and charming while still radiating a sense of cheekiness and expertise with women. Who can forget this great scene in Outlander Season 3?
Fergus Claudel Fraser intrigues audiences in both the books and show because (like most characters in the Gabaldon world) he experiences a tremendous arc over the series. Diana is still unfurling the mystery of his origin story in the upcoming ninth book of the series Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone (to be released on November 23, 2021).
Fergus brings a unique element to the story in that we love him from childhood through adulthood. While there are a few characters we meet as a child and later know as an “adult” (Ian, Brianna, Roger and soon William), Fergus seems to be the most fully explored in both phases (so far). We follow Fergus from a 10-year-old, brothel-born, French pickpocket with unknown origins, through tragedy in his teen years at Lallybroch, to a savvy smuggler in Edinburgh. Then, he travels to America with Jamie to rescue Ian, marries Marsali on the way and makes a life with his ever growing family on Fraser’s Ridge.
Yet still, even in the books, Fergus remains somewhat a man of mystery for such an “inner circle” character. His unknown origins offer just one example and open a great cavern for exploration in the capable hands of Herself, Diana Gabaldon.
Additionally, we don’t see his POV except in one chapter in each of the last two books, thus keeping his internal thought process elusive to the readers. Remember, Fergus spent his early years on the streets, having to keep an external bit of bravado in place to survive, in spite of internal fears and struggles. We see it crack every now and then, revealing his inner demons. As a child, we watched that vulnerability laid bare when he confessed his rape to Claire. We haven’t seen that crack as an adult in the show so far, but if the show follows the books, his deep emotions may rise to the surface in Outlander Season 6.
Although Fergus left Paris at the age of 10, he always evokes a clear “Frenchness” in looks, speech and mannerisms. His touch of arrogance and self-assured manner mask his early years as brothel orphan on the streets of Paris. However, there is always something innately aristocratic about Fergus that sets him a little apart.
Here’s a terrific compilation of our favorite Fergus moments so far.
Jamie meets Fergus in Madam Elise’s brothel, apparently born to one of the whores. Fergus never knew her name or which man fathered him. Madam Elise let him sleep under the stairs, and the girls gave him bits of their meals for combing their hair or other small services. (In the books, he would also have to serve as a child whore on occasion for customers with that taste). Young Fergus shares a bit of his story in this deleted scene.
He survived otherwise by picking pockets. The circumstances of meeting Jamie occurred a bit different on the show than in the book (where wee Fergus helped Jamie escape pursuit from ruffians as he cut through the brothel). On the show, Jamie caught him picking pockets including Jamie’s own cherished Sawny snake. Romann Berrux claims that filming this scene was the most fun he had on set.
Jamie, impressed and greatly in need of help, brings home the clever pickpocket to partner with him in stealing and replacing letters covertly in his intelligencing efforts. In return, Jamie promises clothes, room and board, a small salary, and lifetime support if he loses a hand or ear in his service. It starts out as a business relationship, which Fergus quickly grabs as a means of escaping his life as a street urchin living under the stairs in a brothel. He soon worms his way into the Frasers’ hearts as their own adopted son, changing the course of his entire life.
*An interesting note for nerds like myself, Fergus’ actual birth name is Claudel, but Jamie renames him Fergus, stating that they decided Claudel “wasna very manly.” In essence, Fergus gains a new identity. He retains Claudel as a middle name. Is it just coincidence that the origin of “Claudel” means “lame or crippled” and “Fergus” means “man of vigor?” I think not. Intrigue abounds in the area of names and Fergus that can easily send book readers down the rabbit hole of theories and speculation. But, I digress.
In a twitter Q&A from 2017, a fan asked Romann Berrux what his most embarrassing moment was on set.
“The first time I played with Caitriona, I told her that she had very beautiful breasts! It was fun and embarrassing,” he said.
Fergus proves himself an extremely loyal and talented addition to the Fraser household, stealing and replacing letters for Prince Charles and assisting the Frasers’ effort to foil plots by the Comte St. Germain. He’s verra skilled as you can see in this deleted scene.
Occasionally, he also serves as an escort for Claire and a page as they attend social functions. His mischievous, eager, superior nature continues to break through while his total devotion to the Frasers grows exponentially.
Meanwhile, the Fraser nemesis, Black Jack Randall has reared his evil head again in Paris. Jamie promised a very pregnant Claire that he would not kill Jack Randall until he can sire the line that creates a future Frank. Sadly, disaster strikes.
While Jamie clears up a bill for Prince Charles, Fergus goes wandering. He spies an empty open room with a bottle of lavender oil on the table. Thinking to steal it as a gift for Milady, he enters, soon followed by Jack Randall.
Jack molests Fergus who screams for Milord. Jamie charges in and flies into a red rage at what he sees. He punches BJR and demands a duel as he is dragged from the room. Not only does Jamie love Fergus like a son, but he gazed into a mirror of his own nightmares and trauma.
Jamie goes to the duel leaving an “I’m sorry” note for Claire. She rushes to the site of the duel, and in one of the most tragic episodes of the series, loses her child, Faith. Additionally, the Gendarmes throw Jamie into the Bastille for dueling, indefinitely.
Fergus is despondent and racked with shame. Guilt overwhelms him for the lost baby, Claire’s grief and Jamie’s fate. Still, he does his best to hold it inside and care for Milady and the house in Jamie’s absence. For weeks, he bears the pain alone… partly from shame and partly from his sense of responsibility for Claire. He tries to meet her every need as the man of the house while Jamie sits in prison. Overshadowed by Claire’s ordeal, it’s easy to miss how much Fergus’ core character develops in this episode.
However, he still visits the terror and sorrow in his dreams. One night, Claire overhears and presses him to talk about it. Horror strikes her core as young Fergus pours out his pain in one of the most heart-rending scenes of the season. It’s Fergus’ news and distress that pushes Claire to forgive Jamie and find a way to rescue him.
Berrux delivers an outstanding, vulnerable performance that shows his incredible talent. When asked which were favorite scenes to film with each TV parent, Berrux names this one as his favorite with Caitriona.
After Jamie’s release, the Frasers leave France and return to Lallybroch with Fergus by their side. He is now definitively theirs, leaving his horrific childhood as a thing of the past, but those years will leave their mark. He happily enjoys life at Lallybroch until news arrives that sends the Frasers to war.
He leaves ahead of the Frasers with Murtagh, but glows with joy when Milord and Milady arrive. Berrux really emotes the immense love Fergus feels for Jamie and Claire.
In episode 210 “Prestonpans,” Fergus leads a man to the camp who knows a secret trail to attack the British. Now, at age 11, Fergus, impertinent as always, does not want to be regulated to stay and do “women’s work.” Fergus is eager, fearless, and loyal.
Fergus deftly lifts Claire’s surgical knife and sneaks off. How horrorstruck were we seeing wee Fergus in the midst of this carnage, armed with a surgical knife!?
Thankfully, Fergus returns alive but with another emotional scar. He confesses to Claire in shock that he has killed a man. These first killings for our characters are always significant, but wee Fergus (like most other things in his life) has had to come to terms with this reality at far too young an age.
In the Outlander Season 2 finale, the day before the battle of Culloden, a weary starving Fraser family prepare for the inevitable. In a last ditch effort, Jamie and Claire discuss the possibility of assassinating Prince Charles. Unfortunately, Dougal overhears and determines to kill Claire even if he has to kill Jamie first. They battle, and in another moment of horror, Dougal is killed… and there is a witness. Jamie barters for time to save Claire, and with all hope gone, makes one last attempt to save Claire, and his unborn child, Lallybroch and his men. In another incredible scene, Jamie and Claire say goodbye to Fergus… and entrust the very future of Lallybroch to his hands
This is an incredible scene. In an epic and chaotic finale like Season 2’s Dragonfly In Amber, the weight of this moment can get lost. Not only does it break your heart, but we realize Lallybroch only survives this disaster for years to come because of Fergus’ bravery, loyalty and determination to deliver this deed into Jenny’s hands.
OUTLANDER SEASON 3
In Outlander Season 3, we meet back up with Fergus in Episode 302 as a teenager living at Lallybroch while Jamie exists in a cave as the Dunbonnet. This will be Berrux’s swan song playing Fergus before we switch to adult Fergus in the form of talented Cesar Domboy. As impactful as this episode is for Jamie’s character, the drastic events that happen to Fergus will alter his life permanently and ripple far into the future.
Fergus loves Lallybroch, and Jenny tutors him over the years. He becomes a worldly wise mentor to wee Jamie and best friend, Rabbie MacNab. He’s seen war, and he’s experienced things the other boys have not. In the aftermath of Culloden, though, life is grim with constant harassment by British troops, and this escalates his hatred of the English. Food is scarce, and the British strip anything of value away. He watches with cold eyes as they hunt for Jamie and continually arrest Ian for not divulging Jamie’s whereabouts.
As the Redcoats leave, Fergus shouts at a lowland Scot, Corporal MacGregor, “A Scot in a Redcoat. You are the traitor.” Then, he spits on the ground at his feet.
“Fergus could never resist insolence when confronted with authority—especially English authority.” – Jamie in Voyager, by Diana Gabaldon
Seeing what Jamie has become—a broken shell of himself—crushes Fergus’ heart. After Jamie scolds him for touching a hidden gun, Fergus says he wants to be ready to fight and defend their home. Jamie tells him…
A disheartened Fergus lashes out and says, “Just because you’re a coward now doesn’t mean that I am!”
“Fergus calling his hero a ‘coward’ is a big moment for Outlander. This was another addition by the writers to highlight Fergus (and our audience’s) pain at seeing Jamie in this state. Also, this pulls together Jamie’s arc during this episode. By the end, Fergus could never see his father figure as anything but the hero he is.” – Script annotation by Toni Graphia and Matthew Roberts.
Later, when a raven appears at Young Ian’s birth, a bad omen, Fergus jumps to action remembering Claire’s pain at the loss of Faith and shoots the raven in a reckless act, the sound drawing Redcoat patrols. Jamie, furious, bursts out the door, ripping the gun from Fergus’ hand.
After a very close call from the Redcoats, Jamie stays in his cave for a while. Fergus makes his way to the cave to warn Jamie about a search (as opposed to bringing a cask of ale in the book). Fergus knows the Redcoats are following him, and he leads them off on a merry chase in circles, taunting them mercilessly.
Jamie watches helplessly, silently begging Fergus to stop, but Fergus intends to draw them away from the cave. The Redcoats catch Fergus, and Jamie can only watch in horror as a blade arcs down cutting off Fergus’ skilled, graceful left hand.
“…but not even the encroaching dark would blot out the final sight of Fergus’ hand, that small and deft and clever pickpocket’s hand, lying still in the mud of the track, palm turned upward in supplication.” – Voyager, Diana Gabaldon.
Jamie breaks down crying years of unshed tears as Jenny comes down to tell Jamie that Fergus will live. Berrux names this final scene with Sam as his favorite. This event snaps Jamie back and becomes a turning point. Jamie finally breaks out of his shell and takes decisive action.
Many thanks to Romann Berrux for endearing us to our beloved Fergus from the start. You cemented him permanently to our hearts.
We next see Fergus in Episode 306, played by the wonderful Cesar Domboy. He is a 30-year-old handsome, savvy, charming man, still completely devoted to Milord and Jamie’s most trusted man. He has a dangerous edge as well when needed and works with Jamie in his smuggling enterprise. We see this adult version of Fergus at the same time a newly returned Claire does. He can’t believe his eyes.
Fergus still has his worldly air, and when Young Ian asks Fergus about his first time, Fergus replies it was a menage a trois. A wide-eyed Ian says, “What’s that?”
Fergus is thrilled to see Milady. He not only loves her for himself, but he witnessed firsthand the pain Jamie endured without her. At the same time, he’s concerned because he knows Jamie has married Leoghaire. Additionally, unknown to anyone, he and Marsali, Leoghaire’s daughter, love each other. He already presents his own issues being a cripple, criminal, and a bastard with no name. Now however, with the printshop burnt down and Claire’s return, Fergus loses hope Marsali’s mother will ever consent to a match. In the book version, Claire chances on a dejected Fergus at Lallybroch (before the reveal of Jamie’s second marriage). When she asks what what’s wrong, Fergus confides he loves someone, but her mother will never approve.
“I couldn’t say I blamed the young lady’s mother, all things considered. While Fergus was possessed of dark good looks and a dashing manner that might well win a young girl’s heart, he lacked a few of the things that might appeal somewhat more to conservative Scottish parents, such as property, income, a left hand, and a last name.
Likewise, while smuggling, cattle-lifting, and other forms of practical communism had a long and illustrious history in the Highlands, the French did not. And no matter how long Fergus himself had lived at Lallybroch, he remained as French as Notre Dame. He would, like me, always be an outlander.
“If I were a partner in a profitable printing firm, you see, perhaps the good lady might be induced to consider my suit,” he explained. “But as it is…” He shook his head disconsolately.” – Voyager, Diana Gabaldon.
Ever the resourceful opportunist, when Young Ian is abducted and Jamie must venture across the sea, Fergus shocks everyone by appearing as they launch with a “plus one.”
While on the journey, a British Navy ship infected with plague abducts Claire to care for their sick. Jamie argues with his captain who locks him up until he calms down. At this point, the writers fabricated a terrible drama of Jamie trying to manipulate Fergus. He used his blessing for Fergus and Marsali’s union to pressure Fergus to start a mutiny to free him.. at the risk of everyone, including Marsali.
While wonderfully performed by all three actors, the characterization of Jamie’s love for Fergus and Marsali bothered me, earning this storyline one of my two worst adaptive choices for Fergus.
The one thing to note in this section, however, is just how much Jamie’s approval means to Fergus. No matter what, Jamie is Fergus’ hero. Fergus always has and always will idolize Jamie. It speaks volumes that he would not violate his word to Jamie and would not marry without his blessing.
Eventually Jamie realizes his error, apologizes and grants Fergus his blessing.
Once reunited with Claire on Hispaniola, a hilarious, heartwarming wedding takes place, care of the pot-smoking priest that rescued Claire, Father Fogden. Two monumental things happen for Fergus this day. He marries the love of his life, and Jamie gives him the Fraser last name, lighting Fergus up with joy.
When they finally reach Jamaica, it’s Team Fraser all the way! Fergus and Marsali attend the Governor’s Ball, oozing with newlywed bliss, and Fergus saves the day again… warning Jamie of Lieutenant Leonard’s presence. Later, he gets word to Lord John Grey when Jamie gets arrested.
After Ian’s rescue, Fergus and Marsali, along with the rest of the Fraser clan, wind up shipwrecked on the coast of Georgia after a deadly storm at sea. And so, their American adventure begins.
The American Journey So Far
Outlander Season 4
Fergus’ Season 4 American journey begins with a mix of the sorrow of death and the blessing of life. Sadly, they watch their friend Hayes hung for an unintentional murder. Later, Jamie explains to the family that he and Claire plan to stay in America, and he gives Fergus a share of the gem profits to aid their travel back to Scotland. However, the younger Frasers have an announcement of their own.
So, Fergus and Marsali will be staying now as well. They rent rooms in Wilmington while Jamie, Claire and Ian head to Fraser’s Ridge to get the homestead started. The young Frasers plan to join in a year or so when things are more established on the Ridge, and their child is born.
In Wilmington, Fergus struggles a finding work because of his missing hand. This is the first time he’s had to cope with this issue. Jamie valued him far beyond a missing hand, and he never made Fergus feel less than a man for it. But Jamie isn’t here, and the world can be quite different.
Marsali and Fergus have their first child, Germain. Fergus adores being a father, something he never had himself as a child. He’s so proud and determined to care for his precious family.
Unknowingly, Fergus runs into Roger on the street as he is searching for Brianna. At this time, Fergus can’t help Roger. However, this is a nice Easter egg as Fergus will become a close friend and help Roger in the future.
Season 4 writers also inserted a storyline for Fergus to assist Murtagh to escape capture, meet up in their rooms with Regulators and break out of prison. I believe they were looking to create more story to tie in the young Frasers, and it did have some moments of badassery for Fergus (which he certainly is). However, I personally disagreed with tying Fergus into the Regulator storyline because he would never take a side, Murtagh or no Murtagh, that would stand opposite Jamie. Other than that, it provided some nice moments for Fersali.
Fergus escaped arrest himself because Murtagh provided him an out with a punch to the jaw. He determines to work with the regulators to facilitate his escape. Marsali is all in, seeing the purpose it gives Fergus. They decide that after they break Murtagh out of prison, it’s probably a good time to leave Wilmington and make their way to Fraser’s Ridge (finally getting our story back on track lol).
Murtagh’s prison mate happens to be Stephen Bonnet. As Fergus and the Regulators storm the prison, Fergus has a hilarious unexpected reunion with Lord John escorting Brianna to see Bonnet. Well… this is awkward.
John comes through in the end (doesn’t he always) covering their escape, and Fergus and Marsali make their way to Fraser’s Ridge for Season 5.
Outlander Season 5 – All About the Ridge Life
Season 5 seems to ruffle some feathers for Fergus fans that feel a bit shortchanged. I can understand the sentiment, especially considering the expansion of Marsali. Her broadened role (while wonderful) made Fergus’ lesser presence feel even more slight. A couple with such unbalanced screen time catches the eye.
However, I have a few positive thoughts to share.
Personally, I much preferred Fergus in Outlander Season 5 than Outlander Season 4. Why? They were on Fraser’s Ridge with family and part of the team. Fergus wasn’t separated and doing his own thing. He faced the world with “Clan Fraser.”
Yes, he served in a more supportive role for this season. However, to be honest, the Fersali story takes a bit of a back seat in the fifth book and even somewhat in the fourth book. There is a significant reason for this. Fergus is already a very well developed character, married, settled and having children. He had a huge dramatic arc for the second and third books. The lead secondary space must now shift to allow that same development for Ian, Roger and Bree, whose story takes the forefront in those novels. As it is, with the show putting so much focus on the Murtagh storyline, those characters already took a huge hit in screen time and development.
Roger and Bree costar in the series. In order to go where it needs in Seasons 6-8, the newer main characters needed the screen time to grow. Those relationships, as well as their bonds to other key characters of the Ridge needed to form. Also, the show writers needed to introduce new Ridge residents such as the Beardsley twins.
So, Fergus needed to take a step back into a more supportive role, to allow that space in Season 5. That said, he still commanded presence in pockets and delivered some very key character moments in S5 that I absolutely loved.
Additionally, with all the main characters more solidly developed and Murtagh no longer pulling screen time, Outlander Season 6 will hold major storylines for each of the key characters (Fergus included). If the show follows the book, I think Fergus lovers will be verra pleased in Season 6.
First, let’s talk about the Season 5 Fergus character moments.
Right from the start in the first episode, we sense Fergus and Marsali share true happiness in this community. They beam with joy at Roger and Bree’s wedding, now with two children in hand. And Marsali has news..
I love seeing Fergus part of a real community and family in this first episode. They dance and play tongue twisting, drinking games (better luck next time Fergus).
However, the crowning gem for Fergus in episode 501 came near the end. Jamie calls Fergus at the fiery cross gathering… “Stand by my hand, Fergus… Son of my name and of my heart.”
OH! This moment made the list for my two best adaptive choices for Fergus.
Fergus then makes the booboo that sets the Dr. Rawlings kerfuffle in motion… leading eventually to the dramatic finale. I didn’t really love that choice because I don’t believe Fergus would be so dumb, but I digress.
This season focused on community, and we saw both Fergus and Marsali develop bonds with the other members of the second generation of outlanders. As it turns out, Cesar Domboy sees this as his favorite aspect of character work this season as well.
I participated in a zoom chat a few months ago with Lauren Lyle and Cesar Domboy hosted by Outlandish Vancouver, and I asked which scenes in Season 5 he saw as his favorite to develop character for Fergus.
“I liked that I had bits with Richard Rankin. He’s my friend. I love him, and I think he’s an amazing actor, so all together it was nice. Also, I like to expand the range of the characters Fergus interacts with. I just think it’s fun. It was just great to act with him. He’s such a nice person to hang around. We had a lot together in the Brownsville episode. We shot all day.”
I love the connection building between the foursome of the Macs and Fersali. Dear Outlander Writers … More of this please! We open 504 with a showdown, certainly not what Roger expected. I thoroughly enjoyed watching Fergus have Roger’s back. Even when they take cover, Fergus drapes his arm over Roger to protect him. Fergus’ smuggling days with Jamie emerge in his instincts. He scopes a new situation for danger as an immediate response… Roger scopes for information to assess the read on people and to work the situation. A good team. Part of me thinks that Jamie likely pulled Fergus aside before they left and told him to keep his eyes open. Of course, the writers concocted a delicious cocktail of charm with Roger and Fergus. Roger enchants the Brownsville residents with a song, and Fergus keeps them lubricated with Fraser whisky served with Fergus flair. (Note the underlying link here between Roger and Fergus with Roger’s prayer above and Fergus’ toast below).
Fergus also stands by Roger during the plague of locusts crisis that hits the Fraser’s Ridge while Jamie and Claire are away.
We also smile with joy watching the continuing bond grow between Young Ian and Fergus. When Ian returns from the Mohawk and remains quiet, Fergus and Marsali tag team a bit to break him from his shell. Later, in episode 509, we see them work together to find Jamie and Roger. Later in that episode, comes one of my very favorite character moments for Fergus in Outlander Season 5. This little scene between Ian and Fergus about amputation and their role in helping Jamie through this ordeal said SO much about Fergus.
First, Fergus sees right through Ian. That sharp knowing charm characterizes the Fergus I know. Fergus reads people very well. Second, his maturity shines through. While Fergus does struggle with his ability to provide at times, he knows what he is. In a way, he takes a bit of pride in his amputated hand because he lost it protecting Jamie. Third, he faces a crisis with a very cool, calm presence and a tremendous depth of understanding. He mentors Ian in this moment, and he also shows extreme love for Jamie.
I told Domboy how much I loved this scene for his character, and he explained a bit more about it.
”It was not as obvious when we read the scene because at first (it) sounded like …I had no resilience towards being handicapped, you know? Which made no sense to me because of course, one that has lived 20 years without his left hand has now come to the idea it’s ok, or actually that he could handle seeing someone else being handicapped. Even if Fergus may feel worthless because he cannot pull a plow or something, if someone he loved got an amputation, he would be able to help. He would be able to say, ‘This is how you can handle it. This is what you can do.’ So, I really felt it was a process to make it sound like Young Ian was worrying too much”
Fergus also serves as Jamie’s trusted man riding into Hillsboro at his side and ready to meet any trouble (as he always has).
Tender scenes with Marsali sprinkle through the season. For instance, Fergus, with two kids in tow, has to deliver a third child on his own.
Having only one hand does not hold Fergus back in the slightest when the Brown gang abducts Claire and hurts his pregnant (again) wife. He rushes into battle to protect those he loves.
When asked about his most challenging scenes to film, Domboy named two scenes, both connected to Claire’s abduction. The first was the small scene with Robin Scott (who plays his son Germain) when Germain had to inform the men what happened.
“He’s supposed to be the one to tell me that something happened to Marsali, and it’s at the end of an episode …Everything was relying on him, the whole [pivot point] of the episode, that he would be able to come in, charged with this emotion. No one had the job to coach him on this. I quickly saw that it would be my mission to put him in the right mood. A five-year-old kid on set is not in this mood. People just keep trying to keep (the kids) happy. This was such a precise mood at a pivotal point, so it was a matter of me trying to find a way to put him in this intense dark mood right before shooting. So, he was totally trusting in me.”
“Right before shooting, I would take him and say (without the details), ‘Remember, this scene is dark. It’s bad, bad stuff that’s happening right now,’ and I was trying myself (with my tone) to transfer this emotion to him, and he was just like a little sponge. He was perfect, but it was quite challenging.
He doesn’t understand all the social layers of the story. He could just say the line, but if he’s good, then we will just be better.”
Domboy and Lyle serve as his constant. With revolving writers and directors, they’ve developed a true relationship with Robbie.
“He loves us because we consider him at the end of the day. We are always telling him ‘Great job. You did so good today, Robbie. Thank you.‘”
This picture recently posted from set is a good sign that the fabulous Robbie Scott will be back to reprise his role as Germain for Season 6.
Lastly, Domboy discussed the finale rescue. How impressive was it for Fergus’ character to dive into the fray of armed men with only one hand?
“The scene in the finale where we go to save Claire was very challenging also. It was shot at night, and we had to rush at them. It was all choreography which was fun because … Richard, John, Sam, Kyle Reese, and I were working all together, like in some sort of dance. It was the middle of the night and less than zero degrees in some forest in Scotland. I remember the conditions of work were just insane, and the only thing that gave me the force (to push on) was seeing Cait. She was there wearing 10 times less than us, and she was just coping with it and performing. So it was challenging that whole night. I’ll remember that for a long time. It worked on screen though.”
It sure did… an incredible scene. It absolutely breaks your heart to see Fergus and Ian’s face when they come to the clearing and see brutalized Claire, a mother figure to them. Fergus joins Ian in saying he kills for her. “And I, Milady.”
What Lies Ahead?
While Outlander Season 5 may have been a bit lighter in story for Fergus Claudel Fraser, his story takes another dark turn in book six. Readers will likely know some of what may happen to Marsali and Fergus next season. A few things have hinted they will explore that emotional book storyline. First, the events of the Season 5 finale seem to be lining that path. Additionally, Domboy’s audition four years ago required a scene from that very storyline involving an extremely intense conversation with Claire. Third, in the “production” video released for Outlander Season 6, this image appeared. That seems to be very suggestive of that storyline as well. Additionally, both Domboy and Lyle have hinted at a strong story for Season 6. SOOO… fingers crossed!
In the Fersali zoom chat, Domboy was asked, “In S6 will we see more of you and together (with Marsali)?”
“I think you will get what you need to see. I know from the books what’s coming, and I know what I’ve heard, but there’s so many storylines and things they have to get in that you always feel it’s not enough. There’s just not enough time. I can say for sure that I’m coming back,” Domboy teased with his cheeky smile.
What do you love about Fergus Claudel Fraser? What are some of your favorite Fergus moments?
Later life [ edit | edit source ]
After the war Fraser made designs for the Harold Monro's Poetry Bookshop and for the Curwen Press. He also executed private commissions for bookplates, stationery and greeting cards. In 1919 he produced the designs for Nigel Playfair's ground-breaking production of As You Like It in Stratford upon Avon, then in 1920 for Playfair's highly successful London revival of John Gay's The Beggar's Opera.
During this period Grace and Lovat Fraser became friendly with Paul Nash. They were introduced by Nash and his wife to Dymchurch in Kent, where the two families holidayed together. On one such holiday there in 1921 Lovat was taken seriously ill. Γ] He died in a local nursing home on 18 June, after a surgical operation for obstruction of the bowel the previous day. He had a history of heart trouble following on an episode of rheumatic fever as a young man by the time he left the Army this was already becoming severe. Neither his gassing in 1915, his smoking habit nor – latterly – his weight can have helped.
A memorial exhibition of his work was held in December 1921 at the Leicester Galleries in London. He is buried at Layston Churchyard Hertfordshire. Δ]
Finding aid prepared by UN, 2007 MA, 2007
© 2007 University of Chicago Library
Fraser, Claud Lovat. Collection
Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center
University of Chicago Library
1100 East 57th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.
Claud Lovat Fraser (1890-1921) was an artist known primarily for his work in illustration and theater design. This collection consists primarily of printed material produced by Fraser, or featuring his artwork. Items in the collection include prints, chapbooks, periodicals, advertisements, greeting cards, visiting cards, stationery, dust jackets, theatre and concert handbills, posters, postcards, and musical scores.
Information on Use
Open for research. No restrictions.
When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: Fraser, Claud Lovat. Collection, [Box #, Folder #], Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library
Born in London on May 15, 1890, Claud Lovat Fraser (1890-1921) was an artist who worked in the fields of illustration and theater design. He was first trained in legal studies and worked in his father’s law firm. His love for art caused him, in 1911, to leave his father's firm to pursue art full-time. During World War I, Fraser enlisted in the light infantry despite his poor health. After a series of medical reviews and periods of sick leave, he joined the War Office on visual propaganda and later the Army Record Office until his discharge in March 1919.
In August 1916, Fraser met the American-born actress Grace Inez Crawford. They were married on February 6, 1917 and had one daughter. After the war, Fraser continued to make designs and illustrations for various books, chapbooks, bookplates, stationery, greeting cards, and commercial advertisements. He became particularly famous for his innovative set and costume designs for several plays and ballets. His history of ill health, however, plagued him continually, and he died on June 18, 1921, after a sudden illness.
The collection contains mainly printed material produced by Fraser, or featuring his artwork. Items in the collection include individual prints, chapbooks, periodicals, advertisements, greeting cards, visiting cards, stationery, dust jackets, theatre and concert handbills, posters, postcards, musical scores. Publications and clippings related to Fraser's work are also found. Box 4 contains material printed by At the Sign of the Flying Fame, a small press founded by Fraser with the poet Ralph Hodgson and the writer Holbrook Jackson.
Box 3 contains one folder of apparently unrelated material on the forgery of Aubrey Beardsley's work.
CAPTAIN EDWARD LOWE, AND HIS CREW
Edward Lowe, born at Westminster, very early began the Trade of Plundering for if any Child refused him what he had, he must fight him. When he grew bigger, he took to Gaming among Blackshoe Boys upon the Parade, with whom he used to play the Whole Game, as they call it that is, cheat every Body, and if they refused, they had to fight him.
Ned went to Sea with his eldest Brother, and leaving him in New-England, he worked in a Rigging House, at Boston, for some [Pg 40] Time, when not liking that, he returned to England to see his Mother, with whom he did not stay long before he took his Leave of her, for the last Time, as he said, and returned to Boston, where he shipped himself in a Sloop that was bound to the Bay of Honduras and when he arrived there, he was made Patron of the Boat, to bring the logwood on board to lade the ship where he differing with the Captain about the hurry of taking the logwood on board, Lowe takes up a loaden Musquet, and fired at him then putting off the Boat, he, with twelve of his companions, goes to sea. Next day they met a small vessel, which they took, made a Black Flag, and declared War against all the world. From hence they proceed to the Island of the Grand Caimanes, where they met with George Lowther, who took him under his protection as an ally, without any formal Treaty which Lowe readily agreed to. But parting with Lowther on the 28th of May, as we have already given in an Account in Lowther&rsquos Life, Lowe took a Vessel belonging to Amboy, [Pg 41] which he plundered, and then stood away to the South East, by which he avoided two Sloops which the Governor had sent to take him from Rhode Island.
July the 12th, he sailed into the Harbour of Port Rosemary, where he found 13 small vessels at anchor, whom he told they would have no quarters if they resisted which so frightened the Masters of the vessels, that they all yielded. Out of them he took whatever he wanted, keeping for his own Use a Schooner of 80 Tons, on board of which he put 10 Carriage Guns, and 50 men, and named her the Fancy making himself Captain, and appointing Charles Harris Captain of the Brigantine. Making up a complement of 80 men out of the vessels, some by force, and others by their own inclinations, he sailed away from Mablehead, and soon after he met two Sloops bound for Boston, with provisions for the garrison but there being an officer and soldiers on board, he thought [Pg 42] it the safest way, after some small resistance, to let them go on about their business.
They then steered for the Leeward Islands but in their voyage met with such a hurricane, as had not been known in the memory of man. After the storm was over, they got safe to one of the small Islands of the Carribees, and there refitted their vessels as well as they could. As soon as the Brigantine was ready, they took a short cruise, leaving the Schooner in the harbour till their return which had not been many days at sea, before she met a ship that had lost all her masts, on board of which they went, and took, in money and goods, to the value of 1000l. Upon this success, the Brigantine returned to the Schooner, which being then ready to sail, they agreed to go to the Azores, or Western Islands, where Lowe took a French Ship of 32 Guns, and in St. Michael&rsquos Road, he took several sail that were lying there, without firing a gun. Being in great want of water, he sent to the Governor of St. Michael&rsquos for a Supply, [Pg 43] promising upon that Condition, to release the Ships he had taken, otherwise to burn them all which the Governor, for the sake of the Ships, agreed to. Thereupon he released six, keeping only the Rose Pink, of which he took the Command.
The Pirates took several of the Guns out of the ships, and mounted them on board the Rose. Lowe ordered the Schooner to lie in the Fare between St. Michael&rsquos and St. Mary&rsquos, where he met with Captain Carter in the Wright Galley who, defending himself, they cut and mangled him and his Men in a barbarous manner after which, they were for burning the ship, but contented themselves with cutting her cable, rigging, and sails to pieces, and so left her to the mercy of the seas. From hence they sailed to the Island of Maderas, where they took a fishing boat, with two old men and a boy in her, one of whom they sent ashore, demanding a boat of water, otherwise they would kill the old man, which being complied with, the old man was discharged. From hence they sailed to the Canaries, [Pg 44] and thence continued their course for the Cape de Verde Islands, where they took a ship called the Liverpool Merchant, from which they took 300 gallons of brandy, two guns and carriages, besides six of the men, and then obliged them to go to the Isle of May. They also took two Portugueze ships bound to Brazil, and three Sloops from St. Thomas&rsquos bound to Curaso: All of which they plundered, and let them go, except one Sloop, by which they heard that two Gallies were expected at the Western Islands. Her they manned, and sent in Quest of these Ships whilst they careened the Rose at Cape de Verde but the Sloop missing the prey, was reduced to great want of water and provisions, so that they ventured to go ashore St. Michael&rsquos, and pass for Traders where, being suspected by the Governor, they were conducted into the Castle, and provided for as long as they lived.
Lowe&rsquos ship was overset a-careening, so that he was reduced to his old Schooner, aboard of which there went about an [Pg 45] hundred as bold rogues as ever was hanged, and sailed to the West-Indies, where they took a rich Portugueze ship bound Home from Bahia, putting to the torture several of the men, who confest the Captain flung into the sea a bag of 11000 Moidores. This made Lowe swear a thousand oaths and after cutting off his lips, he murdered him and all his Crew, being 36 men.
After this, they cruised to the Northward, and took several Vessels and then steered for the Bay of Honduras, where they took Five English Sloops, and a Pink, and a Spaniard of 6 Guns and 70 men, whom they killed every man which being done they rummaged the Spanish Ship, bringing all the booty on board their own vessel.
In the next cruise, between the Leeward Islands and the Main, they took two Snows from Jamaica to Liverpool, and just after a Ship called the Amsterdam Merchant, the Captain thereof he slit his Nose, cut his Ears off, and then plundered the ship and let her go. Afterwards he took a Sloop [Pg 46] bound to Amboy, of whose Men he tied lighted matches between the fingers, which burnt the flesh off the bones, and afterwards set them ashore in an uninhabited part of the country, as also other ships which fell a prey to those villains.
One of His Majesty&rsquos Men-of-War called the Greyhound, of 20 guns and 120 men, hearing of their barbarous actions, went in search of them and, seeing the Pirates, allowed Lowe to chase them at first, till they were in readiness to engage him, and when he was within gunshot, tacked about and stood towards him. The Pirates edged away under the Man-of-War&rsquos stern, making a running fight for about two hours. But little wind happening, the Pirates gained from her thereupon the Greyhound left off firing, and turned all her hands to her oars, and came up with them, when the fight was renewed with a brisk fire on both sides, till the Ranger&rsquos main-yard was shot down upon which, the Greyhound pressing close, Lowe bore away and left his consort, who seeing the cowardice of his Commadore, and that [Pg 47] there was no possibility of escaping, called out for quarters.
Lowe&rsquos conduct in this engagement shewed him to be a cowardly villain for had he fought half as briskly as Harris, the Man-of-War could never have taken either of them. The Greyhound carried her Prize to Rhode-Island, which was looked upon to be of such signal Service to the Colony, that in Council they resolved to compliment Peter Sulgard Captain, with the Freedom of their Corporation. They secured the prisoners under a strong guard in Jail, till a Court of Vice-Admiralty could be held for their Trials, which was on the 10th of July at Newport, lasting three Days. The Judges were William Dummer, Esq Lieutenant Governor of the Massachusets, President Nathaniel Payne, Esq John Lechmore, Esq Surveyor General John Valentine, Esq Advocate General Samuel Cranston, Governor of Rhode Island John Menzies, Esq Judge of the Admiralty Richard Ward, Esq Registrar and Mr. Jahleet Brinton, Provost [Pg 48] Marshal. Robert Auchmuta, Esq, was appointed by the Court, Counsel for the prisoners here under mentioned.
Charles Harris, Captain, William Blads, Daniel Hyde, Thomas Powel, jun., Stephen Munden, Thomas Hugget, William Read, Peter Kneeves, James Brinkley, Joseph Sound, William Shutfield, Edward Eaton, John Brown, Edward Lawson, Owen Rice, John Tomkins, John Fitzgerald, Abraham Lacy, Thomas Linester, Francis Leyton, John Walters, Quarter-master, William Jones, Charles Church, Thomas Hazel, and John Bright, who were all executed the 19th of July, 1723, near Newport in Rhode Island but John Brown and Patrick Cunningham were recommended to Mercy.
The eight following were found Not Guilty John Wilson, Henry Barnes, Thomas Jones, Joseph Switzer, Thomas Mumper, Indian, John Hencher, Doctor, John Fletcher, and Thomas Child.
Instead of working repentance in Lowe, this deliverance made him ten times worse, vowing revenge upon all they should meet with for the future, which they executed [Pg 49] upon Nathan Skiff, Master of a Whale-fishing Sloop, whom they whipt naked about the deck, and then cut off his ears, making his torture their sport. At length being weary thereof, they shot him through the head, and sunk his vessel. Some days after, he took a fishing boat off of Black Island, and only cut off the master&rsquos head but next day taking two Whale Boats near Rhode Island, he brutally killed one of the masters and cut off the ears of the other. From hence he went to Newfoundland, where he took 23 French Vessels, and mann&rsquod one of them of 22 Guns with pirates after which, they took and plundered 18 ships, some of which they destroyed.
The latter end of July, Lowe took a large ship called the Merry Christmas, and mounted her with 34 Guns, on which he goes aboard, taking the title of Admiral, and sails to the Western Islands, where he took a Brigantine manned with English and Portugueze, the Latter of whom he hanged.
Afterwards Lowe went to the Coast of Guinea, but nothing happened till he came [Pg 50] to Sierra Leon, in Africa, when he met with the Delight, which he took, mounting her with 16 Guns, and 60 men, appointing Spriggs Captain, and from whom two days after he separated.
In January after, he took a Ship called Squirrel, but what came of him afterwards we cannot tell.
Claud Lovat Fraser and Grace Crawford Lovat Fraser collections
The collection consists of materials that are sorted into three broad series: Artwork, Photographs, and Manuscripts. That Artwork series consists of approximately 1,000 loose pencil or reed pen drawings, watercolors and gouaches, 29 bound volumes of original material, approximately 600 printed items, approximately 10 scrapbooks of printed items, 162 photographs documenting Fraser's art work, and related negatives. This portion of the collection is organized into eleven subseries based on the subjects of the items. The Photograph series complements the detailed diaries and manuscripts that exist in the manuscript section of the Collection, and also illustrates Crawford's life after Fraser's death. The section has been divided into five subseries. The Manuscripts series consists of correspondence to and from Lovat Fraser and Grace Crawford Lovat Fraser. Additionally, the series contains 13 of Fraser's diaries and a variety of other manuscript materials, such as Fraser's essays, poetry, drafts of his letters and news clippings.
Limitations on Accessing the Collection
The Claud Lovat Fraser and Grace Crawford Fraser collection is the physical property of Special Collections Department, Bryn Mawr College Library. Copyright belongs to Bryn Mawr College.
Copyright and Rights Information
This collection is open for research. For publication, consult the Head of Special Collections.
Biographical / Historical
Claud Lovat Fraser (1890-1921) was an active artist in the fields of illustration and theater design. He was born in London on May 15, 1890 to Florence Margaret Fraser, an amateur artist, and Claud Fraser, a city solicitor. Fraser and his brother Alan were educated at various English boarding schools, including the prestigious Charterhouse School in Surrey, from which Fraser graduated in 1907. He then began a course of legal study, entered into articles of clerkship in his father's law firm, and joined a group of critics and artists who regularly congregated at Dan Rider's Den, a printer's shop. Fraser produced many caricatures of contemporary literary and theatric figures, and in 1910, he produced a privately printed edition of ten of these caricatures. In 1911, Fraser left his father's firm to seriously pursue art. He spent a brief period under the tutelage of Walter Sickert at Westminster Technical Institute. In 1912, Fraser executed decorations for Haldane Macfall's essay on art and aesthetics, The Splendid Wayfaring , and for Macfall's play The Three Students , considered but ultimately rejected for production by Herbert Beerbohm Tree. Fraser was also interested in producing affordable, quality toys, and some of his designs were executed. These and the illustrations for The Splendid Wayfaring and The Three Students were among the objects shown at his first solo exhibition, in his studio in February 1913. Fraser, Holbrook Jackson and the poet Ralph Hodgson established the "Sign of the Flying Fame" in 1913, and published several poetry broadsides and chapbooks illustrated by Fraser. Although printed in limited editions and often hand-colored, they were affordably priced and were intended to bring poetry to the general public. Flying Fame's activities ended with the start of World War I, replaced by Harold Munro's Poetry Bookshop.
In the fall of 1914, despite a history of ill health, Fraser enlisted with the Inns of Court Officer Training Corps and was quickly commissioned to the 14th Battalion of the Durham Light Infantry. Fraser's war-era sketchbooks and the drawings he included in his correspondence provide an intimate visual record of the trenches and battlefields of Flanders in this early phase of the war. He was one of few British officers to survive the battle of Loos (September 25-October 8, 1915). In December 1915, Fraser's battalion was the first to withstand a German gas attack. In the excitement and confusion of the event, he neglected to put on his gas mask until he had emerged from his bunker and was dispatched to England for a short sick leave. Fraser was promoted to captain in January 1916, but by late February he was home on leave again, suffering from the effects of gas and shellshock after a battle at the Ypres Salient. While recovering, Fraser occupied himself with plans for a pictorial history of the Grenadier Guards that was never published. Successive Medical Board Reviews continued to find his health unfit for battle through the end of the war. Fraser instead served the Army as a clerk upon the completion of his sick leave in August 1916. He worked in the War Office on visual propaganda from October 1916 through late April 1917 and at the Army Record Office at Hounslow until his discharge in March 1919.
In August 1916, Fraser met the American-born actress Grace Inez Crawford in the dressing room of a theater where she was appearing in Hugo Rumbold's L'Apres Midi d'un Faune . They were married on February 6, 1917 and had one daughter, Helen Catherine Adeline Lovat Fraser. His wife's theatrical interests may have contributed to Fraser's increased activities in stage and costume design after this date, and the two collaborated on many projects, including her translations of several eighteenth century Italian lyric plays.
After the war, Fraser continued to make designs for the Poetry Bookshop, provided illustrations for approximately twenty books, executed private commissions for bookplates, stationery and greeting cards, and designed commercial advertisements through the Curwen Press. Fraser's designs for Nigel Playfair's production of Shakespeare's As You Like It , staged on opening night of the Shakespeare Festival at Stratford-Upon-Avon in April 1919 and at the Lyric Theater, Hammersmith, in April 1920, were derisively called "futurist" by some critics because of their spare, evocative design. Despite the critical furor raised by the unconventional set and costumes, this was later acknowledged as a groundbreaking departure from the unimaginatively literal Shakespearean production typical of the time.
As early as 1914, Fraser had begun to make designs based on John Gay's The Beggar's Opera . His innovative set and costume designs for this play were essentially designed in only four days because of last-minute budget constraints. The designs, which premiered at the Lyric Theater on June 5, 1920, proved successful and were used for many subsequent stagings of the play.
In the fall of 1920, Grace and Lovat Fraser befriended the Russian ballerina Tamara Karsavina, who expanded their stage interests to include the ballet. Fraser designed the costumes and set for her Nursery Rhymes , which opened at the London Coliseum on January 3, 1921. In the spring of 1921, Fraser embarked on numerous projects, including set and costume designs for John Drinkwater's Mary Stuart and Lord Dunsaney's If . Designs for Karsavina's Divertissement were finished on June 14, 1921, while the family was vacationing at Dymchurch. Fraser died on June 18 after a sudden illness. His final project, Divertissement , opened at the London Coliseum on July 4 of that year through the combined efforts of Karsavina and Grace Lovat Fraser.
A tremendous outpouring of emotion marked Fraser's early death. A well-attended memorial service at Saint Mary the Boltons in South Kensington was held on June 24. Fraser's final project, Divertissement , opened at the London Coliseum on July 4 of that year through the combined efforts of Crawford and Karsavina. A memorial exhibition was held in December, 1921 at the Leicester Galleries in London. Subsequent exhibitions of Fraser's work have included:
Lovat Fraser . The St. George's Gallery, London. November 1923. Claud Lovat Fraser (1890-1921). An Exhibition . Ashmolean Museum. May 1968. Claud Lovat Fraser: An Exhibition of the Printed Work . University of Hull. 1968. Claud Lovat Fraser . Victoria and Albert Museum, London. 1968. Claud Lovat Fraser . d'Offay Couper Gallery, London. 1971. T he Art of Claud Lovat Fraser: Book Illustrator, Theatrical Designer and Commercial Artist . Rosenbach Museum and Library, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Winter 1972. Edward Gordon Craig and Claud Lovat Fraser: Drawings and Watercolors . Davis Galleries, New York, New York. October - November 1972. Bryn Mawr College Library, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. Autumn 1979. Claud Lovat Fraser: An Exhibition of His Illustrations . Manchester Polytechnic Library, Manchester. Autumn 1984. Claud Lovat Fraser: An Exhibition of His Illustrations . North East London Polytechnic Library, London. Spring 1985. Claud Lovat Fraser: An Exhibition of His Illustrations . University of Ulster, Ireland. 1989.
Works cited: Drinkwater, John and Albert Rutherston. Claud Lovat Fraser . London: Heinemann. 1923. Fraser, Florence M. Unpublished typescript timeline, after 1921. Special Collections Department, Bryn Mawr College Library. Fraser, Grace Lovat. In the Days of My Youth . London: Cassell & Company Ltd. 1970. Macfall, Haldane. The Book of Lovat Fraser . London: J.M. Dent. 1923.
Inez Grace Crawford Lovat Fraser (1889-1977) was a singer, actress, costume designer, translator of plays, and author of several books. She was born in Paris in 1889, daughter of Theron Clark Crawford, an American entrepreneur, and a highly trained amateur pianist (maiden name Randall). Her father's professional projects (including work with Buffalo Bill Cody's "Wild West Show") caused the family to reside in various European and American cities, but England was considered home. Crawford's circle of acquaintances in London included Ezra Pound, Ford Maddox Ford, Violet Hunt, Yeats, and D.H. Lawrence.
Crawford received training in voice, ballet, piano, and music theory, as well as French, German and Italian. She met her future husband, artist Claud Lovat Fraser, during a fitting for a faun costume for Hugo Rumbold's adaptation of L'Après-midi d'un Faune ." After a brief courtship, they were married February 6, 1917. During the next four years, until Fraser's death in 1921, the two worked jointly on a number of theatre projects, including La Serva Padrona and The Liar (both of which Crawford translated), and Fraser's long-running production of The Beggar's Opera . Their daughter, Helen Catherine Adeline Lovat Fraser, was born in 1918.
After Fraser's death, Crawford promoted and protected his artistic legacy through exhibitions and publications. She continued her own work in singing and in costume design, working with prominent music and theatre figures of the time, including composer Arthur Bliss, Serge Diaghileff, and Nigel Playfair. Tamara Karsavina, the Russian ballerina, was a lifelong friend.
Crawford also worked in other design-related businesses. In 1923 she formed a firm with Norman Wilkinson and a Mr. Trevelean that specialized in scenery and dress for the theatre, interior decoration for the home, hand printed fabrics, and "modern" clothing. She was editor of the magazine Art and Industry , worked in the design departments of Schweppes and Venesta Limited, and served for a time on the Research and Industrial Design Advisory Departments of Pritchard, Wood & Partners, Ltd.
Crawford was the author of Doll Making at Home , 1940, with drawings by Helen Lovat Fraser "Different types of plastics, their properties and uses" in John Gloag's Plastics and Industrial Design , 1945 Textiles in Britain , 1948 and a number of magazine articles. She was co-editor with F.A. Mercer of Modern Publicity in War , 1941. In 1970, Crawford published her autobiography, In the Days of My Youth , which concluded with Fraser's death.
Works cited: Fraser, Grace Lovat. In the Days of My Youth . London: Cassell & Company Ltd. 1970. Hooper, Sir Anthony. "Mrs. Grace Lovat Fraser." London: The Times, April 28, 1977, p. 21 "Notes and News" in Art and Industry , London: Volume 34, March 1943, p. 92. Unidentified newspaper clippings in the Fraser Collections, Bryn Mawr College Library.
Charles Fraser began his art practice as a prolific amateur, producing miniature portraits of family and friends, as well as carefully rendered watercolor depictions of buildings and scenery in and around Charleston. Until the age of 36, he vacillated between art and the legal career he had embarked upon in 1798 while studying law in the office of John Julius Pringle, Attorney General of South Carolina. Called to the South Carolina Bar in 1807, Fraser continued to practice law until 1817 when he finally resolved to become a professional artist. Ώ]
He had formed his landscape style in the mid-1790s under the tutelage of the view painter and engraver Thomas Coram, who apparently encouraged Fraser to copy European prints and travel guidebook illustrations. ΐ] Fraser particularly admired the atmospheric landscapes of the 17th-century painters Salvator Rosa and Claude Lorraine, and emulated the picturesque conventions popularized by British writers such as William Gilpin. Α] He was one of the first artists to adapt the British picturesque tradition to the topography of the American South. Β] A sketchbook dating from 1796 to 1806 contains small watercolor depictions of scenes in the vicinity of Charleston that Fraser knew well: manor houses, rice plantations, waterways, monuments, and churches. These included the new plantation house on the Ashley River built by his employer, John Julius Pringle [Fig. 1] the fabled estate Brabant, owned by his former schoolmaster, Bishop Robert Smith [Fig. 2] and the country seats established by Fraser’s siblings near Goosecreek on land that had originally formed part of the family plantation, Wigton, named for the Frasers’ ancestral home in Scotland [Fig. 3]. Γ] In all of these sketches, closely observed details of local terrain, plants, architecture, and social life attest to Fraser’s concern with authentically documenting the appearance of Charleston, notwithstanding his reliance on European landscape conventions.
In 1806 Fraser ventured further afield, making the first of several trips up the eastern seaboard, traveling as far north as Massachusetts. Δ] His letters home describe the scenery he encountered in terms that reflect his painterly interests. On his second trip through the northeast in 1816, he observed of northern Connecticut: “The scenery around there is very wild and Picturesque—hills of immense height—broken rocks, etc. make it one of the most striking scenes I ever beheld.” Ε] That year Fraser sold “twenty very beautiful drawings of scenes, in different parts of the United States” to the Analectic Magazine, which published eight engravings after his sketches from 1816 to 1818. Ζ] Despite the financial success of these landscapes, Fraser chose to focus on portrait miniatures when he embarked on his professional career in 1818. By his own calculation, he had produced 350 miniatures by 1837, and it is for these meticulously rendered images of fellow Charlestonians that he is chiefly known today.
In the 1830s, however—with his patrons’ interest in miniatures dwindling and his eyesight in decline—Fraser’s early interest in landscape revived. Rather than the manicured grounds of southern plantations and country seats, however, Fraser now focused on wilderness scenes in New England, romanticized views of European castles, and copies after engravings. Η] His admiration for both the cultivated European landscape and untamed American nature found expression in two poems he published in Magnolia, or Southern Appalachian: “Claude Lorraine” (May 1843) (view text) ⎖] and “Nature Made for Man” (June 1843). ⎗] Two years later, he published an essay recounting the history of the garden from Eden to the present day—enthusiastically endorsing the modern style of naturalistic garden design—in the literary miscellany The Charleston Book (view text). ⎘] With equal passion and similar arguments, he championed the rural cemetery movement in his Address Delivered on the Dedication of Magnolia Cemetery in 1850 (view text). ⎙]
Fraser was acutely conscious of the momentous changes that had transformed the social and physical fabric of Charleston during his lifetime. He described his companions at a dinner party in 1833 as “a little remnant of the old Stock—which are here and there to be found—like roses of the wilderness—marking ‘where a garden had been.’” ⎚] In 1853, at the age of 71, he presented his personal recollections before the Conversation Club, describing the Charleston he had known in the early 1790s, when manicured gardens and open greens defined the topography, and the town was still “completely surrounded with remains of its old revolutionary fortifications.” ⎛] He mentioned several private gardens that had blossomed in the post-Revolutionary era, including those created by the expatriate British nursery- and seedsman Robert Squibb, author of The Gardener’s Calendar for South-Carolina, Georgia, and North-Carolina (1787), and also by Martha Daniell Logan (1704), author of the planting advice column “A Gardener’s Kalendar.” ⎜]
Fraser wrote proudly of Lt. Gov. William Bull II (1710), who had entertained “the celebrated naturalist [Mark] Catesby at the family seat, at Ashley River, where there is now a majestic avenue of oaks, said to have been planted by his hand” [Fig. 4]. ⎝] In the early 1800s, Fraser had produced several drawings of Ashley Hall, including a representation of the obelisk erected in the garden in 1792 in memory of Gov. Bull [Fig. 5]. Fraser noted a few public gathering spots in Early Republican Charleston, including Gibbes’s Bridge, “where seats and refreshments were provided for the company that used to resort there on warm summer evenings,” and Watson’s Garden, “a beautifully cultivated piece of ground . . . about a mile from the city, adorned with shrubbery and hedges, and fine umbrageous trees.” ⎞] A bittersweet quality tinges several aspects of Fraser’s account. The Charleston Botanic Society and Garden, founded with high hopes in 1805, had ultimately failed to prosper. Numerous families had broken up their plantations, and “the ruinous remains of many of their seats and mansions . . . are melancholy memorials of bye-gone days.” ⎟] On the whole, however, Fraser asserted that Charleston had changed for the better. Among other recent “public improvements and embellishments,” he called attention to City Square (1818), “a beautiful walk of shade trees” replacing “mean and densely crowded” buildings that had been “a reproach to the city as well on the score of morals as of taste.” ⎠]
2 Jamie Appears Younger & In Scottish Attire In Claire's Fantasy
In the horrific season 5 finale, Claire was held captive and sexually assaulted by a group of aggrieved men, led by the despicable Lionel Brown. This was a result of him discovering she was publishing material on how to prevent unwanted pregnancies under a pseudonym.
During this traumatic ordeal, Claire dissociated into a fantastical world in the 20th century where her entire family had gathered around her, including Murtagh, Jocasta, Fergus and Marsali, and Jamie. The detail that fans might have missed here is that while most of the others looked their age in Claire's fantasy, Jamie was the only one who looked younger than he was at the time.
The Jamie in Claire's dream was the young redhead prior to the Battle of Culloden and not the older, often bespectacled one of the later seasons. Moreover, all the others were dressed in modern Western clothing in this fantasy while Jamie alone wore his traditional Highlands shirt.
What Ever Happened To Brendan Fraser?
Brendan Fraser wants me to meet his horse. “I got this horse because it's a big horse,” he says, standing in a barn in Bedford, New York. He removes a green bandanna from his pocket and gently wipes the animal's eyes. The horse's name is Pecas—the Spanish word for freckles. Fraser met him on the set of a 2015 History Channel series, Texas Rising. Fraser played a mid-19th-century Texas Ranger. They were filming down in Mexico, he says, when he and the horse had a shared moment of recognition. “Without doing too much—what's the word? Anthropomorphic…anthropomorphizing… Without pretending that the animal is a human, he looked like he needed help. Like: Get me out of here, man.”
So Fraser brought him back here. Fraser lives nearby and owns property that overlooks this farm, about an hour north of Manhattan. And though he's been traveling for most of this past year, going back and forth between Toronto, where he was shooting a series based on Three Days of the Condor called Condor, and Europe, where he was shooting Trust, an FX series about the kidnapping of John Paul Getty III produced by Danny Boyle, he makes sure to stop in and visit Pecas every few weeks or so. Why he does this is a question with a few different, surprising answers. But that is the way it is, I'm learning, with Brendan Fraser. He can't help but digress—“Instead of telling you what time it is, I might give you the history of horology,” he says, in the middle of saying something else. He's compulsively honest. His mind is like a maze. You wander in and then emerge, hours or days later, disoriented but appreciative that something so unpredictable can still exist in this world.
His eyes are pale and a bit watery these days—less wide than they used to be when he was new to the screen, playing guys who were often new to the world. Blue-gray stubble around the once mighty chin, gray long-sleeve shirt draped indifferently over the once mighty body. I'm 35: There was a time when the sight of Fraser was as familiar to me as the furniture in my parents' house. He was in Encino Man and School Ties in 1992, Airheads in 1994, George of the Jungle in 1997, The Mummy in 1999. If you watched movies at the end of the previous century, you watched Brendan Fraser. And though his run as a leading man in studio films lasted to the end of this past decade, he's been missing, or at least somewhere off in the margins, for some time now. He was there on the poster, year after year, and then he wasn't, and it took him turning up in a supporting part in the third season of a premium-cable show, The Affair, for many of us to even realize that heɽ been gone.
There's a story there as well, of course, and Fraser, in his elliptical way, will eventually get around to telling it to me. But first, Pecas. The other horses in Mexico were lean: mustangs, Fraser says. “And they beat up on this horse. I mean, I swear, I saw him get kicked so many times, bit, by other horses all the time. And I never saw him fight back.”
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Fraser watched this daily, this big, silvery horse being taunted by the sleeker horses around him. “And I thought, All right, I got a job for you if you want it.” He put the horse on a trailer, Durango to Juarez. Quarantine in El Paso. A FedEx cargo plane to New York. “And the veterinarians that ride on those cargo planes, they were like, ‘This horse walked on like he wanted to know what the movie was and what was for dinner.’ He just marched right on. He got off, came here, saw the cedar chips in the stall barn… Anyway, so I can get Griffin on him.”
Griffin is Fraser's eldest son—15 years old. “Griffin's rated on the autism spectrum. Um, and so he needs extra love in the world, and he gets it. And his brothers”—Holden, 13, Leland, 11—“ever since they were small, one was always the spokesperson and the other was the enforcer.” Fraser interrupts himself here to talk more about his eldest son. We've just met, but that doesn't seem to bother him. Details just pour out in a kind of loving torrent. Griffin, he says, is “a curative on everyone who meets him, I noticed. People have some rough edges to them. Or he just makes them, I don't know…put things into sharper relief and maybe find a way to have a little bit more compassion. They don't put themselves first so much around him.”
This was the job Fraser had for Pecas, to take care of Griffin: “There's something good that happens between the two of them. And even if he doesn't ride him, just give him a brush. The horse loves it, the repetitive motion that kids on the spectrum have that they love. And it just works… You know, you have to find those tools, strategies. If I ride, too, I just feel better. I just feel better.”
And that's how I spend my first hour with Brendan Fraser.
Fraser lives down a dirt road, in a tall, angular house with a wide lawn that descends to a glittering lake. As he parks his car, he begins removing items from it: a black leather satchel, a riding helmet, a hunting bow. “Can you just grab those hatchets?” he asks. There are two of them. I do. Inside, his house is dark wood, open, with windows that look out onto his backyard—hammock, soccer goal, trampoline, tetherball, zip line, swimming pool. “I love forests and the seasons and…burning wood,” he says. His sons live with his former wife, Afton, in Greenwich, Connecticut, just across the state line from Bedford. “But they're here all the time,” Fraser says.
He disappears for a moment, and then suddenly the sound of synthesizers comes from the speakers overhead, followed by a Pandora ad. “I thought this would be chill,” he says when he returns. I ask what station he's chosen for us.
“Chill?” Fraser says. He doesn't remember the name. “Chillax, maybe?”
And so these synthetic flutes end up being the soundtrack to Fraser's story. He starts, uncharacteristically, at the beginning. Fraser's first acting job was in a 1991 film called Dogfight, starring River Phoenix and Lili Taylor. He played Sailor #1. “They gave me a sailor outfit, along with some other guys, and we did a punch-up scene with some Marines. And I got my Screen Actors Guild card and an extra 50 bucks for the stunt adjustment, ’cause they threw me into a pinball machine. I think I bruised a rib, but I was like: That's okay! I'll take it. I can do it again. If you want, I'll break it. You want me to do it again?”
Well, yes. This would become an on-screen signature of Fraser's: crashing into things. He was big and handsome in a broad, unthreatening way, and most important, he was game. In Encino Man, the film that helped turn him into a star, Fraser played a caveman recently freed from a block of ice in modern-day California he likes to joke, or simply recount, that his audition consisted of wordlessly wrestling a plant. He had the unique quality of a man beholding the world for the first time, and directors began casting him as exactly that. For much of the 1990s, Fraser spent a lot of time emerging wide-eyed from bomb shelters (Blast from the Past) or Canada (Dudley Do-Right) or the rain forest (George of the Jungle), but he also took on more serious roles. In 1992, he starred with Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, and Chris Oɽonnell in the drama School Ties, as a Jewish scholarship quarterback fighting for his place at an elite, anti-Semitic boarding school. (This was a natural part, minus the religious dynamics, for Fraser, who grew up in a happy but peripatetic family—his father had a job in Canada's office of tourism—and enrolled in a new school practically every other year.)
School Ties was marketed, correctly, as the launch of a new generation of leading men: the next Diner or Footloose or The Outsiders. And Fraser, who was bluff and hunky but also had acting chops, was for a while the film's breakout discovery. But though as the decade wore on heɽ continue to take more traditional leading-man parts, he ultimately found most of his success with his shirt off. In George of the Jungle, he wore a loincloth for most of the movie his muscles had muscles: “I look at myself then and I just see a walking steak.” The film eventually grossed $175 million. “The naïf cum babe in the woods cum new guy in town cum man-boy cum…visitor-in-an-unusual-environment conceit was, uh…was very, very good to me,” Fraser says now. That movie put him on the track toward a very specific kind of role. In 1999, he starred in The Mummy, a horror-adventure flick that also made a bunch of money and ultimately spawned a franchise that would occupy, on and off, the next nine years of his life.
Movie stardom is a phenomenon even movie stars can't reliably explain. Some executive or a director puts your face on a screen in a theater, and there's something about your features or the way your parents raised you or the decade you happened to arrive in Hollywood, some ineffable thing that goes beyond acting that you have no conscious control over, and millions of people respond to it. Fraser was gentle and eager and apparently guileless, and we as a country decided that was something we wanted as frequently as he would provide it, and so he spent some of the best years of his life doing his best to do just that.
“By the time I did the third Mummy picture in China,” which was 2008, “I was put together with tape and ice—I was building an exoskeleton for myself daily.”
He remade Bedazzled, with Elizabeth Hurley, in 2000. Did MonkeyBone and a Mummy sequel, The Mummy Returns, in 2001. Looney Toons: Back in Action, 2003. And on it went—in retrospect, far beyond where Fraser wanted it to go. “I believe I probably was trying too hard, in a way that's destructive,” Fraser says now. The films, in addition to having diminishing returns, were causing a physical toll: He was a big man doing stunts, running around in front of green screens, going from set to set. His body began to fall apart. “By the time I did the third Mummy picture in China,” which was 2008, “I was put together with tape and ice—just, like, really nerdy and fetishy about ice packs. Screw-cap ice packs and downhill-mountain-biking pads, ⟊use they're small and light and they can fit under your clothes. I was building an exoskeleton for myself daily.” Eventually all these injuries required multiple surgeries: “I needed a laminectomy. And the lumbar didn't take, so they had to do it again a year later.” There was a partial knee replacement. Some more work on his back, bolting various compressed spinal pads together. At one point he needed to have his vocal cords repaired. All told, Fraser says, he was in and out of hospitals for almost seven years.
He laughs a small, sad laugh. “This is gonna really probably be a little saccharine for you,” Fraser warns. “But I felt like the horse from Animal Farm, whose job it was to work and work and work. Orwell wrote a character who was, I think, the proletariat. He worked for the good of the whole, he didn't ask questions, he didn't make trouble until it killed him.… I don't know if I've been sent to the glue factory, but I've felt like I've had to rebuild shit that I've built that got knocked down and do it again for the good of everyone. Whether it hurts you or not.”
In a few hours, a car is scheduled to pick Fraser up and take him to the airport to fly back to London, where he's filming Trust. The series, like Ridley Scott's recent All the Money in the World, tells the story of the 1973 kidnapping of John Paul Getty III. Donald Sutherland plays the elder Getty Hilary Swank plays his former daughter-in-law, Gail Fraser plays a fixer for the family, James Fletcher Chace.
Danny Boyle, an executive producer of the series, cast Fraser after seeing The Affair, in which Fraser was a prison guard who seemed to harbor some dark secrets. Boyle says he was drawn to the deftness of the performance—“I utterly believed him”—but he also just liked the sensation of seeing Fraser again. “It's one of those delicious moments where you see someone you're so familiar with who is so changed by time and by experience. You kind of just clock that, and it's both so sad and wonderful. Because we all share that same time line.”
Sarah Treem, the co-creator and executive producer of The Affair, says that Fraser's familiarity to audiences—his “star quality,” as she puts it—was one of the reasons they wanted him for the show, in part so that the series could play with that stardom. “We were looking for somebody who had the ability to be incredibly compelling,” Treem says, “but also really creepy and disorienting.”
When his episodes of The Affair began airing, in late 2016, Fraser was asked to give his first interview in years, for AOL's BUILD YouTube channel. It is an uncomfortable watch. Fraser seems morose and sad for much of it, he speaks in a near whisper. The video went viral. In the months that followed, theories sprang up about what ailed him, focusing on his 2009 divorce and the fact that two franchises heɽ once starred in, The Mummy and Journey to the Center of the Earth, had been rebooted and recast without him.
As it turns out, what was behind the sad Brendan Fraser meme was…sadness. His mother had died of cancer just days before the interview. “I buried my mom,” Fraser says. “I think I was in mourning, and I didn't know what that meant.” He hadn't done press in a while suddenly he was sitting on a stool in front of an audience, promoting the third season of a show heɽ barely been on. “I wasn't quite sure what the format was. And I felt like: Man, I got fucking old. Damn, this is the way it's done now?”
He was like one of the characters he used to play in the ➐s, emerging dumbfounded into a new world. “Going to work—in between being in and out of those hospitals, that wasn't always possible. So what I'm saying to you sounds, I hope, not like some sort of Hey, I had a boo-boo. I needed to put a Band-Aid on it, but more of an account of the reality of what I was walking around in.” For a while, sitting in his living room, he kind of talks around some other things—you can tell there's maybe more to this story that he's not yet ready to share. But clearly, it had been a bad decade: “I changed houses I went through a divorce. Some kids were born. I mean, they were born, but they're growing up. I was going through things that mold and shape you in ways that you're not ready for until you go through them.”
Fraser pauses, and his eyes seem to well up, and for the first time in this litany of surgeries and loss, he seems like he might not want to continue. I ask if he needs a break.
“I'm okay,” he says. “I think I just need to let some arrows fly.”
He excuses himself as I ponder what this means. A few minutes go by. When he returns, it's with a leather quiver full of arrows strapped to his back. He steps out onto his porch. Outside, he lofts a bow, nocks an arrow. Down below on his lawn, maybe 75 yards away, is an archery target. He releases the arrow straight into the target's center. Bull's-eye. Then nocks a second arrow, and does it again.
Finally, he exhales. “I feel a lot better now,” he says. He hands me the bow: “Okay, now you try.”
On a frigid December day a few weeks later, Trust is shooting in a studio complex in East London, on a little island surrounded by empty parking lots and gas stations. Inside, the set is full of pine trees covered in fake snow, glittering in the bright lights. Fraser is in costume—long white trench coat, white shirt, white suit, white Stetson, bolo tie—long legs stretched out, studying his lines. This afternoon, Fraser and Hilary Swank are shooting a scene inside a car. The set is made up to look like the mountains of Calabria, Italy, where their two characters have traveled to deliver ransom to Getty's kidnappers. The two actors sit inside a white Fiat, cameras still mounted on its hood, big soft lights surrounding it. As various people fuss over the setup, Fraser and Swank discuss their lines. Swank was supposed to say, nervously, as they drove to the rendezvous point in the snow: “They said that I have to drive 80, but I can't see. I can only drive 50.”
To which Fraser responds, in his calming way: “You're doing just fine.” As they run through the scene a few times, one of the show's producers, Tim Bricknell, says quietly to me that he's enjoyed watching Fraser over the past several months. “It's so cool to see leading men become great character actors later in their career.” And it is cool to see Fraser work now. One thing you notice, re-watching his films from the ➐s and early 2000s, is how much they depend on the gravity Fraser exerts as an actor. This is obviously the case with Fraser's dramatic roles: 1998's Gods and Monsters, opposite Ian McKellen 2002's The Quiet American, opposite Michael Caine and Crash, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture of 2005. But it's also true of Fraser's more ridiculous blockbuster fare. He exudes a kind of solid decency and equanimity that makes the implausible plausible. His presence in a scene makes you believe it.
“I always notice with comic actors, when they can do that stuff really well, you don't notice this great integrity in the way they're doing it,” Danny Boyle says. “Because obviously you notice the cartoon effect of what they're doing, and it's very pleasurable. But in order for it to work, it actually has to have integrity. It is in some way based on truth and honesty.”
On Trust, Fraser's character is essentially the show's narrator—even turning, on occasion, to address the audience directly. It's a risky conceit, but it works because of Fraser. There he is: amiable, slightly amused, solid, dependable.
A few weeks after that day on set, Fraser calls me. There's something he wants to tell me that he couldn't quite bring himself to relate in London or New York. He's sorry about that, he says—that he didn't have “the courage to speak up for risk of humiliation, or damage to my career.”
Certain pieces of what he tells me have already been told, it turns out—but this is the first time he's ever spoken publicly about any of it. The story he wants to relay took place, he says, in the summer of 2003, in the Beverly Hills Hotel, at a luncheon held by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the organization that hosts the Golden Globes. On Fraser's way out of the hotel, he was hailed by Philip Berk, a former president of the HFPA. In the midst of a crowded room, Berk reached out to shake Fraser's hand. Much of what happened next Berk recounted in his memoir and was also reported by Sharon Waxman in The New York Times: He pinched Fraser's ass—in jest, according to Berk. But Fraser says what Berk did was more than a pinch: “His left hand reaches around, grabs my ass cheek, and one of his fingers touches me in the taint. And he starts moving it around.” Fraser says that in this moment he was overcome with panic and fear.
“Am I still frightened? Absolutely. Do I feel like I need to say something? Absolutely. Have I wanted to many, many times? Absolutely. Have I stopped myself? Absolutely.”
Fraser eventually was able, he says, to remove Berk's hand. “I felt ill. I felt like a little kid. I felt like there was a ball in my throat. I thought I was going to cry.” He rushed out of the room, outside, past a police officer he couldn't quite bring himself to confess to, and then home, where he told his then wife, Afton, what had happened. “I felt like someone had thrown invisible paint on me,” he says now. (In an e-mail, Berk, who is still an HFPA member, disputed Fraser's account: “Mr. Fraser's version is a total fabrication.”)