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Written in My Own Heart's Blood: A Novel (Outlander, Book 8) Kindle Edition
- Hardcover $19.00 101 Used from $2.85 47 New from $13.25 13 Collectible from $16.95
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- Mass Market Paperback $7.48 49 Used from $1.91 27 New from $7.48
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- Book 8 of 9 Outlander
- Print length 842 pages
- Language English
- Sticky notes On Kindle Scribe
- Publisher Delacorte Press
- Publication date June 10, 2014
- File size 5602 KB
- Page Flip Enabled
- Word Wise Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting Enabled
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- Next 2 for you in this series $23.24
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- In This Series
- By Diana Gabaldon
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- Historical Fiction
From the Publisher
Editorial reviews, about the author, excerpt. © reprinted by permission. all rights reserved..
A Hundredweight of Stones
June 16, 1778
The forest between Philadelphia and Valley Forge
an Murray stood with a stone in his hand, eyeing the ground he’d chosen. A small clearing, out of the way, up among a scatter of great lichened boulders, under the shadow of firs and at the foot of a big red cedar; a place where no casual passerby would go, but not inaccessible. He meant to bring them up here—the family.
Fergus, to begin with. Maybe just Fergus, by himself. Mam had raised Fergus from the time he was ten, and he’d had no mother before that. Fergus had known Mam longer than Ian had, and loved her as much. Maybe more, he thought, his grief aggravated by guilt. Fergus had stayed with her at Lallybroch, helped to take care of her and the place; he hadn’t. He swallowed hard and, walking into the small clear space, set his stone in the middle, then stood back to look.
Even as he did so, he found himself shaking his head. No, it had to be two cairns. His mam and Uncle Jamie were brother and sister, and the family could mourn them here together—but there were others he might bring, maybe, to remember and pay their respects. And those were the folk who would have known Jamie Fraser and loved him well but wouldn’t ken Jenny Murray from a hole in the—
The image of his mother in a hole in the ground stabbed him like a fork, retreated with the recollection that she wasn’t after all in a grave, and stabbed again all the harder for that. He really couldn’t bear the vision of them drowning, maybe clinging to each other, struggling to keep—
“A Dhia!” he said violently, and dropped the stone, turning back at once to find more. He’d seen people drown.
Tears ran down his face with the sweat of the summer day; he didn’t mind it, only stopping now and then to wipe his nose on his sleeve. He’d tied a rolled kerchief round his head to keep the hair and the stinging sweat out of his eyes; it was sopping before he’d added more than twenty stones to each of the cairns.
He and his brothers had built a fine cairn for their father before he died, at the head of the carved stone that bore his name—all his names, in spite of the expense—in the burying ground at Lallybroch. And then later, at the funeral, members of the family, followed by the tenants and then the servants, had come one by one to add a stone each to the weight of remembrance.
Fergus, then. Or . . . no, what was he thinking? Auntie Claire must be the first he brought here. She wasn’t Scots herself, but she kent fine what a cairn was and would maybe be comforted a bit to see Uncle Jamie’s. Aye, right. Auntie Claire, then Fergus. Uncle Jamie was Fergus’s foster father; he had a right. And then maybe Marsali and the children. But maybe Germain was old enough to come with Fergus? He was ten, near enough to being a man to understand, to be treated like a man. And Uncle Jamie was his grandsire; it was proper.
He stepped back again and wiped his face, breathing heavily. Bugs whined and buzzed past his ears and hovered over him, wanting his blood, but he’d stripped to a loincloth and rubbed himself with bear grease and mint in the Mohawk way; they didn’t touch him.
“Look over them, O spirit of red cedar,” he said softly in Mohawk, gazing up into the fragrant branches of the tree. “Guard their souls and keep their presence here, fresh as thy branches.”
He crossed himself and bent to dig about in the soft leaf mold. A few more rocks, he thought. In case they might be scattered by some passing animal. Scattered like his thoughts, which roamed restless to and fro among the faces of his family, the folk of the Ridge—God, might he ever go back there? Brianna. Oh, Jesus, Brianna . . .
He bit his lip and tasted salt, licked it away and moved on, foraging. She was safe with Roger Mac and the weans. But, Jesus, he could have used her advice—even more, Roger Mac’s.
Who was left for him to ask, if he needed help in taking care of them all?
Thought of Rachel came to him, and the tightness in his chest eased a little. Aye, if he had Rachel . . . She was younger than him, nay more than nineteen, and, being a Quaker, had very strange notions of how things should be, but if he had her, he’d have solid rock under his feet. He hoped he would have her, but there were still things he must say to her, and the thought of that conversation made the tightness in his chest come back.
The picture of his cousin Brianna came back, too, and lingered in his mind: tall, long-nosed and strong-boned as her father . . . and with it rose the image of his other cousin, Bree’s half brother. Holy God, William. And what ought he to do about William? He doubted the man kent the truth, kent that he was Jamie Fraser’s son—was it Ian’s responsibility to tell him so? To bring him here and explain what he’d lost?
He must have groaned at the thought, for his dog, Rollo, lifted his massive head and looked at him in concern.
“No, I dinna ken that, either,” Ian told him. “Let it bide, aye?” Rollo laid his head back on his paws, shivered his shaggy hide against the flies, and relaxed in boneless peace.
Ian worked awhile longer and let the thoughts drain away with his sweat and his tears. He finally stopped when the sinking sun touched the tops of his cairns, feeling tired but more at peace. The cairns rose knee-high, side by side, small but solid.
He stood still for a bit, not thinking anymore, just listening to the fussing of wee birds in the grass and the breathing of the wind among the trees. Then he sighed deeply, squatted, and touched one of the cairns.
“Tha gaol agam oirbh, a Mhàthair,” he said softly. My love is upon you, Mother. Closed his eyes and laid a scuffed hand on the other heap of stones. The dirt ground into his skin made his fingers feel strange, as though he could maybe reach straight through the earth and touch what he needed.
He stayed still, breathing, then opened his eyes.
“Help me wi’ this, Uncle Jamie,” he said. “I dinna think I can manage, alone.”
illiam Ransom, Ninth Earl of Ellesmere, Viscount Ashness, Baron Derwent, shoved his way through the crowds on Market Street, oblivious to the complaints of those rebounding from his impact.
He didn’t know where he was going, or what he might do when he got there. All he knew was that he’d burst if he stood still.
His head throbbed like an inflamed boil. Everything throbbed. His hand—he’d probably broken something, but he didn’t care. His heart, pounding and sore inside his chest. His foot, for God’s sake—what, had he kicked something? He lashed out viciously at a loose cobblestone and sent it rocketing through a crowd of geese, who set up a huge cackle and lunged at him, hissing and beating at his shins with their wings.
Feathers and goose shit flew wide, and the crowd scattered in all directions.
“Bastard!” shrieked the goose-girl, and struck at him with her crook, catching him a shrewd thump on the ear. “Devil take you, dreckiger Bastard !”
This sentiment was echoed by a number of other angry voices, and he veered into an alley, pursued by shouts and honks of agitation.
He rubbed his throbbing ear, lurching into buildings as he passed, oblivious to everything but the one word throbbing ever louder in his head. Bastard.
“Bastard!” he said out loud, and shouted, “Bastard, bastard, bastard !” at the top of his lungs, hammering at the brick wall next to him with a clenched fist.
“Who’s a bastard?” said a curious voice behind him. He swung round to see a young woman looking at him with some interest. Her eyes moved slowly down his frame, taking note of the heaving chest, the bloodstains on the facings of his uniform coat, and the green smears of goose shit on his breeches. Her gaze reached his silver-buckled shoes and returned to his face with more interest.
“I am,” he said, hoarse and bitter.
“Oh, really?” She left the shelter of the doorway in which she’d been lingering and came across the alley to stand right in front of him. She was tall and slim and had a very fine pair of high young breasts—which were clearly visible under the thin muslin of her shift, because, while she had a silk petticoat, she wore no stays. No cap, either—her hair fell loose over her shoulders. A whore.
“I’m partial to bastards myself,” she said, and touched him lightly on the arm. “What kind of bastard are you? A wicked one? An evil one?”
“A sorry one,” he said, and scowled when she laughed. She saw the scowl but didn’t pull back.
“Come in,” she said, and took his hand. “You look as though you could do with a drink.” He saw her glance at his knuckles, burst and bleeding, and she caught her lower lip behind small white teeth. She didn’t seem afraid, though, and he found himself drawn, unprotesting, into the shadowed doorway after her.
What did it matter? he thought, with a sudden savage weariness. What did anything matter?
In Which the Women, As Usual, Pick Up the Pieces
Number 17 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia
The residence of Lord and Lady John Grey
illiam had left the house like a thunderclap, and the place looked as though it had been struck by lightning. I certainly felt like the survivor of a massive electrical storm, hairs and nerve endings all standing up straight on end, waving in agitation.
Jenny Murray had entered the house on the heels of William’s departure, and while the sight of her was a lesser shock than any of the others so far, it still left me speechless. I goggled at my erstwhile sister-in-law—though, come to think, she still was my sister-in-law . . . because Jamie was alive. Alive.
He’d been in my arms not ten minutes before, and the memory of his touch flickered through me like lightning in a bottle. I was dimly aware that I was smiling like a loon, despite massive destruction, horrific scenes, William’s distress—if you could call an explosion like that “distress”—Jamie’s danger, and a faint wonder as to what either Jenny or Mrs. Figg, Lord John’s cook and housekeeper, might be about to say.
Mrs. Figg was smoothly spherical, gleamingly black, and inclined to glide silently up behind one like a menacing ball bearing.
“What’s this ?” she barked, manifesting herself suddenly behind Jenny.
“Holy Mother of God!” Jenny whirled, eyes round and hand pressed to her chest. “Who in God’s name are you?”
“This is Mrs. Figg,” I said, feeling a surreal urge to laugh, despite—or maybe because of—recent events. “Lord John Grey’s cook. And, Mrs. Figg, this is Mrs. Murray. My, um . . . my . . .”
“Your good-sister,” Jenny said firmly. She raised one black eyebrow. “If ye’ll have me still?” Her look was straight and open, and the urge to laugh changed abruptly into an equally strong urge to burst into tears. Of all the unlikely sources of succor I could have imagined . . . I took a deep breath and put out my hand.
“I’ll have you.” We hadn’t parted on good terms in Scotland, but I had loved her very much, once, and wasn’t about to pass up any opportunity to mend things.
Her small firm fingers wove through mine, squeezed hard, and, as simply as that, it was done. No need for apologies or spoken forgiveness. She’d never had to wear the mask that Jamie did. What she thought and felt was there in her eyes, those slanted blue cat eyes she shared with her brother. She knew the truth now of what I was, and she knew I loved—and always had loved—her brother with all my heart and soul—despite the minor complications of my being presently married to someone else.
She heaved a sigh, eyes closing for an instant, then opened them and smiled at me, mouth trembling only a little.
“Well, fine and dandy,” said Mrs. Figg shortly. She narrowed her eyes and rotated smoothly on her axis, taking in the panorama of destruction. The railing at the top of the stair had been ripped off, and cracked banisters, dented walls, and bloody smudges marked the path of William’s descent. Shattered crystals from the chandelier littered the floor, glinting festively in the light that poured through the open front door, the door itself cracked through and hanging drunkenly from one hinge.
“ Merde on toast,” Mrs. Figg murmured. She turned abruptly to me, her small black-currant eyes still narrowed. “Where’s his lordship?”
“Ah,” I said. This was going to be rather sticky, I saw. While deeply disapproving of most people, Mrs. Figg was devoted to John. She wasn’t going to be at all pleased to hear that he’d been abducted by—
“For that matter, where’s my brother?” Jenny inquired, glancing round as though expecting Jamie to appear suddenly out from under the settee.
“Oh,” I said. “Hmm. Well . . .” Possibly worse than sticky. Because . . .
“And where’s my Sweet William?” Mrs. Figg demanded, sniffing the air. “He’s been here; I smell that stinky cologne he puts on his linen.” She nudged a dislodged chunk of plaster disapprovingly with the toe of her shoe.
I took another long, deep breath and a tight grip on what remained of my sanity.
“Mrs. Figg,” I said, “perhaps you would be so kind as to make us all a cup of tea?”
We sat in the parlor, while Mrs. Figg came and went to the cookhouse, keeping an eye on her terrapin stew.
“You don’t want to scorch turtle, no, you don’t,” she said severely to us, setting down the teapot in its padded yellow cozy on her return. “Not with so much sherry as his lordship likes in it. Almost a full bottle—terrible waste of good liquor, that would be.”
My insides turned over promptly. Turtle soup—with a lot of sherry—had certain strong and private associations for me, these being connected with Jamie, feverish delirium, and the way in which a heaving ship assists sexual intercourse. Contemplation of which would not assist the impending discussion in the slightest. I rubbed a finger between my brows, in hopes of dispelling the buzzing cloud of confusion gathering there. The air in the house still felt electric.
“Speaking of sherry,” I said, “or any other sort of strong spirits you might have convenient, Mrs. Figg . . .”
She looked thoughtfully at me, nodded, and reached for the decanter on the sideboard.
“Brandy is stronger,” she said, and set it in front of me.
Jenny looked at me with the same thoughtfulness and, reaching out, poured a good-sized slug of the brandy into my cup, then a similar one into her own.
“Just in case,” she said, raising one brow, and we drank for a few moments. I thought it might take something stronger than brandy-laced tea to deal with the effect of recent events on my nerves—laudanum, say, or a large slug of straight Scotch whisky—but the tea undeniably helped, hot and aromatic, settling in a soft trickling warmth amidships.
“So, then. We’re fettled, are we?” Jenny set down her own cup and looked expectant.
“It’s a start.” I took a deep breath and gave her a précis of the morning’s events.
Jenny’s eyes were disturbingly like Jamie’s. She blinked at me once, then twice, and shook her head as though to clear it, accepting what I’d just told her.
“So Jamie’s gone off wi’ your Lord John, the British army is after them, the tall lad I met on the stoop wi’ steam comin’ out of his ears is Jamie’s son—well, of course he is; a blind man could see that—and the town’s aboil wi’ British soldiers. Is that it, then?”
“He’s not exactly my Lord John,” I said. “But, yes, that’s essentially the position. I take it Jamie told you about William, then?”
“Aye, he did.” She grinned at me over the rim of her teacup. “I’m that happy for him. But what’s troubling his lad, then? He looked like he wouldna give the road to a bear.”
“What did you say?” Mrs. Figg’s voice cut in abruptly. She set down the tray she had just brought in, the silver milk jug and sugar basin rattling like castanets. “William is whose son?”
I took a fortifying gulp of tea. Mrs. Figg did know that I’d been married to—and theoretically widowed from—one James Fraser. But that was all she knew.
“Well,” I said, and paused to clear my throat. “The, um, tall gentleman with the red hair who was just here—you saw him?”
“I did.” Mrs. Figg eyed me narrowly.
“Did you get a good look at him?”
“Didn’t pay much heed to his face when he came to the door and asked where you were, but I saw his backside pretty plain when he pushed past me and ran up the stairs.”
“Possibly the resemblance is less marked from that angle.” I took another mouthful of tea. “Um . . . that gentleman is James Fraser, my . . . er . . . my—” “First husband” wasn’t accurate, and neither was “last husband”—or even, unfortunately, “most recent husband.” I settled for the simplest alternative. “My husband. And, er . . . William’s father.”
Mrs. Figg’s mouth opened, soundless for an instant. She backed up slowly and sat down on a needlework ottoman with a soft phumph.
“William know that?” she asked, after a moment’s contemplation.
“He does now, ” I said, with a brief gesture toward the devastation in the stairwell, clearly visible through the door of the parlor where we were sitting.
“ Merde on— I mean, Holy Lamb of God preserve us.” Mrs. Figg’s second husband was a Methodist preacher, and she strove to be a credit to him, but her first had been a French gambler. Her eyes fixed on me like gun sights.
“You his mother?”
I choked on my tea.
“No,” I said, wiping my chin with a linen napkin. “It isn’t quite that complicated.” In fact, it was more so, but I wasn’t going to explain just how Willie had come about, either to Mrs. Figg or to Jenny. Jamie had to have told Jenny who William’s mother was, but I doubted that he’d told his sister that William’s mother, Geneva Dunsany, had forced him into her bed by threatening Jenny’s family. No man of spirit likes to admit that he’s been effectively blackmailed by an eighteen-year-old girl.
“Lord John became William’s legal guardian when William’s grandfather died, and at that point, Lord John also married Lady Isobel Dunsany, Willie’s mother’s sister. She’d looked after Willie since his mother’s death in childbirth, and she and Lord John were essentially Willie’s parents since he was quite young. Isobel died when he was eleven or so.”
Mrs. Figg took this explanation in stride but wasn’t about to be distracted from the main point at issue.
“James Fraser,” she said, tapping a couple of broad fingers on her knee and looking accusingly at Jenny. “How comes he not to be dead? News was he drowned.” She cut her eyes at me. “I thought his lordship was like to throw himself in the harbor, too, when he heard it.”
I closed my own eyes with a sudden shudder, the salt-cold horror of that news washing over me in a wave of memory. Even with Jamie’s touch still joyful on my skin and the knowledge of him glowing in my heart, I relived the crushing pain of hearing that he was dead.
“Well, I can enlighten ye on that point, at least.”
I opened my eyes to see Jenny drop a lump of sugar into her fresh tea and nod at Mrs. Figg. “We were to take passage on a ship called Euterpe —my brother and myself—out o’ Brest. But the blackhearted thief of a captain sailed without us. Much good it did him,” she added, frowning.
Much good, indeed. The Euterpe had sunk in a storm in the Atlantic, lost with all hands. As I—and John Grey—had been told.
“Jamie found us another ship, but it landed us in Virginia, and we’d to make our way up the coast, partly by wagon, partly by packet boat, keepin’ out of the way of the soldiers. Those wee needles ye gave Jamie against the seasickness work a marvel,” she added, turning approvingly to me. “He showed me how to put them in for him. But when we came to Philadelphia yesterday,” she went on, returning to her tale, “we stole into the city by night, like a pair o’ thieves, and made our way to Fergus’s printshop. Lord, I thought my heart would stop a dozen times!”
She smiled at the memory, and I was struck by the change in her. The shadow of sorrow still lay on her face, and she was thin and worn by travel, but the terrible strain of her husband Ian’s long dying had lifted. There was color in her cheeks again and a brightness in her eyes that I had not seen since I had first known her thirty years before. She had found her peace, I thought, and felt a thankfulness that eased my own soul.
“. . . so Jamie taps on the door at the back, and there’s no answer, though we can see the light of a fire comin’ through the shutters. He knocks again, makin’ a wee tune of it—” She rapped her knuckles lightly on the table, bump-ba-da-bump-ba-da-bump-bump-bump, and my heart turned over, recognizing the theme from The Lone Ranger, which Brianna had taught him.
“And after a moment,” Jenny went on, “a woman’s voice calls out fierce, ‘Who’s there?’ And Jamie says in the Gàidhlig, ‘It is your father, my daughter, and a cold, wet, and hungry man he is, too.’ For it was rainin’ hammer handles and pitchforks, and we were both soaked to the skin.”
She rocked back a little, enjoying the telling.
“The door opens then, just a crack, and there’s Marsali wi’ a horse pistol in her hand, and her two wee lasses behind her, fierce as archangels, each with a billet of wood, ready to crack a thief across his shins. They see the firelight shine on Jamie’s face then, and all three of them let out skellochs like to wake the dead and fall upon him and drag him inside and all talkin’ at once and greetin’, askin’ was he a ghost and why was he not drowned, and that was the first we learned that the Euterpe had sunk.” She crossed herself. “God rest them, poor souls,” she said, shaking her head.
I crossed myself, too, and saw Mrs. Figg look sideways at me; she hadn’t realized I was a Papist.
“I’ve come in, too, of course,” Jenny went on, “but everyone’s talkin’ at once and rushin’ to and fro in search of dry clothes and hot drinks and I’m just lookin’ about the place, for I’ve never been inside a printshop before, and the smell of the ink and the paper and lead is a wonder to me, and, sudden-like, there’s a tug at my skirt and this sweet-faced wee mannie says to me, ‘And who are you, madame? Would you like some cider?’ ”
“Henri-Christian,” I murmured, smiling at the thought of Marsali’s youngest, and Jenny nodded.
“ ‘Why, I’m your grannie Janet, son,’ says I, and his eyes go round, and he lets out a shriek and grabs me round the legs and gives me such a hug as to make me lose my balance and fall down on the settle. I’ve a bruise on my bum the size of your hand,” she added out of the corner of her mouth to me.
I felt a small knot of tension that I hadn’t realized was there relax. Jenny did of course know that Henri-Christian had been born a dwarf—but knowing and seeing are sometimes different things. Clearly they hadn’t been, for Jenny.
Mrs. Figg had been following this account with interest, but maintained her reserve. At mention of the printshop, though, this reserve hardened a bit.
“These folk—Marsali is your daughter, then, ma’am?” I could tell what she was thinking. The entire town of Philadelphia knew that Jamie was a Rebel—and, by extension, so was I. It was the threat of my imminent arrest that had caused John to insist upon my marrying him in the wake of the tumult following Jamie’s presumed death. The mention of printing in British-occupied Philadelphia was bound to raise questions as to just what was being printed, and by whom.
“No, her husband is my brother’s adopted son,” Jenny explained. “But I raised Fergus from a wee lad myself, so he’s my foster son, as well, by the Highland way of reckoning.”
Mrs. Figg blinked. She had been gamely trying to keep the cast of characters in some sort of order to this point, but now gave it up with a shake of her head that made the pink ribbons on her cap wave like antennae.
“Well, where the devil—I mean, where on earth has your brother gone with his lordship?” she demanded. “To this printshop, you think?”
Jenny and I exchanged glances.
“I doubt it,” I said. “More likely he’s gone outside the city, using John—er, his lordship, I mean—as a hostage to get past the pickets, if necessary. Probably he’ll let him go as soon as they’re far enough away for safety.”
Mrs. Figg made a deep humming noise of disapproval.
“And maybe he’ll make for Valley Forge and turn him over to the Rebels instead.”
“Oh, I shouldna think so,” Jenny said soothingly. “What would they want with him, after all?”
Mrs. Figg blinked again, taken aback at the notion that anyone might not value his lordship to the same degree that she did, but after a moment’s lip-pursing allowed as this might be so.
“He wasn’t in his uniform, was he, ma’am?” she asked me, brow furrowed. I shook my head. John didn’t hold an active commission. He was a diplomat, though technically still lieutenant colonel of his brother’s regiment, and therefore wore his uniform for purposes of ceremony or intimidation, but he was officially retired from the army, not a combatant, and in plain clothes he would be taken as citizen rather than soldier—thus of no particular interest to General Washington’s troops at Valley Forge.
I didn’t think Jamie was headed for Valley Forge in any case. I knew, with absolute certainty, that he would come back. Here. For me.
The thought bloomed low in my belly and spread upward in a wave of warmth that made me bury my nose in my teacup to hide the resulting flush.
Alive. I caressed the word, cradling it in the center of my heart. Jamie was alive. Glad as I was to see Jenny—and gladder still to see her extend an olive branch in my direction— I really wanted to go up to my room, close the door, and lean against the wall with my eyes shut tight, reliving the seconds after he’d entered the room, when he’d taken me in his arms and pressed me to the wall, kissing me, the simple, solid, warm fact of his presence so overwhelming that I might have collapsed onto the floor without that wall’s support.
Alive, I repeated silently to myself. He’s alive.
Nothing else mattered. Though I did wonder briefly what he’d done with John.
- ASIN : B00C8S9W0G
- Publisher : Delacorte Press (June 10, 2014)
- Publication date : June 10, 2014
- Language : English
- File size : 5602 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Sticky notes : On Kindle Scribe
- Print length : 842 pages
- #18 in Historical Fantasy Fiction
- #48 in Time Travel Romance
- #58 in Time Travel Romances
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About the author
Diana Gabaldon is the internationally bestselling author of many historical novels including Cross Stitch, Dragonfly in Amber, Voyager, Drums of Autumn, The Fiery Cross and A Breath of Snow Ashes. She lives with her family in Scottsdale, Arizona.
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74 pages • 2 hours read
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- Part 1, Chapters 1-5
- Part 2, Chapters 6-10
- Part 3, Chapters 11-23
- Part 4, Chapters 24-25
- Part 5, Chapters 26-33
- Part 6, Chapter 34
- Part 7, Chapters 35-41
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Summary and Study Guide
Outlander , published by Random House in 1991, is the first in a highly successful romantic novel series written by Diana Gabaldon, a #1 New York Times bestselling author. The series was adapted into a historical drama television series in 2014.
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Told from the perspective of 27-year-old Englishwoman Claire Beauchamp , Outlander begins in 1945 in Inverness, Scotland. Former WWII nurse Claire Beauchamp and her historian husband Frank Randall have returned to Scotland to reconnect after several years of separation due to the war. The couple is trying for a child.
While Claire studies botany in the Scottish Highlands, Frank researches his Scottish ancestors, namely a soldier called Captain Jonathan Randall . On a botany tour, Claire stumbles upon an ancient henge. After seeing a Scottish ritual performed there, Claire returns to the site to study a plant. Upon finding the plant, she hears a strange wail coming from the stones. After touching the stones, Claire is transported back in time to the year 1743, where she finds herself face-to-face with Frank’s ancestor Jonathan “Black Jack” Randall, who is a more sinister character than the historical records let on.
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Randall accuses Claire of being a prostitute and tries to sexually accost her. However, Randall is intercepted by a group of Scottish clansmen, who then kidnap Claire. Claire intervenes in a failed attempt to put the arm back in the socket of one of the clansmen, a man named Jamie. Seeing Claire’s value as a healer, the clansmen take Claire with them to the castle of Scottish laird, or landowner, Colum MacKenzie, of the prominent Scottish MacKenzie clan. Though the other men are rough with her, Claire notices that Jamie is kind and chivalrous.
At dinner the first night at Colum’s castle, Claire notes that Colum’s son Hamish looks more like Colum’s brother Dougal than Colum. Colum appoints Claire as the castle doctor. Though Colum is hospitable to Claire, Claire is aware that Colum suspects her of being an English spy. She knows that she is being kept at the castle against her will. Claire and Jamie’s friendship blossoms as Claire visits him in the stables, under the guise of tending his wounds. At a public hearing, Jamie displays his sense of honor when he volunteers himself to take the corporal punishment of a young girl, Laoghaire.
Instead of identifying herself as a time traveler, Claire tells Colum that she had been on her way to visit relatives in France when she was attacked by Randall. Claire notices that Jamie’s tartan is brown and blue and not the MacKenzie green, signaling that he is from a different clan. After spending more time with Jamie, Claire realizes that Jamie is upper class and well educated, far from an outlaw. Jamie informs her that the English have a ransom out for him for murder and that he is wanted for killing a British soldier who invaded his home. However, Jamie claims that he did not kill the man they say he did. Jamie later also reveals that Randall had raped his sister Jenny. After Claire sees the deep scars on Jamie’s back, Jamie tells Claire of his escape from the English stronghold Fort William after being flogged twice by Randall. The next morning, Claire stumbles across Jamie kissing Laoghaire.
At Castle Leoch, Claire finds satisfaction in her new role as physician. Claire identifies Colum’s ailment as a degenerative disease of the bone and connective tissue called Toulouse-Lautrec syndrome. While listening to folk songs one night at dinner, Claire ascertains that many Scottish Highland stories use the time frame of 200 years, which is the time gap between the time she is in and the era she left. She vows to return to the stones at Craigh na Dun and therefore return to her husband Frank in 1945.
Claire makes friends with an herbalist named Geillis Duncan, who posits that Colum’s son Hamish is actually Jamie’s son. On a trip to the nearby village of Cranesmuir with Geillis and Dougal, Claire witnesses the public punishment of a 12-year-old boy for stealing. Claire and Jamie work to free the boy, strengthening their friendship.
All the residents of Castle Leoch attend The Gathering, an oath-taking in which the men of the MacKenzie clan make their oaths of allegiance to Colum. Claire uses the distractions of this event to escape; however, when she goes to the stable to steal a horse she is intercepted by Jamie. Jamie coolly informs her that Colum has hired guards to watch her, thwarting her plans for escape. Jamie has reasons to hide of his own: He does not want to swear allegiance to Colum and give up his family name. However, the pair are interrupted by three drunk MacKenzie men, who drag them off to the Gathering. When it is time for Jamie to come before Colum, instead of swearing his allegiance, he vows his friendship, allyship, and obedience, but does not take the MacKenzie name. Colum accepts. As Claire leaves the Gathering, she is accosted by a group of drunk MacKenzie men. Dougal saves her from their advances but not without taking a kiss from her for himself. The next week, Dougal announces that he will be taking Jamie and Claire with him to collect rent from tenants through the MacKenzie lands. He says he will take Claire to Fort William to contact her relatives in France. Claire speculates that she can find her way back to the stones of Craigh na Dun from there. On her trip with Dougal, Claire realizes that Dougal is using the façade of collecting MacKenzie rents to raise money for the Jacobite cause, a movement to overthrow the current king of Britain in favor of a monarch who would be more sympathetic to Scottish interests. Jamie grows morose and angry when Dougal uses the beating Jamie bore by Captain Randall as a strategy for fundraising.
At Fort William, Claire is interrogated and then beaten by Captain Randall, who cannot figure out whether Claire is a spy. In seeing Claire’s wounds, Dougal and Randall get into an argument and Dougal takes Claire back with him. Dougal tells Claire that so long as she is an Englishwoman Randall will have the right to capture and interrogate her. He believes that the only solution is for Claire to become a Scotswoman by marrying Jamie. At first Claire refuses, but then she sees an opportunity in using Jamie’s vast knowledge of the Scottish landscape to get back to Craigh na Dun. Before marrying, Jamie tells Claire that his family name is Fraser. The couple wed in the same church Claire marries Frank 200 years in the future.
On the night of their wedding, Jamie, a virgin, sheepishly tells Claire that their marriage is not legal until they consummate it. After hours of talking, the couple begin to engage in an intense sexual affair. Jamie confesses to having wanted Claire for some time and Claire admits that she had been fighting her attraction to Jamie. Jamie tells Claire that making love to her feels like giving her his soul. Jamie tells Claire that their marriage might have saved his life since if he had sworn his oath the Colum at the Gathering, and taken the MacKenzie name, Dougal and Colum might have killed him for his proximity to the MacKenzie inheritance. Jamie maintains that marrying an Englishwoman leaves him little chance of inheriting Castle Leoch.
Jamie and the rest of the MacKenzie clansman fight off an English raid. Jamie gives Claire a dirk, which she drops during the struggle. Claire and the MacKenzie men camp near Loch Ness, where Claire thinks she sees a monster. One of the MacKenzie men, Peter, sees her witness the beast and becomes afraid of Claire, thinking her a witch. Claire meets Jamie’s friend Hugh Munro, who has been collecting information for Jamie about an English deserter Horrocks’s whereabouts. Jamie believes that Horrocks can testify that Jamie did not kill an English officer.
Jamie and Claire are attacked by English deserters while making love one morning. When one of them forces himself on Claire, but Claire stabs and kills him with her hidden dirk. Jamie kills the other. After the attack, Claire and Jamie furiously make love.
A meeting with Horrocks is arranged. Not wanting to worry about him when Jamie is gone, Claire insists on going with Jamie to meet Horrocks, but he refuses, insisting that it is dangerous for her to be seen out in the open. It dawns on Claire that she had been so preoccupied with fighting with Jamie that she had failed to observe her location, mere miles from the hill of Craigh na Dun. Claire sets off in the direction of Craigh na Dun, but her foot slips, plunging her into the loch. She begins to drown. Claire is pulled up from the water by Corporal Hawkins, one of Captain Randall’s minions.
Corporal Hawkins takes Claire to Captain Randall, who grows angry at Claire during questioning and tries to sexually assault her. However, Claire realizes Randall cannot keep his penis erect enough to rape her without her screaming in distress. Claire resolves to stay quiet. Jamie unexpectedly arrives and tricks Randall into freeing Claire with an empty revolver. Upon returning to the group, Claire is given a frosty reception by the MacKenzie clansman, who are still angry with her for putting them in danger. When Claire and Jamie are alone in their chamber, Jamie tells her he must flog her as punishment.
While riding the next day, Jamie reveals to Claire more information about his relationship to Captain Randall and Jamie’s father’s death. Captain Randall had offered to cancel Jamie’s second flogging if Jamie agreed to have sex with Randall. Jamie thinks of his father and decides he could not be sodomized. Consequently, Randall almost beat Jamie to death. Believing Jamie to be dead, Jamie’s father suffers a fatal heart attack. Jamie feels responsible for his father’s death. Later, Jamie admits to wanting to penetrate Claire while beating her. Jamie asks Claire if she will share a bed with him again. He swears to never beat Claire again.
Jamie updates Claire on his meeting with Horrocks. Horrocks told Jamie it was Randall himself who had killed the English officer. Claire suggests the two of them go to abroad to escape. Jamie dreams of returning to his own family property of Lallybroch. Claire feels guilty that while Jamie includes her in his future plans, Claire still intends to escape back into the future. Jamie tells Claire that the Duke of Sandringham, for whom Randall works as a spy, will soon visit Castle Leoch.
Claire and the MacKenzie clan return to Castle Leoch. Jamie asks Dougal for his share of the MacKenzie rents, which he is entitled to as a married man. Jamie leaves he and Claire’s chamber to run an errand. Claire suspects Jamie of having an affair with Laoghaire. The couple fights when Jamie returns. Jamie finally produces a ring and explains that he used the rent money to buy Claire a wedding ring. Jamie admits to wanting Claire so much that he can hardly breathe. He asks her if she wants him too and she agrees that she does. Before making love to her, Jamie warns Claire that he cannot be gentle.
Claire and Jamie find a bushel of dried plants thrown in their bed, which Jamie claims is an ill-wish someone has sent them. While on a walk with Geillis in the foothills, Claire stumbles across an abandoned baby. Geillis instructs Claire to leave the baby, claiming it to be a changeling, or demon. Geillis grows angry at Claire when Claire insists on retrieving the child, calling her a “pig-headed English ass” (697). Jamie finds Claire and confirms that she should leave the child alone, as the child is ill beyond cure and allowing the parents to think that the child is a changeling and not their kin is a way to help them grieve. The duke arrives and Claire finds that she likes his sense of humor.
Claire goes to Geillis’s house, who has offered to help Claire find out who sent her the ill-wish. Once there, Claire finds that Geillis practices magic. Under the guise of helping Claire with the ill-wish, Geillis puts Claire into a trance and tries to extract information from her about her true identity. Geillis is interrupted by her husband Arthur, who barges in on Geillis in a state of undress and leaves the room looking disturbed. Later that night at the Castle Leoch banquet, Arthur drops dead seemingly from a heart attack.
Before Jamie leaves on a trip, Jamie asks Claire not to spend time with Geillis, claiming that she is a witch. Moping around the castle in the wake of Jamie’s departure, Claire runs into Laoghaire, who tells her that Geillis is unwell and has asked Claire to see her. Geillis is puzzled when Claire arrives at her house. Their conversation is interrupted by a loud rumbling sound.
Geillis and Claire are captured by the villagers, who force them to stand trial for witchcraft. Claire suspects that Colum knew about this and did not intervene. Geillis admits to poisoning her husband and carrying Dougal’s child. She claims to have made an alliance with Dougal, a powerful Scotsman, as a form of patriotism. Claire realizes that Geillis is a Jacobite. At the trials, the villagers strip Claire so that her breasts are bare and interrogate her. However, just as she is to be killed, Jamie arrives to save her, having been given word by Alec the stable master that she was in danger.
Jamie asks her if she is a witch. Claire tells Jamie the truth about her background. Jamie makes love to Claire tenderly before solemnly leading her to Craigh na Dun so that she can go home. Instead of telling Jamie she loves him, Claire warns Jamie of the upcoming Jacobite uprising, famine, and downfall of the Highlander clans who follow the uprising. Claire implores Jamie to seek refuge abroad. With hurt in his eyes, Jamie leaves Claire.
Sitting in front of the stones, Claire finds that she cannot leave Jamie and returns to the cottage to find him. She slips into bed beside him, much to his delight upon awakening. Jamie confesses to Claire that it took all his strength not to ask her to stay with him. Jamie tells Claire that they will now go back to his home, Lallybroch. Jamie and Claire arrive at Lallybroch. After a long and complicated misunderstanding between Jamie and his sister Jenny, Jamie discovers that Jenny was not impregnated by Captain Randall and is instead married with a son and a second child on the way to Jamie’s childhood friend Ian.
Jamie admits to Claire that one of the reasons he married her was because he wanted her. Claire laughingly clarifies that he married her for love, and he confirms. Claire challenges Jamie on the difference between love and desire. Jamie counters that he believes them to be very similar. He admits that he had not wanted to reveal that he loved her upon their wedding day because he knew that she was reluctant to marry him and did not want to burden her.
While inspecting the Lallybroch mill, Jamie must hide underwater from a pair of English soldiers. Having lost his swimming drawers, he is forced to re-emerge naked. Widow MacNab asks Jamie to take on her grandson Rabbie as a Lallybroch stable boy so that Rabbie may escape the cruel beatings of his father MacNab. Jamie agrees. Although MacNab initially refuses to give up Rabbie, he changes his mind after a private, clearly jarring conversation with Jamie, from which he comes back grey-faced and doubled-over. When Claire asks Jamie how he convinced MacNab to release the boy, Jamie admits to having physically coerced MacNab.
After dinner one evening, Jamie reminiscences about the humor and fairness of his father’s beatings. He grows morose after the storytelling, admitting his guilt over his father’s death. Jenny interjects that she believes it was her fault that their father died. She confesses that when Randall tried to rape her, she teased him for his inability to keep an erection. In retaliation, Randall knocked her unconscious and when she awoke Jamie had been captured. Jamie comforts her that neither of them were responsible for their father’s death.
On another evening, Jenny describes the erotic nature of pregnancy then walks off for some private time with Ian, leaving her son small Jamie sleeping by the fire with Claire and Jamie. Claire asks Jamie if it is true what Jenny claimed, that men penetrate women in order to get back to the prenatal womb. Jamie confirms that there is some pleasure in trying to go back to this comfort of the fetal state. He reaches for her, initiating sex, dismissing the presence of the boy by saying that he must learn his husband duties some way or another.
Claire realizes that Jamie was born to be master of Lallybroch. When Jamie asks Claire what she was born to do, Claire responds that she was born for Jamie. Claire tells Jamie that she is afraid that if she tells him she loves him she will be unable to stop. She tells him she loves him.
After a few days, Jamie tells Claire that there are English soldiers within 20 miles, and they must leave Lallybroch. However, their departure is postponed when Jenny goes into labor. Her delivery of her daughter Margaret is complicated, and Claire must turn the child inside Jenny’s womb. Ian fears that Jenny will die; however, mother and child both survive. Claire observes Jamie’s competency with his newborn niece. Jamie tells Claire she is glad she is barren because he could not stand seeing her in pain.
Outside of Lallybroch, Ian and Jamie are attacked by the English Watch and Jamie is kidnapped. Jenny and Claire depart in search of Jamie. They capture an English soldier, who tells them that Jamie is dead, but Jenny does not believe them. Murtagh finds Jenny and Claire, taking Jenny’s place in their hunt for Jamie since Jenny must return home and care for her child. Murtagh informs Jenny and Claire that it was widow MacNab that told the English about Jamie’s location.
After Murtagh and Claire befriend a band of gypsies, they get word from them as to Jamie’s whereabouts. However, to Claire’s dismay, it is Dougal the gypsies have found and not Jamie. Dougal informs Claire that Jamie is being held at the notoriously dangerous Wentworth Prison and is to be hanged in a matter of days. When Claire implores Dougal to help her set Jamie free, Dougal refuses to put himself and the MacKenzie men he rode with in danger. Murtagh arrives, having commandeered some of Dougal’s money and men. Dougal confesses to siring Hamish and to being infatuated with Claire. Claire bargains with Dougal to let her talk to his men, and if they leave of their own accord, he will have no objection. If she does not succeed, then she will give Dougal back his money and men. Dougal agrees. Five of Dougal’s men willingly help Claire save Jamie. Dougal passes on a cryptic message from Geillis to Claire that Claire interprets to mean that Geillis time traveled from 1967 to 1743 and that she believes in Claire and Jamie’s love.
After tricking Sir Fletcher Gordon, the Wentworth Prison overseer, to allow her on prison grounds, Claire finally finds Jamie being tortured by Captain Randall in the prison basement. Jamie’s hand is severely mangled. When Captain Randall threatens to kill Claire, Jamie offers him his body if Randall will lead Claire safely out of the prison. Captain Randall agrees. Claire tells Randall that she is a witch and that she knows the day of his death. Instead of leading Claire to safety, Randall pushes Claire into a ditch of dead bodies before she can reveal his death date.
Claire is attacked by a wolf and rescued by a nearby resident, Sir Marcus MacRannoch. After Murtagh arrives to collect Claire, he recognizes Sir Marcus as one of Ellen MacKenzie’s, Jamie’s mother, suitors, who gave her the string of pearls that Claire now owns. Murtagh concocts a plan to use Sir Marcus’s cattle as a distraction to free Jamie. Unleashing the cattle on Wentworth grounds, Sir Marcus then goes to Sir Gordon and demands to know why he is harboring stolen property on the lands. In the midst of this argument, the Murtagh and the MacKenzie men free Jamie. Randall is trampled to death by cattle.
Though Jamie’s body begins to heal, first at Sir Marcus’s house, then at his uncle’s abbey in France, his mind does not, and he is plagued with memories of his sexual torture by Randall. What pains Jamie most is that there were times during the torture that he was sexually aroused by Randall. Jamie feels as if Randall has stolen his soul. Jamie eventually concludes that he can no longer be Claire’s husband since her touch brings to mind the memory of Randall. He implores her to return to the year 1945. However, Claire refuses and uses witchcraft to call back Randall’s ghost from the dead so Jamie can fight him. The next day, Jamie’s fever breaks. Claire and Jamie make love for the first time since Jamie’s rape and torture.
Claire confesses her past to Anselm, a Franciscan monk who is a guest at the abbey. Anselm advises her to feel grateful for her successful marriage to Jamie and to use her insights into the future as a tool.
Jamie surprises Claire by taking her to the healing hot springs outside of the abbey. Claire decides that the two of them will seek refuge in Rome when they leave the abbey. The couple make love in the hot springs, and afterwards Claire tells Jamie that she is carrying his child.
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By Diana Gabaldon
A Breath of Snow and Ashes
An Echo in the Bone
Dragonfly in Amber
Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone
Written in My Own Heart's Blood
European history, hate & anger, hispanic & latinx american literature, historical fiction, sexual harassment & violence.
In 1778, Jamie Fraser has just returned from being presumed lost at sea along with his sister, Jenny, an assumption that left his family in turmoil. Upon arriving in Philadelphia, he discovers that in his absence, his good friend, John Grey, has married his wife, Claire, leading to a confrontation between the two men. But before that happens, Jamie's illegitimate son - John's adoptive son - William Ransom finally realizes, much to his dismay, who his biological father really is, an event that sends his emotions careening down a slippery slope as he searches for a new sense of self. Meanwhile, Jamie's nephew, Ian, declares his intention to marry Rachel, a young Quaker woman, which could prove difficult given their differing views on violence and the fact that Rachel and her brother, Denny - who is engaged to John's niece - were read out of their Quaker meeting, leaving them with no spiritual home in which to marry the people they each love. As all of them grapple with their respective emotional upheavals, they also become embroiled once again in the Revolutionary War, which will prove dangerous for them, placing at least one of their lives on the line.
Jamie and Claire's only solace is that their daughter Brianna and her family are safe in 1980, but little do they know that Bree and Roger's lives are also in a state of turmoil. Bree frantically searches for her missing son, Jem, who was kidnapped by men hell-bent on finding the cursed Jacobite gold, of which only Jem and Jamie know it's location. But thinking that they took Jem to the past, Roger sets out through the stones with his ancestor Buck, searching for Jem there. When Bree finally succeeds in getting her son back, she fears that she may never see Roger again, knowing that he won't stop looking until Jem is found even though the boy isn't there. But she has little time to contemplate that possibility when the kidnappers come after her with a vengeance, sending her and the children on the run for their own protection and leaving her with the certainty that there is only one place where they will all likely be safe.
Although I've tried in my previous reviews, I'm not sure there are adequate words to express what a huge fan I am of the entire Outlander series and all the characters in it, but once again, I will try with this review of Written in My Own Heart's Blood . For the last few books, the focus has expanded from Jamie and Claire to include a number of other characters' perspectives, such as Brianna and Roger, Ian, Lord John, William, Rachel and Denny (although I don't think he had any of his own POV scenes), Dottie, and even occasionally, the odd other POV like Jemmy and Germain. No matter who's "telling the story," I love them all and can't get enough of them. It's what makes these books so darn enjoyable for me. As a writer myself, I never fail to be astounded by how well Diana Gabaldon wrangles all these characters and weaves each of their individual narratives together into a cohesive whole. Then of course, there's the heart-stopping romance, and we get a number of romantic pairings in this volume that definitely held my interest and kept me reading. I'm always eager to see what happens next, which is why I simply couldn't put this or any other book of the series down.
Jamie and Claire may not be the only characters whose stories are being told anymore, but they're definitely still the heart and soul of the series, and all the other characters and events still revolve around them. This book begins with a continuation of their reunion after Jamie was presumed dead and lost at sea but then "miraculously" reappeared. They haven't even properly reunited yet before Jamie and John (who married Claire in his absence to protect her) end up in a fight outside of town, and then Jamie finds himself conscripted into the Continental army at the behest of George Washington himself. It takes quite a few chapters before things finally get sorted out for Jamie and Claire to really come back together, and from there, they take part in yet another major Revolutionary War operation, the Battle of Monmouth. From there, they spend some time back in Philadelphia, before heading for Savannah, and at the very end of the book, finally returning home to Fraser's Ridge. Through it all, it's obvious that this couple are still madly in love with one another even after all the many years they've been together and even after weathering through all sorts of separations and challenges. They face a number of new complications in this book, including a life-threatening injury, but their love overcomes each and every one. I adore these two and never tire of seeing more of their lives together.
As with the previous book of the series, Lord John has become a major player with his narrative woven into the Outlander books instead of having his own separate stories. During his personal conflict with Jamie at the beginning of the book, he says exactly the wrong thing, so that when they're accosted by Continental soldiers, Jamie is angry enough to leave John to his own devices. This leads to John, whose brother Hal has reactivated his military commission, being taken as a prisoner of war. From there, he ping-pongs back and forth between escaping and being a prisoner, but he can't quite get away from the Rebels. This leads him back to Jamie and Claire, as well as a brief and unwelcome reunion with his step-brother and former lover, Percy, but eventually he does find his way back to the British army and Hal. He also investigates a mysterious officer named Richardson who might be a spy or maybe even a double-agent, and helps Hal and William search for Hal's son, Benjamin's widow and her child, whom they've never met and aren't even certain exist. He must also deal with some difficulties in his relationship with William over not revealing the truth of William's birth. It would be impossible not to love John for his honorable nature and the way he always tries to do the right thing. It was revealed that Richardson has certain knowledge about John that could be very damaging, so I'll be sitting on pins and needles wondering what might happen to him in the next book.
William, Jamie's illegitimate son and John's adopted son, is an important player as well. At the end of the previous book, he finally discovered his true parentage and he spends this entire book dealing with that fall-out. He's left emotionally adrift and trying to figure out exactly who he really is and find something about himself that's real. In the midst of this reckoning, he meets Jane, a young prostitute who offers him a bit of comfort. Because of his status as a prisoner of war, he can't fight in the battle or carry weapons, so he's assigned to relocating Loyalists who must leave Philadelphia and head for New York in the wake of the Continental Army taking over the city. On the way there, he encounters Jane again, along with her younger sister, Fanny, and becomes their protector. I thought perhaps Jane might become a love interest for William, but things didn't go exactly the way I thought they might. However, through it all, William exhibits the kindness, care, and honor that he's apparently inherited from both of his fathers.
Young Ian is beside himself to discover that he didn't actually lose both Jamie and his mother, Jenny, after all. He follows Jamie into the battle as a Mohawk scout, and as usual, gets himself into a bit of trouble. On the romantic front, Rachel made it clear at the end of the previous book that she'd chosen Ian, and although William is a bit put out at first, her mind is more than made up. However, there are still complications to overcome, in that Ian isn't a Quaker and has no real interest in converting since fighting is in his blood. There's also the little problem of Rachel and her brother, Denzel, having both been read out of their Quaker meeting because of Denny's calling to be a surgeon with the Continental Army. Denny continues to be an incredible doctor for that era and is more than willing to learn from Claire, also saving her life at one point. He has his own issues to overcome in his relationship with Dottie, because although she has converted to the Quaker faith, like Ian and Rachel, they have no meeting where they can marry. However, I can say that there are happy endings all the way around for these two couples that made my hopeless romantic's heart soar.
Meanwhile, Brianna, Roger, Jem, and Mandy are all inhabiting their own timelines. At the end of the previous book, Jem had been kidnapped. Thinking that the kidnappers - who were in search of the cursed Jacobite gold of which only Jem and Jamie know the location - had taken Jem back through the stones to find it, Roger, along with his ancestor, Buck - who himself had accidentally traveled to the future - go back in time, looking for Jem. Little do they know, though, that Jem never left 1980, so their search for him is fruitless. But they do meet a number of other characters, including a surprising one, when they land in a time just a few years before the one Claire first traveled back to. Unfortunately, though, this leaves Bree alone in 1980 to fend off the kidnappers, save Jem, and figure out a way to keep her kids safe from these ne'er-do-wells, which ends up with her taking drastic actions.
There is so much that happens in Written in My Own Heart's Blood that it never feels like an 800+ page tome. The plot moves along at a steady pace, with all the characters involved at various points. In addition to everything I talked about above, Fergus and Marsali suffer through a double tragedy, but have happy news as well, while Jenny once again, becomes a main supporting player and we begin to get reacquainted with the residents of Fraser's Ridge. There are a couple of very sad deaths that brought tears to my eyes. As usual, the history is deftly woven into the narrative with many real historical figures as characters as well. I always feel like I'm getting an entertaining history lesson whenever I pick up one of these books. This volume doesn't end on quite as big of a cliffhanger as the last one, but there is enough left open to tantalize the reader into the next book, which unfortunately isn't yet available. I've seen Ms. Gabaldon's posts mentioning that it's in the final stages, so in the meantime, I'll be delving into the second Outlandish Companion , while eagerly waiting for Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone to be released, hopefully sometime yet this year (2020).
Amazing Animals Babies & Children Doctors, Nurses, & Medical Professionals Medical Drama Men in Uniform - Military Physically Imperfect Heroes Pregnancy Stories Tortured Heroes Virgin Heroes
- Cold Days by Jim Butcher
- Indulge by Sherri Hayes
- The Ruthless Rake by Barbara Cartland
- Darius by J. R. Ward
- Dragon on Top by G. A. Aiken
Sensuality Rating Key
1 Heart = Smooching
May contain mild to moderate sexual tension and/or possible implications of something more taking place off canvas, but nothing beyond kissing actually occurs within the text. Our take: These books would be appropriate for teen and sensitive readers.
2 Hearts = Sweet
May contain moderate to high sexual tension which could include passionate clinches that end in cut scenes and/or extremely mild love scenes with virtually no details. Our take: These books should still be appropriate for most mature teens and sensitive readers.
3 Hearts = Sensuous
May contain moderately descriptive love scenes, usually no more than three. Our take: Teen and sensitive readers should exercise caution.
4 Hearts = Steamy
May contain a number of explicitly descriptive love scenes. Our take: Not recommended for under 18 or sensitive readers.
5 Hearts = Scorching
May contain a number of explicitly descriptive love scenes that typically include explicit language and acts which some readers may find kinky and/or offensive. Our take: Definite adults only material, not for the faint of heart.
We always endeavor not to give away endings or major plot twists in either our synopses or reviews, however they may occasionally contain information which some readers might consider to be mild spoilers.
- “The smartest historical sci-fi adventure-romance story ever written by a science Ph.D. with a background in scripting 'Scrooge McDuck' comics.”—Salon.com
- A time-hopping, continent-spanning salmagundi of genres.” —ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY
- “These books have to be word-of-mouth books because they're too weird to describe to anybody.” —Jackie Cantor, Diana's first editor
- Myth and Mountain Birthdays
- 2012 Arizona Renaissance Festival Photos
- At the Canyon
- Diana’s TV Series Visit
- Chronology of the Outlander Series
- Dragonfly in Amber
- Drums of Autumn
- The Fiery Cross
- A Breath of Snow and Ashes
- An Echo in the Bone
- Written in My Own Heart’s Blood
- Go Tell The Bees That I Am Gone
- Book Ten – Outlander Series of Novels
- The Outlandish Companion – Vol. One
- Outlander Short Fiction
- The Outlandish Companion – Volume Two
- The Official Outlander Coloring Book
- OUTLANDER Prequel (Untitled)
- The Exile: An Outlander Graphic Novel
- The Outlandish Companion (1999)
- Book Nine Webpage Has Moved…
- Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade
- Lord John and the Hand of Devils
- Lord John and the Private Matter
- The Lord John Series (4-Book Bundle)
- The Scottish Prisoner
- Lord John Novellas
- All Short Fiction By Title
- Seven Stones To Stand or Fall
- Dirty Scottsdale
- The Shape of Things
- Foreword: The Life and Adventures of Joaquin Murieta
- Introduction to COMMON SENSE
- Introduction to IVANHOE
- Like that…
- Diana the Actor (SPOILER)
- Outlander TV Series News
- Season 2 Premiere Festivities!
- Where/How To Watch
- Diana’s Cameo, Continued
- Season One, Volume One
- Outlander Wins Critics’ Choice Award
- First Look – Sam Heughan as Jamie!
- TV Series Wins People’s Choice Award!
- TV Series Debut On August 9, 2015
- Diana’s Cameo
- The Cannibal’s Art – Characterization (workshop outline with examples)
- The Cannibal’s Art – Dialogue (workshop outline)
- The Cannibal’s Art – Jamie and the Rule of Three
- OUTLANDER TV Series FAQ
- Contact Diana
- Diana’s Agents
- FAQ: About Diana
- FAQ: About the Books
- FAQ: About the Characters
- FAQ: Gaelic Pronunciations
- FAQ: Present and Future Plans
- Global Publication Dates
- The Outlander Lady (Interview)
- Methadone List: TALES FOR GULLIBLE CHILDREN
- Methadone List: THE CITY STAINED RED
- Methadone List: god-thing
- Methadone List: Louise Penny
- Methadone List: Two Roberts
- Methadone List: The Secrets of Pain
- Methadone List: Three Favorite Books
- Methadone List: The Children’s Book
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- What “Finished” Means To A Writer
- Outlander-Based Tours of Scotland
- Machaca (Recipe)
- Other Nice Things Fans Do
- Readers’ Letters
- A Tale of Two Kits: Surgery and Amputations
The Outlander series includes three kinds of stories:
- DRAGONFLY IN AMBER
- DRUMS OF AUTUMN
- THE FIERY CROSS
- A BREATH OF SNOW AND ASHES
- AN ECHO IN THE BONE
- WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART’S BLOOD
- GO TELL THE BEES THAT I AM GONE
- Book Ten (As Yet Untitled)
Note that the major novels should be read in order.
2. The Shorter, Less Indescribable Novels that are more or less historical mysteries (though dealing also with battles, eels, and mildly deviant sexual practices). And…
3. The Bulges —These being short(er) pieces that fit somewhere inside the story lines of the novels, much in the nature of squirming prey swallowed by a large snake. These deal frequently—but not exclusively—with secondary characters, are prequels or sequels, and/or fill some lacuna left in the original story lines.
The Big Books of the main series deal with the lives and times of Claire and Jamie Fraser. The shorter novels focus on the adventures of Lord John Grey but intersect with the larger books. ( THE SCOTTISH PRISONER, for example, features both Lord John and Jamie Fraser in a shared story). All of the novellas feature people from the main series, including Jamie and/or Claire on occasion. The description below explains which characters appear in which stories.
Most of the shorter Lord John novels and novellas (so far) fit within a large lacuna left in the middle of VOYAGER in the years between 1756 and 1761. Some of the Bulges also fall in this period; others don’t.
So, for the reader’s convenience, the detailed listing here shows the sequence of the various elements in terms of the storyline. However, it should be noted that the shorter novels and novellas are all designed suchly that they may be read alone, without reference either to each other or to the Big, Enormous Books—should you be in the mood for a light literary snack instead of the nine‐course meal with wine‐pairings and dessert trolley.
The description of each story includes the dates covered in it. The original anthology title and years of publication are also given for each one as applicable.
Chronology of the Outlander Series:
“Virgins” (novella): Set in 1740 in France. In which Jamie Fraser (aged nineteen) and his friend Ian Murray (aged twenty) become young mercenaries. [Originally published in the anthology DANGEROUS WOMEN, edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois, 2012. Included in SEVEN STONES TO STAND OR FALL. ]
II. DRAGONFLY IN AMBER (second major Outlander series novel): It doesn’t start where you think it’s going to. And it doesn’t end how you think it’s going to, either. Just keep reading; it’ll be fine. (1968/1744-46)
“A Fugitive Green” (novella): Set in 1744-45 in Paris, London, and Amsterdam, this is the story of Lord John’s elder brother, Hal (Harold, Earl Melton and Duke of Pardloe), and his (eventual) wife, Minnie—at the time of this story a seventeen-year-old dealer in rare books with a sideline in forgery, blackmail, and burglary. Jamie Fraser also appears in this one. First published in SEVEN STONES TO STAND OR FALL.
III. VOYAGER (third major novel in the Outlander series): This won an award from EW magazine for “Best Opening Line.” (To save you having to find a copy just to read the opening, it was: “He was dead. However, his nose throbbed painfully, which he thought odd, in the circumstances.”) If you’re reading the series in order, rather than piecemeal, you do want to read this book before tackling the the novellas. (1968/1766-67)
LORD JOHN AND THE PRIVATE MATTER (novel): Set in London in 1757, this is a historical mystery steeped in blood and even less savory substances, in which Lord John meets (in short order) a valet, a traitor, an apothecary with a sure cure for syphilis, a bumptious German, and an unscrupulous merchant prince.
“Lord John and the Succubus” (novella): This story finds Lord John in Germany in 1757, having unsettling dreams about Jamie Fraser, unsettling encounters with Saxon princesses, night‐hags, and a really disturbing encounter with a big, blond Hanoverian graf. [Originally published in the anthology LEGENDS II, edited by Robert Silverburg, 2003. Is also the second novella in the LORD JOHN AND THE HAND OF DEVILS collection ]
LORD JOHN AND THE BROTHERHOOD OF THE BLADE (novel): The second full‐length novel focused on Lord John (though Jamie Fraser also appears) is set in 1758, deals with a twenty‐year‐old family scandal, and sees Lord John engaged at close range with exploding cannon and even more dangerously explosive emotions.
“Lord John and the Haunted Soldier” (novella): This tale is set in 1758, in London and the Woolwich Arsenal, in which Lord John faces a court of inquiry into the explosion of a cannon, and learns that there are more dangerous things in the world than gunpowder. Written for and first appeared in the LORD JOHN AND THE HAND OF DEVILS collection.
“The Custom of the Army” (novella): Set in 1759. In which his lordship attends an electric‐eel party in London and ends up at the Battle of Quebec. He’s just the sort of person things like that happen to. [Originally published in WARRIORS, edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois, 2010. Included in SEVEN STONES TO STAND OR FALL. ]
VII. AN ECHO IN THE BONE (major novel): Set in America, London, Canada, and Scotland, this is the seventh novel in the main series. The book’s cover image reflects the internal shape of the novel: a caltrop. That’s an ancient military weapon that looks like a child’s jack with sharp points; the Romans used them to deter elephants, and the Highway Patrol still uses them to stop fleeing perps in cars. This book has four major story lines: Jamie and Claire; Roger and Brianna (and family); Lord John and William; and Young Ian, all intersecting in the nexus of the American Revolution—and all of them with sharp points. (1776‐1778/1980)
VIII. WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART’S BLOOD (major novel): The eighth of the main series, BLOOD begins where AN ECHO IN THE BONE leaves off, in the summer of 1778 (and the autumn of 1980). The American Revolution is in full roar, and a lot of fairly horrifying things are happening in Scotland in the 1980s, too.
“A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows” (short story (no, really, it is)): Set (mostly) in 1941‐43, this is the story of What Really Happened to Roger MacKenzie’s parents. [Originally published in the anthology SONGS OF LOVE AND DEATH, eds. George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois, 2010. Included in SEVEN STONES TO STAND OR FALL. ]
“The Space Between” (novella): Set in 1778, mostly in Paris, this novella deals with Michael Murray (Young Ian’s elder brother), Joan MacKimmie (Marsali’s younger sister), the Comte St. Germain (who is Not Dead After All), Mother Hildegarde, and a few other persons of interest. The space between what? It depends who you’re talking to. [Originally published in the anthhology THE MAD SCIENTIST’S GUIDE TO WORLD DOMINATION, edited by John Joseph Adams, 2013. Included in SEVEN STONES TO STAND OR FALL. ]
Book IX (major novel) – GO TELL THE BEES THAT I AM GONE. The past may seem the safest place to be… But it is the most dangerous time to be alive… Jamie Fraser and Claire Randall were torn apart by the Jacobite Rising in 1743, and it took them twenty years to find each other again. Now the American Revolution threatens to do the same. This book is shaped like a snake, and it starts from the tail.
In the Works:
Novels that are not finished or published yet, and so are not reflected in the chronology at present:
Book X (major novel) – Book Ten (No Title Yet): This novel may be be the last book in my series of major novels focussing on the story of Jamie and Claire. It will take me a few years to write this book and do the research for it.
I have a few other ideas for projects after Book X is off to the publisher, including a prequel featuring Jamie’s parents and a book about Master Raymond. Stay tuned!
NOW REMEMBER . . .
You may read the short novels and novellas by themselves, or in any order you like.
As stated above, I would strongly recommend reading the Big, Enormous Books in order, though.
LORD JOHN AND THE HAND OF DEVILS is not a novel, but rather a collection of three novellas: “Hell-Fire Club,” “Succubus,” and “Haunted Soldier.” In these tales, Lord John vows to avenge a murder, investigates a terrifying “night-hag” on the battlefields of Europe, and discovers treason in His Majesty’s ranks. The first two of these novellas were originally published in anthologies, while “Haunted Soldier” was written expressly for this book.
SEVEN STONES TO STAND OR FALL features seven novellas, all written by me, and all dealing with the interesting side-stories and lacunae of the Outlander universe. Five of these novellas were originally published in various anthologies, and in the U.S./Canada have also been published singly as ebooks. (Not, however, in the UK/Australia/NewZealand, Germany, etc.) Two of the novellas were first published in this collection.
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This page was last updated on Saturday, February 19, 2022, at 11:00 p.m. (Central Time) by Diana Gabaldon or her Webmistress.
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- View history
The Outlander Series is a collection of fiction works by Diana Gabaldon that include elements of romantic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, adventure, and science fiction. The stories focus on two main characters, Claire Randall and Jamie Fraser , and their adventures in the 18th and 20th centuries.
The unabridged audiobook recordings are narrated by Davina Porter , while the abridged versions of the first six novels are narrated by Geraldine James.
- 1.2 Novellas
- 1.3 Related Works
- 2 Chronology
- 3 Resources
- 4 References
- Outlander (1991) (published in the UK and Australia as Cross Stitch )
- Dragonfly in Amber (1992)
- Voyager (1994)
- Drums of Autumn (1997)
- The Fiery Cross (2001)
- A Breath of Snow and Ashes (2005)
- An Echo in the Bone (2009)
- Written in My Own Heart's Blood (2014)
- Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone (2021)
Novellas [ ]
- " A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows " (2010), a short story in Songs of Love and Death , an anthology.
- " The Space Between " (2013), a short story in The Mad Scientist's Guide to World Domination , an anthology.
- " Virgins " (2013), a novella about Jamie and Ian as young mercenaries in France.
- " A Fugitive Green " (2017), a novella about Hal , the death of his first wife, and meeting Minnie .
Related Works [ ]
- The Lord John Series , a companion series to the main "big" books. It takes place within the scope of the main series, but focuses on Lord John Grey and his adventures.
- The Outlandish Companion (1999), a guide to the Outlander series containing synopses, a character guide, and other notes and information. Published in the UK as Through the Stones .
- The Exile: An Outlander Graphic Novel (2010), a retelling of the first third of Outlander from Jamie's point of view, with illustrations by Hoang Nguyen.
- A Trail of Fire (2012, U.K. only), a collection of short stories from the Outlander series and Lord John Series .
- The Outlandish Companion, Vol. II (2015), a continuation of volume I containing synopses, character guide, and other notes and information.
- The Official Outlander Coloring Book (2015), the first of its kind for the Outlander series, with drawings by multiple artists.
- "I Give You My Body...": How I Write Sex Scenes (2016), a non-fiction ebook which contains annotated versions of various intimate scenes throughout the Outlander series.
- " Past Prologue " (2017), a short story co-written with Steve Berry featuring Jamie Fraser and the title character from Steve's Cotton Malone series.
- Seven Stones to Stand or Fall (2017), a collection of seven Outlander stories.
Chronology [ ]
This is the chronology of all Outlander-related works by Diana Gabaldon .
1. Outlander (1743/1946)
2. Dragonfly in Amber (1744-1746/1968)
3. Voyager (1746-1767/1968)
4. Drums of Autumn (1767-1770/1969-1971)
5. The Fiery Cross (1770-1772)
6. A Breath of Snow and Ashes (1773-1776/1980)
7. An Echo in the Bone (1776-1778/1980)
8. Written in My Own Heart's Blood (1739/1778-1779/1980)
9. Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone (1779-?)
Resources [ ]
- Chapter Guides
References [ ]
- ↑ The novel covers the first third of Outlander from Jamie's perspective.
- ↑ The first Companion covers the first four books in the main series.
- ↑ Part of the story precedes the timeline of the main series, part coincides with Written in My Own Heart's Blood .
- ↑ The second Companion covers books five through eight in the main series, as well as the Lord John stories published through 2015.
See also [ ]
- 1 Jamie Fraser
- 2 Brianna MacKenzie
- 3 Claire Fraser
Claire and Jamie
Outlander Season 5 -- Courtesy of STARZ
Will Outlander Season 8 end with Book 8?
Now that we know Outlander Season 8 is going to be the last, there are a lot of questions about how it will end. Will it end with Book 8, Written in My Own Heart’s Blood ?
Our eyes are currently on Outlander Season 8. Okay, they’re on Season 7 since we’re still waiting for that, but there are a lot of questions about the ending. We know Season 8 is going to be the last, and we also know there are only 10 episodes to the season.
What does that mean for the ending? How could we see Claire and Jamie’s story come to an end? Could the show end with the eighth book’s ending?
How will Outlander Season 8 end?
Written in My Own Heart’s Blood does have a pretty good ending. A long time ago, there were a few people who suggested that the eighth book would work as a series finale for a few reasons.
The book ends with Bree and Roger getting back to the past with Jem and Mandy. At least, we’re left believing that. Claire sees figures coming over the hill with a “Hello, the House” statement. This was something Bree and Roger would know, and knowing they were going back to the past made them being the ones to come over the hill make sense.
They had been running from a threat in the 1980s. Getting to the past made sense since this threat couldn’t travel through the stones. Of course, there was always a chance someone would come after them, but the story for the show could be written that being in the past was safer than the future.
We also saw Claire and Jamie’s story end in a good place. William’s story was still a little in the air,b but that could be worked out quickly in the show. Jenny’s and Ian’s stories were in a positive place, making them for good endings for them. While there were some questions, the show could work out those kinks.
The only question is about the ghost in the pilot episode, but that could be answered relatively quickly.
I’m not sure if there will be enough time to tell the full story from Books 9 and the future 10. Plus, does the show really want to pull another Game of Thrones ? Maybe it would be best to make the Written in My Own Heart’s Blood ending work for the series.
How would you like to see Outlander Season 8 end? Do you want any of Book 9 included in the series? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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- Published on 01/29/2023 at 6:00 AM EST
- Last updated on 01/29/2023 at 6:00 AM EST
- Claire and Jamie 9 months Could Bree and Roger be in the Outlander prequel?
- Claire and Jamie 9 months Outlander Season 6 is coming to Netflix Canada in February 2023
- Claire and Jamie 9 months When could Outlander Season 8 premiere on STARZ?
- Claire and Jamie 10 months Will the ghost be explained in Outlander Season 8?
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The Buccaneers Book Ending Took Over 50 Years To Complete
Author Edith Wharton passed away before finishing the novel.
Based on the 1938 novel by Edith Wharton, Apple TV+’s The Buccaneers centers on the titular daughters of America’s new rich during the Gilded Age. These “beautiful and untameable” young women travel to London to find aristocratic husbands who are “low in funds but high in class.” Created by Katherine Jakeways, the series is only inspired by Wharton’s work, rather than a direct adaptation.
That’s partly because Wharton never finished the book before she passed away in 1937. The Buccaneers was published posthumously — without an ending — including only the author’s outline of how she intended to wrap the plot. More than 50 years later, Marion Mainwaring penned an ending for the book, based on Wharton’s notes. However, Jakeways used only the original, incomplete version when crafting the Apple TV+ period drama.
Even though the series deviates from the source material and could continue for subsequent seasons, here’s a quick summary of Wharton’s final novel.
A Period Romance
Set in the 1870s, Wharton’s The Buccaneers is about five wealthy American teens denied entry into New York society because their parents’ money is too new, per the publisher’s synopsis. Those young women (aka “buccaneers”) are Nan St. George (played by Kristine Froseth), Jinny St. George (Imogen Waterhouse), Conchita Closson (Alisha Boe), Mabel Elmsworth (Josie Totah), and Lizzy Elmsworth (Aubri Ibrag).
At the suggestion of their governess, Miss Laura Testvalley (Simone Kirby), the ladies travel to London, where they marry lords, earls, and dukes who find their beauty charming — and their wealth extremely useful.
Though protagonist Nan, who’s more interested in love than status, falls for sensitive English nobleman Guy Thwarte (Matthew Broome), their budding romance is thwarted when he departs for family business in South America. In the interim, she marries Ushant, the Duke of Tintagel (aka Theo, played by Guy Remmers), resulting in a mutually unhappy marriage.
By the novel’s end, Nan’s marriage has crumbled, and Miss Testvalley helps her escape the duke and reunite with her true love, Guy, with whom she runs away to Greece. To do so, however, Nan’s former governess must sacrifice her new romance with Guy’s father.
A Modern Spin
As Jakeways explained to Screen Rant, she used the novel “as a starting point” for the Apple TV+ adaptation and expanded the characters, while also staying true to the way Wharton wrote them. Meanwhile, EP Beth Willis noted it was also “time for a refresh” on the 1938 source material.
“In 2023, you want to retain all of the things that make period drama delicious; the costumes, the locations, and the romances. But also to infuse it with characters that feel a bit more rounded, a bit more truthful, and a bit more, as Katherine says, like our lives and our friendships reflected back at us,” Willis added, referencing a larger love story beyond Nan and Guy.
She continued, “I hope that by doing that, what we’ve done is got an absolute period drama show with all of the ingredients that we love, but also crucially for us, a show that has female friendship at the absolute heart of the show and the biggest love story of all, we hope, is that one between the girls.”
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- 2008 Mitsubishi Outlander
Change year or car
Base trim shown
View all 2008 Mitsubishi Outlander specs .
- Two-person third-row seat folds flat
- Aluminum roof to lower center of gravity
- Host of amenities standard
- Many safety features standard
- Interior quality
- Smallish stereo dials
Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price
Wondering which trim is right for you?
Our 2008 Mitsubishi Outlander trim comparison will help you decide.
- Four-cylinder engine
- Seats seven
- Available hard drive can store music files
2008 Mitsubishi Outlander review: Our expert's take
The 2008 Mitsubishi Outlander is sharp-looking from the outside, and it was packed with fun features on the inside. The Outlander had many fun and funky features such as stowable third-row seats, keyless ignition and Sportronic paddle shifters, which convinced me it was designed for a younger crowd. You know, the same people who are on the verge of beginning their married and familial lives but are clutching to their coolness for all it’s worth. Ahhh, I remember those days. I think the Outlander would work for them, but it wasn’t a good fit for my family, especially my kids.
The Outlander I test drove had a V-6 engine, and it was fun to drive when paired with the paddle shifters. It should be noted that my fellow mom-reviewers have tested Outlanders with four-cylinder and V-6 engines; they say that the four-cylinder model is so underpowered it didn’t feel safe to drive. Mark that one off your list.
The Outlander stands out when compared to most crossovers, but I wonder how long it’ll be before it looks dated. It might seem cool now, but I bet that in as few as two to three years it’ll look old and out of style. The fizzy-looking bubbles in the taillights do grab your attention, but in time they could leave you with that questioning raised-eyebrow look and feelings of regret.
The Outlander has two- and four-wheel-drive options available on the drive-mode selector knob that allows you to easily jump into some offroad mud-bogging fun. Yeehaw!
Getting my kids in and out of the Outlander was a challenging and dirty task. Carmakers, listen up: Parents get a full-blown case of the warm fuzzies when they hear the following phrase: fully integrated rocker panels. Mmmm, we love those. Please find a way for all of us to get in and out of a car without getting covered in mud and grime.
The Outlander’s seats were pretty high off the ground, and getting the kids into them meant fighting with the doors, which didn’t open wide enough, and lifting them into the car and then up into their booster seats. My kids are 6 and 3; they’d prefer to get into the car by themselves instead of having Mommy fussing over them and messing up their whole day (drama!).
With its glass hatch and tailgate, the Outlander has awesome tailgating possibilities for those who consider taking in a game a 24-hour event. The tailgate didn’t work as well when loading groceries into the cargo area, a process that also involved a lot of dirt. If you only open the glass hatch, you end up leaning against the car to put stuff into the cargo area. This meant the front of my coat got dirty. So open the lower portion of the tailgate and stop whining, right? OK, but then your hands are getting dirty from messing with the tailgate. I don’t see a winning scenario here.
SENSE AND STYLE Family Friendly (Not Really, Fair, Great, Excellent): Fair
Fun-Factor (None, Some, Good Times, Groove-On): Good Times
I seem to have started a dirt-related theme with this review, so I might as well stick with it. The black-colored interior showed every bit of dirt. I had the Outlander for seven days; by the end of the first day, I was ready to reach for a whisk broom and Shop-Vac. The interior was a little dark for my taste; I don’t like that cave-like effect when I’m driving. While it did have leather seats, which are easier to clean than cloth, I’d pick a lighter color, something in the dried-mud color family.
OK, off with the rubber gloves. There were several interior features I liked in the Mitsubishi Outlander. I always enjoy the choice of automatic, manual or sportshift paddles in any car. I tried out the manual and paddle-shift options, and I’m pleased to report both upped the Outlander’s fun factor.
The Outlander gave me plenty of places to stow my things, including two glove compartments – yay! The cupholder area was a perfect fit for my purse, which worked well because the Outlander had a pop-out cupholder for my coffee to the left of the steering wheel.
The comfortableness of the Outlander’s seats was questionable. As the driver, I was plenty comfy. When my husband sat in the passenger seat, I couldn’t help but notice that his knees seemed super high – almost to the height of his chest. When I asked why he’d taken on such an awkward form, he explained that the seat was hurting his legs. Instead of resting his thighs on the seat, he needed to elevate them. Have I ever mentioned that my better half is a bit odd at times?
For a moment I considered letting my kids ride in the third row to enhance the novelty of their ride. I folded the second-row seats forward (they didn’t fold into the floor) and crawled back to get things situated. When I popped the third-row seats up, I realized there was hardly enough room back there for their skinny little legs. How would an adult fit back there? Next I pulled up the third-row head restraints – they were huge and reminded me of tennis rackets. With both head restraints up, my view out the rear window was completely obscured. In my opinion, the Outlander’s designers threw in the third row on the XLS trim level because it looked good on paper, but someone failed to test the actual usability of the feature.
My kids never got to ride in the third row, but I’m not sure it would have warmed them to the car. They had no love for the Outlander because getting in and out was difficult and the seat belt buckles were impossible for them to secure on their own. It took us a lot longer than usual to get settled in and ready for lift-off in the Outlander.
IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS THAT COUNT Storage Compartments (Puny, Fair, Ample, Galore): Galore
Cargo/Trunk Space (Puny, Fair, Ample, Galore): Galore
Advanced dual front airbags, front-seat-mounted side airbags and side curtain airbags are all standard on the Outlander, although the side curtain airbags only extend to the second row. Antilock brakes and stability control were also on its safety features’ list.
I felt safe driving the Outlander. The pseudo-sporty handling made me feel more in control of the crossover. The third row’s huge head restraints were constant reminders in my rearview mirror of Mitsubishi’s attention to safety, although they didn’t help in the visibility department.
FAMILY LIFESTAGE In Diapers: Adjustable legroom in the second row makes more space for rear-facing child-safety seats.
In School: The seat belts were difficult for the little ones to buckle, and the stowable third-row seats offer minimal legroom at best.
Teens: Teens will think this car looks cool. They’ll also like the huge speakers (optional) in the cargo area. Groovy!
- Comfort 4.7
- Interior 4.5
- Performance 4.7
- Exterior 4.7
- Reliability 4.8
Most recent consumer reviews
Most reliable car with lots of v6 power.
This is an outstanding vehicle for your money. Plenty of V6 power comfort in a 7 seater . Great gas mileage. superior sound system with factory hands free phone.
- Comfort 5.0
- Interior 5.0
- Performance 5.0
- Exterior 4.0
- Reliability 5.0
- Purchased a Used car
- Used for Commuting
- Does recommend this car
Most reliable car I've ever owned
Bought new. Only 1 repair in 12 years, 141.000 miles, fan blower motor. That's it! 4 cylinder engine still runs smooth and quiet. Amazingly the horrible cvt hasn't failed. I have done the maintenance on it. Hate the cvt, but otherwise I still like it fine. And the paint still looks very good, no clearcoat failure and it always in the California sun.
- Comfort 4.0
- Performance 4.0
- Purchased a New car
Been a great car
I bought this car for my wife New in 2008 We have 280,000 km on the car with no issues I replaced the timing belt and brakes other than that it has been Outstanding. The 3L motor has plenty of power. The steering is tight and responsive even after the high mileage. Was definitely a great choice to buy
- Interior 4.0
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Book Series Recaps
So what happened in book one.
What happened in Written in my Own Heart’s Blood? (Outlander #8)
Read a quick summary of Written in my Own Heart’s Blood, book #8 in Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. This page is full of spoilers, so beware. If you are wondering what happened in Outlander #8, then you are in the right place! This is a super quick recap. If you crave more details, we suggest…
- Mitsubishi Outlander
- Used 2008 Mitsubishi Outlander
2008 Mitsubishi Outlander Review
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Edmunds' Expert Review
- Agile handling, sporty styling with useful rear tailgate/liftgate design, wide range of features, lengthy warranty.
- Limited access to desirable options, a few low-grade plastics, kid-size third-row seat is flimsy and hard to fold.
To complement last year's standard V6 engine, a new four-cylinder engine debuts for the 2008 Mitsubishi Outlander. It's offered on the base ES and new-for-2008 SE trim level and comes standard with a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Other changes include the discontinuation of the sliding second-row rear seat feature on ES and LS trims (it's still on the XLS) and an update to the optional navigation system that provides additional carpool-lane routing.
An attractive small SUV that offers an entertaining driving experience and distinctive features, the 2008 Mitsubishi Outlander is a strong candidate for young families not willing to give up style for versatility.
Cost to Drive Cost to drive estimates for the 2008 Mitsubishi Outlander ES 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl CVT) and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $3.23 per gallon for regular unleaded in North Dakota.
"An Outlander? What's that? Is it like a Highlander or something?" This is a likely response when you tell an uninformed friend that you just bought a 2008 Mitsubishi Outlander. But don't let his dim state of automotive enlightenment throw you off. While it may not be well-known, the Outlander is actually one of the best small crossover SUVs currently available.
Like just about every other model in this segment, the Outlander is comfortable, available with all-wheel drive and has enough storage and cargo space to satisfy both individuals and small families. The Outlander deserves a Girl Scout Fun Patch, however, thanks to its sporty handling and steering, and stylish, distinctive-looking exterior. It also has a unique flip-down tailgate and is available with the latest techno gadgets like Bluetooth, keyless ignition and a hard drive-based navigation and music server system.
The Outlander was fully redesigned last year and receives additional changes for 2008. Most significant is the addition of a new four-cylinder model. Available with front-wheel drive or AWD, the Outlander ES 2.4 is powered by a 168-horsepower, 2.4-liter engine matched to a CVT. As expected, the four-cylinder isn't as powerful as the V6, but it improves fuel economy and helps lower the vehicle's MSRP.
Mitsubishi is hoping the new ES 2.4 model, as well as the loaded four-cylinder SE model, will broaden the Outlander's appeal. They will, though by how much is uncertain. The Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 are still the all-stars of this segment and deservedly so, given the Honda's stellar refinement and the RAV4's potent and fuel-efficient V6. Meanwhile, you'll run out of fingers and toes if you try to count all of the SUVs out there matching the Outlander in general price and size. Of that bunch, though, we think the 2008 Mitsubishi Outlander is an excellent choice, and it comes highly recommended. You'll just have to correct your friends when they think you've bought a Toyota.
Performance & mpg
The Outlander ES and SE come with a 168-hp 2.4-liter engine, connected to a CVT. The LS and XLS trims have a 3.0-liter V6 good for 220 hp and 204 pound-feet of torque. V6 models sold in California emission-level states produce slightly less power (213 hp) but earn a top PZEV tailpipe emission rating. Four-cylinder Outlanders come standard with a CVT, while V6 models have a more traditional six-speed automatic. Both have manual-shift capability.
All Outlander trims are available with either front-wheel or all-wheel drive. The AWD system offers an unusual amount of flexibility for this class. Twist the console dial to "2WD" and power goes only to the front wheels to save fuel. Choose "4WD Auto" and at least 15 percent of engine torque is routed to the rear axle at all times, and when you're accelerating on packed snow or other slippery surfaces, the rear wheels can accept up to 60 percent of the power. Choose "4WD Lock" and the system sends a greater percentage of torque to the rear wheels -- up to 60 percent under full-throttle acceleration. This is a bit misleading, as "lock" typically indicates a fixed 50/50 split between the front and rear wheels.
EPA fuel economy estimates for 2008 V6 models are average for this segment -- expect 17 mpg city and 25 mpg highway on front-drive Outlanders and 17/24 mpg on AWD models. Properly equipped, Mitsubishi's compact SUV can tow up to 3,500 pounds.
All major safety features are standard on the 2008 Mitsubishi Outlander, including antilock disc brakes, stability control, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. (On the seven-passenger XLS, the airbags extend further back to cover the third row.) Whiplash-reducing front head restraints are also standard. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety frontal-offset crash testing, the new Outlander earned the top rating of "Good."
Driving the 2008 Mitsubishi Outlander is more fun than you might expect, as its well-tuned chassis gives it sporty reflexes around corners and transmits considerable feedback to the driver. The steering is nicely weighted, and the brakes feel strong and progressive. Ride quality is just as important as handling in a small SUV, though, and the Outlander is indeed comfortable and well-mannered when cruising.
As of this writing, we have not yet tested the new four-cylinder model and its CVT. The 3.0-liter V6 is a little shy on low-end torque, but once revved up, it moves the Outlander along sufficiently and smoothly. Shifts from the six-speed automatic are crisp and well-timed, and the XLS model's paddle shifters are surprisingly effective and fun to use.
The Outlander's interior is attractive looking and of solid build quality, though a few of the plastics and controls feel a bit low-grade. One disappointment is the lack of a telescoping steering wheel. We are fond of the available hard drive-based navigation and music server system. Its interface is a bit non-intuitive, but overall it's one of the most comprehensive and useful systems on the market for a vehicle in this price range. For 2008, Mitsubishi has added a first-of-its-type feature that allows drivers to tailor their navigation directions based on carpool lanes.
The Outlander XLS comes with a third-row seat, but the seat's effectiveness is debatable. There's room for children only (and small ones at that), but considering the seat's flimsy construction we'd think twice about putting them back there. A thick piece of mesh fabric substitutes for a traditional padded seat bottom, and the seatback is very close to the rear tailgate. The third row folds flat into the floor, but a confusing muddle of pull-straps makes the procedure more complicated than necessary. In terms of cargo room, a little less than 73 cubic feet is at your disposal with the second- and third-row seats folded. We particularly like the Outlander's dual-opening rear hatch, as the upper portion provides convenient access to groceries, while the lower portion (built into the rear bumper) drops down to form a tailgate capable of supporting 440 pounds.
2008 Mitsubishi Outlander models
A small SUV, the 2008 Mitsubishi Outlander is available in four trim levels: ES, LS, SE and XLS. The entry-level ES is equipped with a four-cylinder engine and comes standard with 16-inch steel wheels, air-conditioning, a six-speaker CD stereo, cruise control, a trip computer, full power accessories and reclining rear seats. The LS boasts a V6 engine and adds 16-inch alloy wheels, a roof rack, keyless ignition, an auxiliary audio jack, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, additional 12-volt power points and a cargo cover. Most of the LS's standard features are available on the ES via the Convenience Package. The SE retains the standard four-cylinder engine but adds such niceties as 18-inch alloy wheels, a 650-watt Rockford Fosgate stereo and steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. The top-of-the-line V6-powered Outlander XLS also rolls on 18-inch alloys and adds a third-row seat (increasing seating capacity to seven), automatic climate control, a six-disc CD changer, fore and aft adjustment for the second-row seats and Bluetooth.
Most factory options for the Mitsubishi Outlander are available in packages reserved for the XLS trim only. The most interesting of these is the Navigation Package, with a nav system that runs off a 30GB hard drive, some of which is available for owners to store and play digital music files. There's also the Sun and Sound Package, which combines a nine-speaker, 650-watt Rockford Fosgate stereo and satellite radio with a sunroof and a 115-volt power outlet. XLS buyers can also get the Luxury Package, which provides xenon headlights, leather upholstery, front seat heaters and a power driver seat.
The Outlander can be fitted with the Entertainment Package as well, which includes a rear-seat entertainment system. One can also order Bluetooth and the navigation system as stand-alone accessories on all trims.
Read what other owners think about the used 2008 mitsubishi outlander., trending topics in reviews.
- fuel efficiency
- handling & steering
- sound system
- driving experience
- reliability & manufacturing quality
- ride quality
- infotainment system
- wheels & tires
- maintenance & parts
- steering wheel
- emission system
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Most helpful consumer reviews
Great overall suv, great car exactly what i was looking for, 4 years and no issues, 2008 outlander highlights.
NHTSA Overall Rating
- Frontal Barrier Crash Rating Overall Not Rated Driver 5 / 5 Passenger 5 / 5
- Side Crash Rating Overall Not Rated
- Side Barrier Rating Overall Not Rated Driver 5 / 5 Passenger 5 / 5
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings Front Seat Not Rated Back Seat Not Rated
- Rollover Rollover 4 / 5 Dynamic Test Result No Tip Risk Of Rollover Not Rated
- Small Overlap Front Driver-Side Test Not Tested
- Small Overlap Front Passenger-Side Test Not Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – Original Good
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – Updated Not Tested
- Side Impact Test – Original Good
- Side Impact Test – Updated Not Tested
- Roof Strength Test Not Tested
- Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint Good
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