Lord John and the Private Matter

Version: Unabridged
Author: Diana Gabaldon
Narrator: Jeff Woodman
Genres: Fiction & Literature
Publisher: Recorded Books
Published In: September 2003
# of Units: 8 CDs
Length: 9 hours, 45 minutes
Ratings:
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Overview

The epic, multivolume Outlander saga is the starting point for a brilliant new series that begins with the novel Lord John and the Private Matter. Filled with intrigue and mystery and starring one of the most popular Outlander characters, Lord John Grey, this fresh new tale is utterly captivating.
In a richly drawn 18th-century London, Scottish exile Lord John faces a difficult situation. His cousin Olivia is engaged to marry the Honorable Joseph Trevelyan, but he has just observed something of a rather personal nature that, if confirmed, might put an end to any talk of marital bliss. Determined to investigate further, Lord John is distracted when the Crown calls for his services. A comrade in arms has been slain, and to complicate matters, the victim may have been a traitor. Now Lord John has not one, but two puzzling mysteries to solve.

Reviews (1)

Lord John and the Private Matter

Written by nab6215 from Altoona, PA on October 7th, 2015

  • Book Rating: 5/5

I love the title. Private matter about privates! It was very well written. The story started in one direction and took the reader some place he or she never would have thought.

Author Details

Author Details

Gabaldon, Diana

To millions of fans, Diana Gabaldon is the creator of a complex, original, and utterly compelling amalgam of 18th-century romantic adventure and 20th-century science fiction. To the publishing industry, she's a grassroots-marketing phenomenon. And to would-be writers everywhere who worry that they don't have the time or expertise to do what they love, Gabaldon is nothing short of an inspiration.

Gabaldon wrote her first novel while juggling the demands of motherhood and career: in between her job as an ecology professor, she also had a part-time gig writing freelance software reviews. Gabaldon had never written fiction before, and didn't intend to publish this first novel, which she decided to call Outlander. This, she decided, would be her "practice novel". Worried that she might not be able to pull a plot and characters out of thin air, she settled on a historical novel because "it's easier to look things up than to make them up entirely."

The impulse to set her novel in 18th-century Scotland didn't stem -- as some fans have assumed—from a desire to explore her own familial roots (in fact, Gabaldon isn't even Scottish). Rather, it came from watching an episode of the British sci-fi series Dr. Who and becoming smitten with a handsome time traveler in a kilt. A time-travel element crept into Gabaldon's own book only after she realized her wisecracking female lead couldn't have come from anywhere but the 20th century. The resulting love affair between an intelligent, mature, sexually experienced woman and a charismatic, brave, virginal young man turned the conventions of historical romance upside-down.

Gabaldon has said her books were hard to market at first because they were impossible to categorize neatly. Were they historical romances? Sci-fi adventure stories? Literary fiction? Whatever their genre (Gabaldon eventually proffered the term "historical fantasias"), they eventually found their audience, and it turned out to be a staggeringly huge one.

Even before the publication of Outlander, Gabaldon had an online community of friends who'd read excerpts and were waiting eagerly for more. (In fact, her cohorts at the CompuServe Literary Forum helped hook her up with an agent.) Once the book was released, word kept spreading, both on the Internet and off, and Gabaldon kept writing sequels. (When her fourth book, "Drums of Autumn," was released, it debuted at No. 1 on the Wall Street Journal bestseller list, and her publisher, Delacorte, raced to add more copies to their initial print run of 155,000.)

With her books consistently topping the bestseller lists, it's apparent that Gabaldon's appeal lies partly in her ability to bulldoze the formulaic conventions of popular fiction. Salon writer Gavin McNett noted approvingly, "She simply doesn't pay attention to genre or precedent, and doesn't seem to care that identifying with Claire puts women in the role of the mysterious stranger, with Jamie -- no wimp in any regard -- as the romantic 'heroine."'

In between Outlander novels, Gabaldon also writes historical mysteries featuring Lord John Grey, a popular, if minor, character from the series, and is working on a contemporary mystery series. Meanwhile, the author's formidable fan base keeps growing, as evidenced by the expanding list of Gabaldon chat rooms, mailing lists, fan clubs and web sites -- some of them complete with fetching photos of red-haired lads in kilts.