|This article is about Outlander, the novel. You may be looking for the TV series or the series of books.|
|Publication date||June 1, 1991|
|Published by||Delacorte Press|
| Chapter Guide|
| Preceded by|
| Followed by|
Dragonfly in Amber
Outlander (Cross Stitch in the UK) is the first in the Outlander Series of novels by Diana Gabaldon. The book focuses on two main characters, Claire Randall (nee' Beauchamp) and Jamie Fraser , and takes place in eighteenth- and twentieth-century Scotland.
Outlander is the only novel in the series to be narrated exclusively from Claire's first-person point-of-view. It is not easily classified by any singular genre. On one level, Outlander is a romance novel, with a focus on the romantic and sexual relationship between Jamie and Claire. However, the book breaks many genre conventions and could be accurately described as a work of historical fiction, thanks to Gabaldon's fiendishly thorough research on eighteenth-century Scottish clan life and incredibly detailed descriptions of pre-modern Scotland. The novel can also be considered fantasy, since its plot is propelled by Claire's time travel.
Whatever its genre, the novel sparked international praise, and was awarded the RITA Award for Best Romance Novel of 1991. With six sequels, two companion novels, and a spin-off series of novellas; Outlander reached the ranks of great fiction long ago.
- Claire Elizabeth Beauchamp Randall Fraser: The story's protagonist, a nurse in WWII who finds herself transported to the Scottish Highlands in 1743. Married to Frank Randall in the 20th century, she is forced into marrying Jamie Fraser in the 18th century. Claire is a gifted natural physician and she is warm, practical and independent, although prone to becoming entangled in unforeseeably dangerous circumstances.
- James "Jamie" Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser: Heir to the Lallybroch estate, son of Brian Fraser and Ellen MacKenzie, Jamie is a strapping twenty-three-year-old redhead with a complicated past an aptitude for politics, and a disarming sense of humor. Jamie is intelligent, principled and by the 18th century standards, educated and worldly, having gone to university in Paris and soldiered with the French army before returning to the Highlands. Jamie volunteers to wed Claire when her life is threatened.
- Franklin "Frank" Wolverton Randall: Claire's husband in the twentieth century; a history professor with a deep interest in his genealogy and heritage. Frank and Claire were married a short time before the outbreak of World War Two, and were separated for six years by the war.
- Jonathan "Jack" Wolverton Randall: The primary villain of the story. He is Frank's six-times-great-grandfather, and a British cavalry officer. He is also known by the dashing nickname of "Black Jack," although according to Jamie Fraser the black refers to the colour of his soul rather than his darkly handsome complexion.
- Colum MacKenzie: The Laird of the MacKenzie clan. He is also Jamie's maternal uncle, and shelters Jamie and Claire from the English threat. He suffers from Toulouse-Lautrec Syndrome.
- Dougal MacKenzie: Colum's hotheaded younger brother and Jamie's onetime foster father, Dougal is part of the group of Scottish clansmen Claire first meets upon her arrival in the 18th century.
- Geillis/Geilie Duncan: Wife of the procurator fiscal; a time-traveler from the 1960s; thought to be a witch; has knowledge of herbs and plants.
- Murtagh Fitzgibbons Fraser: a member of the Fraser clan, although loyal to the MacKenzies; sworn to protect Jamie since he was a baby.
- Janet "Jenny" Fraser Murray: Jamie's older sister and is very devoted to him. Very loyal to her family and quick-tempered. Married to Ian Murray to whom she was a very close bond.
- Ian Murray: Jenny's husband and Jamie's best friend since childhood. He lost part of his leg during battle but hasn't let it hold him back. He is very close to both his wife and best friend. Very friendly and caring towards his family.
Outlander Musical Edit
On 1 August 2010, a CD song cycle telling the story of this first book in the series was released under the title "Outlander The Musical". The 14 songs were written by Kevin Walsh (music) and Mike Gibb (lyrics) with the words for one of the tracks being provided by authoress Diana Gabaldon. The CD has been highly successful, especially in America, Canada and Germany, and a libretto for a full scale stage musical is currently under consideration by a number of theatre. There is a website at www.outlanderthemusical.com The writing team of Walsh and Gibb earlier produced the work "Clarinda the Musical" (www.clarindathemusical.com) while playwright Mike Gibb has produced a string of plays and musical plays on Scottish themes (www.hamepages.com).