In this week’s episode, Claire finally gets out of the castle. She doesn’t get too far and is constantly under surveillance, but at least we get to see some other scenery including some beautiful gardens and the in-town (or village as it were) house of Geillis Duncan – one of the only women Claire has become friendly with. Geillis is an odd and mysterious character, both seductive and off-putting. Her husband is the procurator fiscal (aka public prosecutor) and is of very high rank. Like Claire, Geillis has a deep interest in the use of plants and herbs for medicinals. Unlike Claire, Geillis also uses her knowledge for darker purposes such as love spells and curses. Geillis is in a position to supply Claire’s “medical practice” at the Castle with some valuable herbs so Claire visits her for an afternoon of grinding herbs and chatting. In the books, the house is described as fashionably dark, but her workroom as being an “airy loft” with casement windows that provided a great deal of light for work. Also described in the books is a “surprisingly modern long counter” filled with immaculately clean equipment.
So, I was surprised that the set decorators didn’t go with something closer to this description for the production. The space was dark with small windows and crammed with period appropriate furniture and odds and ends. It definitely had no air of modernity or cleanliness, really
Without trying to give anything away, the description of Geillis’ workroom in the book lends itself more to her character than the set does.
Although, I do love the day bed with it’s beautiful blue coverings and the William and Mary gate leg table.
I think I may have had something closer to the set decorating in the movie “Practical Magic” in mind:
Which obviously doesn’t make any sense, but we “see” things in our mind’s eye when we read and it’s hard to get rid of them.
If you’re watching, what did you think of Geillis’ “lair”?