Author Diana Gabaldon (1952 – ) graduated from Northern Arizona University with a B.S. in zoology before going on to complete an M.S. in marine biology from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and a Ph.D. in qualitative behavioral ecology from Northern Arizona University. She went on to teach at the Center for Environmental Studies at Arizona State University for nearly a dozen years. She also was a founding editor of Science Software Quarterly and wrote scientific articles and textbooks, along with a few comic book scripts for Disney as a freelancer.
Then in 1988, she decided to try her hand at writing fiction. This venture started what would become her famous Outlander series, with the first novel, Outlander (published as Cross Stitch in the UK and Australia) released in 1991. The book became very successful, and there are (to date) 9 books in the series, the most recent being Go Tell The Bees That I Am Gone published in November 2021. There is also a spin-off Lord John series and several accompanying books. A popular television adaptation of the series premiered in 2014.
The first book in the series, Outlander is a historical romance novel with a time-traveling twist. Claire Beauchamp is a former combat nurse recently reunited with her husband after WWII when she touches an ancient stone and is transported back to 1743 Scotland. She finds adventure and romance there, becoming entwined with the Clan MacKenzie and in love with the gallant young James Fraser. The novel was originally published in the UK, Australia, and New Zealand under the title Cross Stitch. Century was the publisher in the UK and the original print run was only 2,000 copies. The first edition of Outlander was published by Delacorte Press, New York, on June 1st, 1991. There are multiple, although subtle, differences between the UK and the US version.
Dragonfly in Amber (1992)
In the second book of the Outlander series, Dragonfly in Amber, Claire returns to 1968 Scotland, where her husband Frank Randall has passed away. Claire raises her daughter Brianna, whose father is Jamie Fraser. The first edition of Dragonfly in Amber was published by Delacorte Press, on July 1st, 1992.
In Voyager, the third book of the Outlander series, Claire has to decide whether to stay with her daughter in present-day America or to risk everything to travel back in time to war-torn Scotland to find her long-lost love, Jamie. The first edition of Voyager was published on December 1st, 1993.
Drums of Autumn (1996)
In the fourth book of the Outlander series, Drums of Autumn, Claire and Jamie have reunited and are starting a new life in the American colonies. Meanwhile, daughter Brianna, left in present-day America, makes a discovery about her parent’s fate that has her risking it all by going into the past. The first edition of Drums of Autumn was published by Delacorte Press on December 30th, 1996.
The Fiery Cross (2001)
The Fiery Cross, the fifth book of the Outlander series, takes place amidst the dawning of the American Revolution. Claire and Jamie, along with their daughter Brianna and son-in-law Roger, settle in the foothills of North Carolina. The first edition of The Fiery Cross was published by Delacorte Press on November 6th, 2001.
A Breath of Snow and Ashes (2005)
The sixth book of the Outlander series, A Breath of Snow and Ashes, continues the story of Claire and Jamie into the American Revolution, from 1773 through 1776. This 1,157-page book details the lives of many characters living up on Frasier Ridge in the foothills of the Carolinas. The first edition of A Breath of Snow and Ashes was published on September 27th, 2005 by Delacorte Press.
An Echo in the Bone (2009)
In the seventh novel of the Outlander series, An Echo in the Bone, Jamie fights for the American side in the Revolution. Although Claire knows the Colonists will win, Jamie is nervous about facing his illegitimate son William, a young lieutenant in the British army. An Echo in the Bone was first published on September 22nd, 2009 by Delacorte Press.
In the midst of the Revolution, Claire marries Jamie’s best friend and stepfather to his son. This causes some tension. Meanwhile, Brianna, who is in present-day America, is dealing with her own missing husband and kidnapped son. The first edition of Written in My Own Heart’s Blood, the eighth book in the Outlander series, was published on June 10th, 2014, by Delacorte Press.
The latest book in the Outlander series, number nine, is Go Tell the Bees That I am Gone. Claire and Jamie are reunited with Brianna and Roger on Frasier’s Ridge in North Carolina, but that doesn’t mean the family is safe and secure. The first edition of Go Tell the Bees That I am Gone was published on November 23, 2021, by Delacorte Press.
Author Diana Gabaldon is working on a tenth book at the time of posting.
Other Outlander Titles
The Exile is a graphic novel published by Del-Ray, told from the viewpoint of Jamie Fraser and his godfather Murtagh. Released in 2010, the first edition, illustrated by Hoang Nguyen, has ‘Stated First Edition’ with “1” present in the complete number line on the copyright page.
The Outlandish Companion (1999)
The first edition of The Outlandish Companion was published by Delacorte Press in 1999. The first edition, first printing has a complete number line, including a ‘1,’ on the copyright page. Volume One, which encompassed information on the first four books of the series, was subtitled: In Which Much Is Revealed Regarding Claire and Jamie Fraser, Their Lives and Times, Antecedents, Adventures, Companions, and Progeny, With Learned Commentary (And Many Footnotes) By Their Humble Creator. Volume One is no longer in print. In 2015 a revised two-volume companion was published that encompassed a new Volume One, plus a Volume Two.
The Outlandish Companion Volume Two, released March 31, 2015, includes information on books five through eight of the series. It includes detailed synopses, maps, and essays by the author.
Seven Stones to Stand or Fall (2017)
Seven Stones to Stand or Fall is a ‘Collection of Outlander Fiction’ – seven novellas, five of which were previously published in anthologies. All works deal with side stories in the Outlander world.
The ‘Lord John’ Series
The Lord John series features Lord John Grey, a recurring secondary character from Gabaldon’s Outlander series. Starting with the 1998 novella Lord John and the Hellfire Club, the spin-off series consists of a total of six novellas and three novels. Three of the novellas are collected in the 2007 publication, Lord John and the Hand of the Devils. The novels are:
The Scottish Prisoner (2011)
Amy C. Manikowski is a writer living in Asheville, NC.