Caveat: OBVIOUSLY I'm NOT asking if the idea of a time-travelling 20th century Lady is accurate ;)

How historically accurate is the TV show Outlander?

I'm thinking specifically of its depiction of known historical events such as the Jacobite uprising, the court musings in France and the settlement of America pre-revolution?

  • 1
    Though I do like this question, as no-one's leaping to answer it, I do wonder whether it might not pick up some more attention at the history SE.
    – Tetsujin
    Jul 9, 2020 at 9:23
  • 1
    Possibly because it's a little too broad - found this - thehistorypress.co.uk/articles/…
    – Paulie_D
    Jul 9, 2020 at 10:33
  • Another option is to find whether the books (the source material) are accurate or not
    – BlueMoon93
    Jul 14, 2020 at 10:33

1 Answer 1


How historically accurate is the TV show Outlander?

As accurate as they can achieve while also making a TV series interesting and engaging.

From one article about the accuracy of the show:

Dr Tony Pollard, the historical advisor on the TV show, is careful to point out that the Jacobite Wars were far more complicated in real life, with civil conflicts and more nuanced religious differences than those presented in the show. He also makes it clear that “some historians regard the Jacobites as a nationalist movement, but this is only a part of the story.”

Diana Gabaldon, the author of the book the show is based, also said:

The character of Jamie Fraser was developed from an account in the book Prince in the Heather, which describes how 19 wounded Jacobites hid in a farmhouse after the battle. After two days they were executed under the Red Coat’s command for No Quarter, “except one man, a Fraser of the Master of Lovet's regiment, who survived the slaughter.”

Some of the major issues with accuracy in the show include:

  • The clan’s kilts are dull grey instead of being bold red and green.
  • The standing stones Claire used to time-slip do not exist at Craig-na-dun.
  • Condensing the complexity of the intersection of all the interested parties into a story that can be told in a TV show ultimately leaves out some details.

Another article goes into detail about Dr Tony Pollard's qualifications, who works as a archaeologist and historian at the University of Glasgow and specialize in conflict and the Jacobite Wars.

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