Mr. Crook was a resident of Inverness in the 1940s, and probably most of his life. He had a nephew at university, who gave him plant presses as a gift.
Events of the Novels
Mr. Crook meets Claire Randall at the pub through an introduction by Mrs. Baird, who tells him of Mrs. Randall's interest in plants. Mr. Crook explains that he doesn't understand why someone would want to press plants, as they are more usefully dried and stored for later use. When Mrs. Randall expresses an interest in learning more about the local flora, Mr. Cook agrees to meet her early the next morning to explore the countryside.
After an early start, Mr. Crook takes Mrs. Randall out into the surrounding country on his old motorbike, and they stop here and there so that he can explain the medicinal uses and preparation for various plants. They take a break to eat lunch at the base of a steep hill, which Mr. Crook tells Mrs. Randall is Craigh na Dun, the site of an ancient stone circle.
Mr. Crook speaks frankly about his opinions regarding the virtues of pressing plants flat, and is initially suspicious of Claire's expressed interest in learning about local plants. Still, once he realizes her interest is genuine, he is happy to give her a tour of the countryside to collect samples and explain the uses of various plants.
Though Claire observes that Mr. Crook is elderly, with "tufted white brows" and a tendency to lean forward from deafness, he is also a spry old man, proving more adept at clambering up and down steep hills than Claire herself.
- Crook has a few possible origins:
- An Old Norse byname Krókr meaning 'crook', 'bend', originally possibly bestowed on a cripple or hunchback or a devious schemer, but in early medieval England used as a personal name.
- From Old Norse krókr 'hook', 'bend', borrowed into Middle English as a vocabulary word and applied as a metonymic occupational name for a maker, seller, or user of hooks or a topographic name for someone who lived by a bend in a river or road.
- Mr. Crook's first name is not revealed; he is one of several characters from early on in the series that is only known by surname. Others include Mrs. Graham and Mrs. Baird.
- Main article: Outlander (TV series)
The character of Mr. Cook does not appear in the Outlander television series.