|This article is about Outlander, the novel. You may be looking for the TV series or the series of books.|
Outlander (Cross Stitch in the UK) is the first in the Outlander Series of novels by Diana Gabaldon. The book focuses on two main characters, Claire Randall and Jamie Fraser, and takes place in Scotland in the 18th and 20th centuries.
While Outlander follows a few basic tropes of the romance novel, it deviates from them just as often, and could be accurately described as a work of historical fiction, science fiction, and adventure, among other genres. Diana Gabaldon has asserted that the series as whole is the story of a long, successful marriage, so while Outlander certainly involves the typical courtship story of a romance novel, it is the only installment of the series to do so.
- Claire Elizabeth Beauchamp Randall Fraser: The story's protagonist, a WWII combat nurse who finds herself transported to 1743 while on a second honeymoon with her husband in the Scottish Highlands. Married to Frank Randall in the 20th century, she is forced into marrying Jamie Fraser in the 18th century. Claire is a naturally gifted healer, practical and independent, although prone to becoming entangled in unforeseeably dangerous circumstances.
- James "Jamie" Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser: Heir to the Lallybroch estate, son of Brian Fraser and Ellen MacKenzie, Jamie is a strapping twenty-two-year-old redhead with a complicated past, an aptitude for politics, and a disarming sense of humor. Jamie is intelligent, principled, educated, and worldly, having gone to university in Paris and soldiered with the French army before returning to the Highlands. Jamie volunteers to wed Claire when her life is threatened.
- Franklin "Frank" Wolverton Randall: Claire's husband in the twentieth century; a history professor with a deep interest in his genealogy and heritage. Frank and Claire were married a short time before the outbreak of World War Two, and were separated for six years by the war.
- Jonathan "Jack" Wolverton Randall: The primary villain of the story. He is Frank's six-times-great-grandfather, and a British cavalry officer. He is also known by the dashing nickname of "Black Jack," although according to Jamie Fraser the black refers to the color of his soul rather than his darkly handsome complexion.
- Colum MacKenzie: The Laird of the MacKenzie clan. He is also Jamie's maternal uncle, and shelters Jamie and Claire from the English threat. He suffers from Toulouse-Lautrec Syndrome.
- Dougal MacKenzie: Colum's hotheaded younger brother and Jamie's onetime foster father, Dougal is part of the group of Scottish clansmen Claire first meets upon her arrival in the 18th century.
- Geillis "Geilie" Duncan: Wife of the procurator fiscal; a mysterious woman who is widely thought to be a witch. Her knowledge of herbs and plants and quick sense of humor help her to become fast friends with Claire.
- Murtagh Fitzgibbons Fraser: a member of the Fraser clan; sworn to protect his godson Jamie since he was a baby.
- Janet "Jenny" Fraser Murray: Jamie's older sister who is very devoted to him. Very loyal to her family and quick-tempered. Married to Ian Murray, Jamie's best friend.
- Ian Murray: Jenny's husband and Jamie's best friend since childhood. He lost part of his leg during battle but hasn't let it hold him back. He is very close to both his wife and best friend. Very friendly and caring towards his family.
Timeline of Significant Events
- April 1946: English ex-army nurse Claire Randall, recently returned from her service in World War II travels to Inverness with her husband of six years Frank Randall.
- Frank and Claire visit an old friend of Frank's, Reverend Reginald Wakefield who lives with his adoptive son Roger Wakefield and his housekeeper Mrs. Graham. While Frank discusses genealogical research with Reverend Wakefield, Mrs. Graham reads Claire's tea leaves. Claire is slightly unnerved to be told that her future appears uncertain and unresolved.
- While gathering botanical samples, Claire sees an ancient stone circle known as Craigh na Dun. When she tells Frank of the circle, he tells her that on Beltane, a group of local women perform an ancient Druid ceremony at the stones. The pair resolve to watch the ceremony in hiding.
- The following day, Claire returns to Craigh na Dun to collect a few more samples, but finds herself drawn to the stones. She touches one, and immediately falls through time.
Outlander: Season One
Outlander: The Musical
On 1 August 2010, a CD song cycle telling the story of the first book in the series was released under the title "Outlander The Musical". The 14 songs were written by Kevin Walsh (music) and Mike Gibb (lyrics) with the words for one of the tracks being provided by author Diana Gabaldon. The CD has been highly successful, especially in America, Canada and Germany, and a libretto for a full scale stage musical is currently under consideration by a number of theatres. The writing team of Walsh and Gibb earlier produced the work "Clarinda the Musical" while playwright Mike Gibb has produced a string of plays and musical plays on Scottish themes.
- Outlander is the only novel in the series to be narrated exclusively from Claire's point-of-view. She remains, however, the only first-person narrator throughout the series; all other narrative points of view are written in third-person.
- Diana Gabaldon began writing what would become Outlander on March 6, 1988.
- Originally 1945, corrected in the U.K. and later editions and addressed by Diana Gabaldon in The Outlandish Companion.
- Original year used in the U.S. edition of Outlander; changed to 1946 in the U.K. edition (Cross Stitch) and addressed by Diana Gabaldon in The Outlandish Companion.
- Outlander The Musical Website
- Clarinda the Musical
- Mike Gibb website