Study Guide

Outlander Marriage

By Diana Gabaldon


The concept of marriage has differed all over the globe, depending on both where you are and when you are. Sometimes it's an act of love, and sometimes it's a business transaction for a hotel empire or a sack of goat's wool or whatever is valuable in your time and place of choice. And sometimes, it's a little of both.

The marriage in Outlander is complicated to say the least. It's a marriage of necessity between Jamie and Claire, but to say that it's forced wouldn't be telling the whole truth. Part of the fun of Outlander is seeing how their relationship grows after marriage and how each of them manages to bring their own ideals for what it means to be husband and wife to the partnership. As far as marriages based on practicality instead of love go, we'd say these two really luck out.

Questions About Marriage

  1. How is marriage different in the 18th century than it is in the 20th century? What time period takes marriage more seriously?
  2. Does Claire behave as a wife "should" in the 18th century? What compromises does she make?
  3. Would Jamie make a good husband by 20th-century standards?
  4. Is Claire's marriage to Jamie romantic?
  5. Would Claire have married Jamie had she not been forced to?

Chew on This

Claire and Jamie have a marriage of convenience, yes. But they not only manage to make it work—they also make it romantic.

Claire would not have stayed in the past if she hadn't married Jamie. She married him first, then fell in love with him, then decided to stay.