Outlander author Diana Gabaldon ‘very honoured’ with honorary degree from Scottish university
The historical fiction writer, who has had a runaway global success with his Outlander series which is partly set in the Highlands, received a Doctor of Letters from the University of Glasgow at a ceremony this afternoon.
Dr Gabaldon, who also has a doctorate in science, said his novels, which revolve around the fate of a Highland Jacobite and his English wife, meant a lot.
The writer said: “I am very honored to have received this degree, especially from such an old and venerable institution. It means a lot to me that my work, which is based on Scottish history, is recognized by one of Scotland’s leading academic institutions.
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Dr Gabaldon added: “I’ve had some rather silly people ask me at times if I don’t feel like I’m committing cultural appropriation by using Scottish history as a backdrop (and a lot plot) of my novels.
“To which I reply that in fact I think the Scots have appropriated me, which is very nice of them!”.
Outlander books are published in 38 languages and sold in 114 countries, with the series generating a huge international fandom.
The adventure began in 1991 with the classic Outlander and has continued through eight other international bestselling novels in the series so far.
The novels include time travel elements after key character Claire Beauchamp passes through a stone circle near Inverness and is transported to the Highlands as the Battle of Culloden approaches and meets and falls in love with her future husband, Jamie Fraser.
The books’ initial popularity increased when the story was made into a television series by Sony and Starz, with the first episode airing in 2014.
Since then, the Outlander sequel has driven tourism to a number of filming locations across Scotland, with numbers visiting Outlander-related attractions such as Culloden Battlefield, Culross and the Doune Castle, peaking at 3.2 million in 2019.
Earlier this year, Dr Gabaldon received the ‘Great Scot’ award from the National Trust for Scotland Foundation USA for his influential work on travel and tourism in Scotland over the past three decades.