What if the future was your past? Often, past events leave clues to the future, but fans of the Outlander series take this idea to heart. The seven, genre-spanning, New York Times Bestselling novels are best described as time-travel historical romance. The unique perspective of Claire, who falls back through time, allows us to wonder if people have really changed over 250 years.
Author Diana Gabaldon spends three or four years writing each novel. Each book is a long, heavy volume to savor, and they’re written after extensive historical research. Lovers of historical fiction tend to compare and contrast the past and the present, and although technology and physical surroundings change, many of the social problems from the past exist today. Outlander unwittingly examines poverty, abuse, religion, and tolerance. And there is the white-hot romance between Jamie and Claire, proving the need for real love endures throughout time.
Gabaldon wows us with her character-driven plots. That’s the appeal of Outlander- readers fully experience the horrors of war, the warmth of family and friendship, and the dark humor of eighteenth century medical practices. The Outlander novels fulfill our extremely human need to feel compassion for those undergoing hardship, and it wasn’t easy to live in 1743. The time travel aspect is the least of the obstacles facing Jamie and Claire.
Outlander fans have longed to see Gabaldon’s characters in action onscreen, and in two days, they will wait no more. The timing is perfect: the latest novel in the series, Written in My Own Heart’s Blood, was released June 10th. On August 2nd, devoted fans will judge for themselves how well producers have re-created the beloved world of Jamie and Claire. What does an 18th century Scottish lass do on an average day at Castle Leoch? Will Jack Randall be as terrible and cunning as his character on the page? Will Geillis Duncan be as beautiful and bewitching? The new series will debut on Starz.
If books and television aren’t enough, fans can find themselves back in time and on location. The travel industry in the UK is participating in the Outlander festivities by offering tours of filming locations, where fans see firsthand how reality and the books differ. Although the literary locations are situated in the Scottish highlands, the filming locations are a little different. All places of interest are located in Scotland and can be reached as part of a day tour from either Edinburgh or Glasgow.
The Outlander Tour includes the screen location of Inverness (not in the actual city), Castle Leoch – home to Colum MacKenzie, Cranesmuir – the haunt of Geillis Duncan, and Lallybroch – Jamie Frasers childhood home. The tour continues to the Herb Garden, Mercat Square where Claire was filmed, the church that stood in for Dalneigh Parish Church, and the railway station where Claire and Frank begin their tour to the stones at Craigh na Dun. Tourists will also see the ominous castle of Captain Randall, minus the wolves. For more information about our Outlander tour, visit our Outlander Tour page here.
As the fan fever stirs up, Starz.com, On Demand, and the STARZ play app have been gracious enough to offer the first episode for free. Expect Starz subscriptions to increase in August, and for the web to buzz with critiques on steamy scenes between Jamie and Claire.
Whether you are an old fan of the novels or the trailers have caught your eye, there’s enough Outlander around to keep you occupied for a long time.