Fictional Outlander Series Has Real Links to Scotland’s Newly Unearthed Neolithic Ruins
Imagining time travel through ancient standing stones
In the first book in Diana Gabaldon's fictional Outlander series, Claire Randall, on her second honeymoon with her husband in Scotland after World War II, visits Craigh na Dun, a make-believe prehistoric stone circle near Inverness, and falls through the stones—and into the 18th century.
Well-drawn characters and vivid descriptions are part of Outlander's appeal, but Gabaldon's use of historically accurate details—aside from the time travel—also undergirds the plots. Through her writings, she's become an expert in 18th-century Scotland.
The long-awaited Outlander television show premieres tomorrow night at 9 p.m. on STARZ.
Coincidentally, National Geographic's August cover story, "The First Stonehenge," is about recently discovered Neolithic ruins in Scotland's Orkney Islands that, author Roff Smith writes, are "turning British prehistory on its head."
Gabaldon's story lines