Beth's Outlander Story

My name is Beth G. I’m an architect, now living in rural Pennsylvania after spending most of my adult life traveling in North America and the UK for work. (My largest project was planning the new Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, and I lived there for almost a year!) My husband is an astronomer, who spent a good part of his career as a senior scientist with the Hubble Space Telescope. We both took an early semi-retirement and now live on 135 acres of wooded land. We hope to continue to travel the world soon, as we love independent exploring of its many wonders. I’ve been to 35 countries and 45 US states.

I grew up in Nashville, Tennessee. My late father was a reproductive biologist who taught at Vanderbilt. He taught cell biology in the med school as well as human sexuality to undergraduates. I grew up in a very progressive home, with frank discussions of sex, as well as politics, race, and culture. My late mother was a librarian who specialized in historical reference collections. We were all prolific readers, and my parents always encouraged my brother and I to pursue our dreams; we were never told that we couldn’t do something. That, more than anything, is the greatest gift they gave us...the self-confidence in our abilities and a fearlessness about trying new things. I think that is why I am so inspired by Diana.

So now my ‘Outlander story’:

I came to the books late, having started to watch the show (with my husband) in late 2019, and then continuing on through the last season as it aired in early 2020. The day after it finished, I began on Book 1, and, using both Kindle and Audible (and its Whispersync function), read and listened to the entire eight books over about six months (with a few other books thrown in there as well). I then polished off the LJG books and novellas. My obsession, like so many others, grew as I learned more about the show (already fascinated by design, I was especially drawn to the sets, lighting, cinematography, and costume design). I started spending more time on Instagram to feed that habit, and fell down the rabbit hole of OL lust…. (My Dad was a redhead with blue eyes, and my husband is a blue-eyed blonde…go figure!)

Reading the books, I quickly recognized a kindred spirit in Diana. Though her capacity for knowledge far surpasses mine, her thirst to always learn about things is something that has always been part of my life. I love language, culture, science, and nature. I loved Diana’s use of archaic and colloquial words. The frank and explicit sexuality also resonated with me, as I was brought up not to be embarrassed by the human body, and to accept sexuality in all of its forms (barring those that harm others) as something both natural and healthy. 

When I realized that Diana would be turning 70, I thought it only fitting that we honor that milestone as we have some of the cast members’ in recent years. I wanted something that would spread the joy of reading, because isn’t that what this is really all about? And I wanted an international charity, as so many fans are outside of North America. I came across ‘Room to Read’ and its focus and mission seemed perfect. After some research, I confirmed that the charity is well rated for its transparency and use of funds. So it seemed that our monies would be well spent.

So that’s my story.  I love the show, and I love the books. They are very different, but that is one of the pleasures of the arts — each medium is its own world.

I think this is a wonderful opportunity to honor Diana’s amazing work, her incredible mind and wit, and above all, her honesty and intelligence. A role model for us all, and a woman who’s given us the gift of ‘Outlander.’

-Thank You for sharing your story Beth!