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“Lord John and the Hellfire Club”

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"Lord John and the Hellfire Club" is a short story by Diana Gabaldon. Chronologically, it is the first story in the Lord John Series.

Originally, the short story was published simply as "Hellfire" in Past Poisons: An Ellis Peters Memorial Anthology of Historical Crime (ed. Maxim Jakubowski) in 1998. In 2007, it was published with two other Lord John novellas in the collection Lord John and the Hand of Devils.


It is the autumn of 1756, and Lord John Grey, lately returned from his exile in the north of Scotland, is reacquainting himself with the hustle and bustle of London society when he witnesses the murder of a recent acquaintance. With the perpetrator in the wind, and slanderous accusations against the deceased borne on the tide of gossip, Grey finds himself drawn into Sir Francis Dashwood's notorious Hellfire Club in search of answers. Grey also encounters a man from his past, one George Everett, whose knowledge of Grey's own dangerous secret is deeply unsettling.



  • The cover of the Complimentary Collector's Special Edition (featuring two men dueling) appears to have been based on a plate from Domenico Angelo's L'École des armes (1763).[1]

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  1. See also Figure 26 of Plate VIII (Fencing [Escrime]) from Encyclopédie ou Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers, vol. 4 (plates): (accessed September 2, 2016)

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