• “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.”
  • “These books have to be word-of-mouth books because they're too weird to describe to anybody.”
    —Jackie Cantor, Diana's first editor


Well, alrighty, then! Do you want to know whether THE SCOTTISH PRISONER starts with Jamie or John? Random House has posted the beginning of the book as an excerpt on Scribd. Click the link below to see which way the editors (and I) decided to begin the book–and I hope you enjoy it!

The Scottish Prisoner by Diana Gabaldon (Excerpt)

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73 Responses »

  1. Thanks for the dose of Jamie!!
    I hope there is more in the coming year!! Nov 2012 is quite a way off LOL

    • Just finished reading the Scottish Prisoner (??????) really??? why write this?
      it took time away from finishing WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEARTS BLOOD.
      I really saw no point in this book.

      • Dear Stacey–

        Well, you’re entitled to your opinion. I’m entitled to mine. As it is…I write the books.


        • I am loving SP, so nice to be connected withe the “family” again. I enjoyed the LJ books so much too! When I hear the names as I read all of the Series comes back to me. I will read slowley and wait patiently for Written in…….! I love how you write your love into the books, and following the Dailies of FB helps too. I am confused with #DailyLines #TheSpaceBetween #FinishingUP #NoPubDatebutprobably2012 #TheressupposedtobeacaretovertheOinHopital #NotMisspelledJustFrench…tho???
          Thanks, Jeanne

        • Mrs. Gabaldon- No disrespect intended-just extreme disappointment. I wont
          bore you with the details- except to say that day was a “day” not to be forgotten
          (when SP came out) only to get home, get a cup of tea waiting to find out if Jem gets out of the tunnel or did he go back ? I’m a fan of your books – and waiting
          Patiently for book eight! but please please please …..hurry in the nicest way I
          can ask! :-)

  2. Hi Diana!
    I am really looking forward to reading the book, I put an order on it as soon as it went. Also, wait with bated breath for the continuation of the book 8.
    I am from Sweden and use Google translation, for writing this, hope it does not get too crazy …

    I always wanted to write a book, but it was not until I started reading your books, I was inspired to begin. They probably will not ever be published, but is mostly for my own sake. I have previously looked for my ancestors and found a lot of exciting people, these have now become characters in a lot of chapters, from 1540 to the present, probebly enough for my own series of books.
    But you have made me to be picky, I want to be as careful with the historical details, as you are but what a job searching, it is. It’s very fun and educational.

    I’ve seen discussions of, who you want to see play Jamie, in a possible movie. I do not know if I want to see the movie, because I have an imagination about how everyone looks. I’m afraid it will ruin the books for me. They are so alive.
    Here in Sweden recently began a drama series, a Swedish on, called Anno 1790, for the first time I saw an actor who little bit lookes how Jamie, look in my brain …
    do you see the similarity?

    Thanks for all the wonderful moments that you give through your books!
    Have a great time, and don´t work your self to hard!
    Marina, from the small mountain Kinnekulle by the big lake Vänern in Sweden

  3. OMG, please tell us you’ll be writing Hal and Minnie’s story someday! :D

  4. I love it!!!
    BTW, in the third paragraph (at the very beginning), Ardsmuir is spelled Ardsmiur. You should hire me to be a proof-reader. I’d do it for free, just to read your works!

  5. I can’t wait to read it! And I’m glad you started with Jamie. Thank you!

  6. Your writing style is such an inspiration. I get lost in it after about 30 seconds. Thank you Diana.

  7. loved all of the highlander( being one, ‘mclean’ of te isles) series. cnt wait for another book. i am an old ‘codger’ 76 but can still learn, great work diana.george

  8. Is there any idea when Scottish Prisoner will be available as an e-book?

    • Dear Janet–

      Random House tells me the ebook will be available simultaneously with the print version!


      • Thank you Random House!!

        I decided I would buy this one as an ebook and promised myself I would buy all the other Lord John books in ebook format at the same time, even though I already have physical copies.

        Counting down the days!

      • Hello Diana,

        Is there any help for your Australian devotees who wish to purchase an electronic version of ‘The Scottish Prisoner’?

        I have spent the last couple of hours trying to find a way to trick Australian I Tunes, U.S Barnes & Noble, and even Amazon.com.UK and Amazon.com into selling me an electronic version of The Scottish Prisoner all to no avail……

        I have already pre-ordered my paper copies from ‘The Poisoned Pen’ but would love to have an electronic copy to accompany my extensive Gabaldon e-library on my IPad2 Kindle app.

        Might there be a way to persuade ‘The Poisoned Pen’ into selling your e-books worldwide?

        Books without boarders!

        With thanks for your consideration of my inquiry


        • Janet are you wanting to buy the Kindle version of the book?

          I believe that if you change your country of origin details on Amazon to USA you can do this.

  9. Ahhh! That was a satisfying bite. Enough to tide me over ’til the 29th. I also like the countdown until release date. Not that I’ll forget mind you, just a reminder…I had one on my work computer for the last year before I retired. When office politics got to me, I would flick that on. *G* Right up there with “how many sleeps”…until a big event that we used to do as kids and used with our kids. Still do once in a while. *G*

    I love the last paragraph of the 2nd chapter. It certainly sets the stage for what is to follow.

    Party Hardy on the 29th, hope they supply you with something nice to sip upon.


  10. Ah … a nice bite of the apple. I’m anxiously awaiting the main course.

  11. What Geneva did to him? Oh, please! When is someone going to acknowledge the truth that Jamie raped her.

    • Well, Jamie certainly isn’t perfect, and I know you don’t have very fond feelings about him. But, I have to say that Jamie wanted _nothing_ to do with this woman, but she threaten to expose his family, which would likely have resulted in the crown “investigating” his family (most likely, by throwing the men in jail and actually raping the women, if not outright killing some of them). She then sends him word to come to her room on a certain night, disrobes, gets into bed with him, lets him enter her, and then gets scared (or realizes it’s a bit uncomfortable the first few times), and _then_ says no. I think once the unwilling man is actually inside her up-to-that-point willing self, she’s pretty much forfeited the right to say no (if he isn’t actually hurting her on purpose, being cruel, etc.) Now, this is a hot topic, and I wouldn’t presume to make any judgments in real life situations, but in this fictitious case, I don’t really think Jamie is at fault. _And_ she certainly seemed to enjoy his attentions from that point on, since they had sex at least once more that night. I think you could actually make the case that _she_ forced _him_. :)

    • Now Claire was raped and so was Brianna…Actually because of Geneva’s blackmail and threats Jamie was raped, I don’t see it any other way…Rape does not have to be a violent (Brianna’s wasn’t) as it was with Randall. And…oh I must control myself and be nice…and…and…there is a thing called abuse and it can be done by women to men…even big burly 6’4″ Scotsmen!

    • I’ve always believed that “rape” was forced on a person — perhaps it was Geneva who actually raped Jamie — by way of the bribery to get his sister’s letter.

      • He already had the letter and could have easily taken the way out that Geneva gave him by asking him repeatedly to stop. A thirty-six year old experienced man who was so adament about the morality and honor of the situation would have gotten out of her bed, and while hurriedly dressing with the letter stuffed in his pocket, begged her forgiveness for hurting her and stated that he couldn’t continue doing so then gotten out of her room the same way he got in. As an 18 year old girl, I doubt Geneva would have had the courage or ability to force him to do anything further. That he has continued to make excuses for over twenty years and claim he had no choice was a gross lie. That he even lied to Claire about what really happened that night, breaking the vow of honesty they made to each other on their wedding night, proves what an immoral, dishonorable excuse for a man he is. Since “The Scottish Prisoner” has now elevated Jamie Fraser to sainthood, there’s no way the truth is ever going to be acknowledged.

        • yes… and if these were real people and actual events, perhaps your concerns would carry a bit more weight. as it stands, they are fictitious characters, doing fictitious things, and at any given time more fictitious details may come to light to tip the balance of the judgement scales to either side… “dishonorable excuse for a man”? my goodness. “…no way the truth is ever going to be acknowledged”? marianne, close the book and step back into real life.

          • I thought the whole idea of fiction was to involve readers with the characters. My opinion of this particular fictional character stands. The Scottish Prisoner is a grossly contrived, boring story with far too many ridiculous coincidences for too many of the characters. Jamie Fraser is a rapist (Geneva and his own wife), multiple murderer, adulterer, liar, thief, and hypocrit many times over since the very first book. As far as I’m concerned, TSP is rubbish and none of the events ever happened. If some of this drival gets transferred over to the next book, book eight is going to be even more of a mess than I have been suspecting it’s going to be from the excerpts. The more I’ve read about Jamie Fraser, the more I see a very carefully concealed Highland version of Black Jack Randall. That Claire was so totally beguiled by him that she betrayed and abandoned her true husband Frank doesn’t say very much for her either – a nieve, gullable romantic fool who has allowed him to dominate and subjugate her just so she’d be safe and have a sexy bedmate. Jamie may be intended as the great saintly hero, but he doesn’t come across that way to me.

        • Marianne,

          The reason these books are so great is because the characters are humans who make mistakes. What Jamie did was maybe not right, but he didn’t mean her any harm. I personally had a very hard time with Jamie beating Claire in the first book. You have to remember that it is a different time, Jamie grew up with a different sense of what is right and wrong. The fact that Diana managed to inflict her readers with these kind of emotions is amazing! I love the books.

        • ‘there before the grace of God go I’
          I believe Diana has captured a moment of extreme complexity, which she often does. It is easy to judge Jamie. But I am much more interested in trying to understand what might have been going on for him in that moment. Jamie couldn’t stop at that point. To be honest I think we have all experienced the ambiguity that exists around choice and inability. I am not excusing him, I felt uncomfortable when he didn’t pull out at that point, but I understand : couldn’t . Some speculation about it goes like this: Jamie is a trauma victim himself, he has been through a heel of alot and the way he holds it all together is remarkable, but there’s a lot pent up in there. He is in a terrible situation, as others have commented, Geneva is holding his life in her hands and playing with him. She may be 18 but she has real power there. So he gets to this point and he can’t stop……I’m going for empathy here rather than indictment. I don’t want to scapegoat Jamie into having to take responsibility for all the rapists in the world over this.

    • Marianne
      If you dont like Jamie like you have stated why are you still reading the books and thinking about it?? Move on, go find some character that fits your saintly standards and quit picking on our hero!

  12. Oh, dear me XD
    On this year I’ll have x-mas early! On next week I’ll have a movie night with Scottish theme (‘Rob Roy’ & ‘Braveheart’) and then I’ll have wait little more for my own copy of the ‘Scottish Prisoner’. And also in November I’ll get the first 3 books (out of 9) of complete works of Don Rosa (you may know him and his work with the Disney’s ducks though he is not quite famous in US than he is in Europe and in Finland). Don Rosa is next to god (who is Carl Barks) among the people who loves the duck stories. Donald Duck has had a weekly published comic magazine in Finland for 60 years now. Then I’ll start to wait for translated version (thank god to our schooling system which forces pupils to learn English) of ‘SP’. It’s a bit funny that I understand the story better when I read it in English because I’m forced to slow down and I don’t jump over words which I often do when I read texts on my mother tongue. On the first time when I read the ‘Outlander’ I was a bit confused because I jumped over so many words and even once a whole page! And I my brains didn’t notice that at all I guess I’ll have a minor reading disorder or something. Anyway, not long a go I bought that 20th edition of ‘Outlander’ and I finally read all the words and pages and solved many questions I had.
    I have planned to purchase the rest of your books in English and read them slowly so that when I’m done the book 8 is published. In my opinion it sounds like a very good plan :)

  13. Now to my comment on starting the book with Jamie!

    You did good!!!!

  14. Thank you for starting with Jamie!!!!

  15. Read the “snack” from the Facebook hint — thanks so much, Diana, for the bits and pieces!

    What a beginning — to whet the appetite!!!
    Several thoughts: Crusoe & Hanks : Must be new hires at Helwater? Jamie had been alone in the loft I thought. And this obviously takes place between Geneva’s death and Lord John’s marriage to her sister — just getting things straight here — and anticipating more — so much more — slightly impatiently until I receive my book.

    Oh well, may as well go back and start reading Voyager again!!

    And thinking of the Highlander looking in the Inverness window — Jamie dreamed VERY vivid dreams of Claire and just wondering which dream brought him to 1945. Something more to think about…..

    • As I recall (and I admit my memory has largish gaps!) The original coachman and anyone who had accompanied them to Geneva’s birthing of William, was “pensioned off”. So that would explain the new names in the stables. As for the maid…well, authors license and we have to have some way for the story to move forward!

      Just a little over three weeks ’til LJatSP! Yay!


  16. Yay for Jamie! Glad you started with him.

    As for Geneva – I agree with the folks above that Jamie was the victim that night, which doesn’t mean that he was entirely blameless that night…just…less blameworthy.

  17. You did it! The opening words brought a smile to my face and then the reality of the situation tugged at my heart. The action commences immediately and now I WANT MORE!!!

    Can’t wait for the 29th :)

  18. Lovely way to start my day, was not surprised you went with your first impulse. You couldn’t really go wrong, no matter which gentleman went first. Anxious to read more!

    Geneva was really way past the pont of changing her mind, she really did get herself into that situation. You can get into a barrel and launch yourself over Niagra Falls, and at a certain point you can not change your mind, you will go over.

    • I think that Geneva didn’t quite know what really happens when one goes to bed with a man. Like in the ‘Dragonfly in Amber’ when Claire talks with Mary Hawkins about making love. Now, Mary doesn’t know anything about that and I think that Geneva knew may be little bit more than poor Mary. Anyway, at first Geneva didn’t like it because she wanted Jamie to stop but later on she kept him awake almost whole night “working”. Jamie didn’t obey Geneva when she wanted him to stop but later on he did what she wanted. And he was very confused with her bacause he is waiting for somekind of a signal from her that she is ready and he isn’t getting that at all. Something similar was happening with Laoghaire when they were married. They didn’t speak same language. With Claire Jamie surely didn’t have those kind of troubles at all. Geneva and Laoghaire both were lassies not women. And Claire is a woman. In ‘Outlander’ the master of the stables says to Claire (before she marries Jamie) that Jamie needs a woman not a lassie and Laoghaire is goin to be a lassie in her fifties.

  19. Can’t get enough of Jamie although I prefer him with Claire I’ve read all the books countless times keep on writing

  20. Diana-

    Thanks for posting! I am looking forward to the 29th. I have SP pre-ordered to my Kindle.


  21. Thank you Diana !
    It’s always Jamie !!!

  22. I thank you for the reads between the Outlander series. They are great, however I must admit I felt tortured when you left me hangin on “An Echo in the Bone”. I’ve been prayin for your safety ever since as I trust others are doing as well! LOL
    I really get taken away in your writing, it reads like a picture. Everything comes to life!
    It WAS by word of mouth that I came onto it at my work place, we have over 30 ladies I work with and all of us have since read every book in the series. 1st Book I borrowed then after that one I bought all of them. So far I have gone through them twice and ready to start on a third time. I catch something different every time.
    Love your writing and looking very much forward to see what you have instore for us in the next Outlander book!
    Take Care

  23. You beauty!

  24. I know this will shock most of you, so please forgive me! lol I have read all of the Outlander books repeatedly! I’m tired of waiting for the next book and have started looking for more to read. I’m getting ready to start the Lord John series. Can you tell me where the Scottish Prisoner falls in all of this? It isn’t an Outlander book, correct? I’m going to get it as soon as I can, I am just not sure where it falls in the scheme of things!

    • I just came back to this comment list and am appalled at how loaded with excuses for Jamie and against Geneva people are. A woman has a right to refuse at any time. Jamie is a rapist and nothing can justify that. Certainly not all his lamenting and whining about how sorry he is. I really do wish this miserable excuse for a man would finally get the true penance he deserves for all his sins and the punishment for all his crimes. As I’ve said before, I know it will never happen since he’s the great “hero” of the series. I guess if readers find a rapist, multiple murderer, thief, smuggler, liar and adulterer so wonderful along with his self-rightious hypocricy in giving lip service to his belief in morality and honor when in practice he’s highly selective, subjective and self-serving in his decisions, pointing out what a fraud the character of Jamie Fraser is won’t accomplish anything. I just started reading The Scottish Prisoner last night, and only into chapter three, it’s a waste of 507 pages.

      • I have to wonder why you even “waste” your time reading the books if you are so scandalized about the Jamie/Geneva drama. It’s fiction. If you don’t enjoy it, step away from the books!!!!

        • I read this book because I was hoping for a decent Lord John Grey story. That he, his brother Hal and Harry Quarry are treated no better than the English scum Saint Jamie and his Highland thugs have always thought of the English, was awful. This book was supposed to be an explanation of why John and Jamie’s relationship changed from enemies to friends. The entire premise of the story failed miserably, making John look like a stereotyped bad English soldier and Jamie being officially canonized by page 507.

        • Tammy
          Those were my thoughts precisely. I believe she has been ignored mostly as we do recognize a “pot stirrer” when we see one and she delights in our reactions. Now we are playing her game and that is what she wants.
          And did she not say that she had read the series three times somewhere? Why read anything Outlander after the first if she despised the main character so much? When I read a novel I find fault with in any way or find offensive I avoid a second one by the same author.
          One of the attractions for me with the series and the LJG books is the honorable behavior in the most horrible cicumstances by both Jamie and John. I don’t think anyone believes Jamie is flawless and deserves sainthood. In my opinion DG has no intention of writing him that way. That is not to say that she will not write about saints. If she does I will read it.

  25. Diana,

    Any word when the Lord John series will be available in e-book format for the Kindle to Canadians?


  26. Hi,

    Just wondering if anyone has listened to the audiobook yet, and what the opinions are. The Outlander series was superb on audio, but…

    I’ve listened to the SP audio, but wondered what others think since this is the first time we “hear” Jamie in his own perspective read by a man.

    • Hi, I have listened to all the audio books and loved them. Davina Porter is the main narrator and she is great. She does all the accents, and even though she is a woman when she does the male accents I forget she is a woman. There was another narrator for A Breath of Snow and Ashes. I felt her performance was wooden and it was shocking to have such a change, after 5 audiobooks, you get familiar with the narrators voice and therefore all the voices of the characters, to have it change like that felt all wrong. ABOSAA was the shortest of all the Outlander books, so it didn’t last long. And now I am back with Davina. I understand Davina was probably busy and couldn’t do it, but please please Diana don’t let it happen again.

      • Dear Min–

        Um. Do you know what “abridged” means? Does it by any chance _say_ that on the copy of A BREATH OF SNOW AND ASHES that you have? Does that package by chance look _different_ from the others in the series? You have one of the (grossly butchered) abridgements made by Bantam Dell under an early contract, performed by Geraldine James. ABOSA–like ALL the books in the series–was performed in UNabridged form by Davina Porter. I see you’re in Australia, which is probably the problem; owing to license restrictions, Recorded Books (which does the unabridged versions) wasn’t allowed to sell their version in retail outlets until the license for the abridged version expires. However, I _think_ that we’ve now sorted the license arrangements so as to get the UNabridged version made available in places where it wasn’t previously; you might have a look, wherever you’re accustomed to buying your audiobooks. Audible.com certainly has it, though. Good luck!


        • Dear Diana,

          Thank you so much for the clarification. For ages ABOSA was not available in Australia, and book 7 was! So when it came through I was so exited I didnt even look whether it was abridged or unabridged. I saw it was only short but downloaded anyway! Now
          I see that the unabridged it 57 hours long! Oh what bliss…. I will go back now and re listen.
          Thanks again. I am deeply grateful.

  27. I miss Davina Porter!!! The SP is not the same without her as Jamie

    • Dear Sheri–

      I can’t think why you should expect, let alone miss, Davina in SCOTTISH PRISONER–all the Lord John books are (very reasonably) read by a male actor–the very talented Jeffrey Woodman. Why would a female actress read a book that’s entirely done in a male viewpoint?


      • Hi,
        When I here her reading Jamies parts, I sometimes forgot she is a female because she is so good at what she does. I very much agree that Woodman is perfect for Gray, but I think it’s quite normal that I would want to have Davina read for Jamie, I’ve listened to all of the books on audible and grew to love Her/Jamies voice.

        Honestly, this was just my personal opinion, and not a complaint. The books are so special to me and they enrich my daily routine
        Thank You for them


  28. When does this book come into the series???? When are you to read it to follow along? Sorry I am just now starting your books….and loving them! But I dont want to read out of order.

    Thank You.

  29. Wahoo! Christmas money = SP for mama! :) But alas, my copy of Outlander has gone M.I.A! *sob* Not sure if I should find it before I start reading SP, or if I should put that out of my mind until I’ve finished devouring my new book!
    I honestly never looked at Jaime as a saint, and probably never will. There are things he’s done that he’s not proud of, but for one reason or other allowed them to happen. Some were self-preservation; some out of emotion. But all out of being human. And that is why we (and Claire) love him so! Thanks Diana, for filling in the blanks as to what happened while Jaime was in prison!

  30. Well since I’m twenty years late I’ve been breaking my neck to read your novels. I’ve read all of them in short order within the last few months; couldn’t put them down & can’t wait to find out what happens next it wasn’t easy since they run at least 800 (sometimes more) pages & I use to be a slow reader (but not now).

    LJG (along with wee Ian/Fergus/Jenny) is among my top favorite characters so I am so very thankful for the subset of Lord Gray. The ‘wee pervert’ is a character that fascinates me and enjoy his mystery series. However, I confess that I wish (sometimes) that he is bisexual. In this book, I was surprise of his liaison w/Stephen.

    As for the Outlander series:

    There is so much humor esp how Lord Grey (who for once shut the blank up) didn’t have a say when William discovers his paternity confronting him & Jaime,.. storming out Fraser (or is it MacKenzie) style. What a cliffhanger….

    BTW: I didn’t interpret Jaime as a rapist; after what Geneva did to him; however he gave her outs & she expresses no at the last minute …. sure he became roused the man hadn’t had sex in over a decade…was it fourteen years? But this brings up an interesting conversation even in these times.

    Aye…Will ye hurry Diana? Cuz I’m sixty too & waitin to find out what happens to Willie Ransome & Jem. BTW: I’m not Scottish, English or Irish; I’m African American & enjoy reading from you; I have no complaint …

    oh wait! I do….. a movie or two or three… Happy New Year!

  31. Just finished the book today. I really enjoyed it. I have always wished for more Jamie and John interaction in the Outlander series and this book fed that need. Love your work!


  32. Dear Diana, In this months Canadian Chatelaine there is a page 160 an entire page dedicated to the making of great sex scenes and what all that entails in writing. Hello. can only be you!
    Guess who’s writing it focuses on and what two characters , and end with
    “Like that”- Diana Gabaldon
    First time I’ve ever seen any of your wonderful books acknowledged in a Canadian Magazine. its a bout time.
    I mean really who else would they choose as the Go To on this subject!
    Nell Cross

  33. I think the admin of this web site is really working hard in support of his web site, as here every stuff is quality based information.

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