Authors: Diana Gabaldon
This Book is Dedicated to
ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON
DOROTHY L. SAYERS
JOHN D. MACDONALD
P. G. WODEHOUSE
My ENORMOUS thanks to . . .
My two marvelous editors, Jackie Cantor and Bill Massey, for insight, support, helpful suggestions (“
What about Marsali?!?!
”), enthusiastic responses, (“
”), and comparing me (favorably, I hasten to add) to Charles Dickens.
My excellent and admirable literary agents, Russell Galen and Danny Baror, who do so much to bring these books to the attention of the world—and put all of my children through college.
Bill McCrea, curator of the North Carolina Museum of History, and his staff, for maps, biographical sketches, general information, and a delightful breakfast in the museum. Love them cheese grits!
The staff of the Moore’s Creek Bridge battlefield Visitors’ Center, for their kind attention and for supplying me with forty-odd pounds of new and interesting books—particularly gripping works like
Roster of the Patriots in the Battle of Moore’s Creek Bridge
Roster of the Loyalists in the Battle of Moore’s Creek Bridge
—and for explaining to me what an ice-storm is, because they had just had one. We do not have ice-storms in Arizona.
Linda Grimes, for betting me that I couldn’t write an appealing scene about nose-picking. That one is all her fault.
The awe-inspiring and superhuman Barbara Schnell, who translated the book into German as I wrote it, almost neck-and-neck with me, in order to complete it in time for the German premiere.
Silvia Kuttny-Walser and Petra Zimmerman, who have been moving heaven and earth to assist the German debut.
Dr. Amarilis Iscold, for a wealth of detail and advice—and periodic rolling on the floor with laughter—regarding the medical scenes. Any liberties taken or mistakes made are entirely mine.
Dr. Doug Hamilton, for expert testimony on dentistry, and what one could or could not do with a pair of forceps, a bottle of whisky, and an equine tooth-file.
Dr. David Blacklidge, for helpful advice on the manufacture, use, and dangers of ether.
Dr. William Reed and Dr. Amy Silverthorn, for keeping me breathing through the pollen season so I could finish this book.
Laura Bailey, for expert commentary—with drawings, no less—on period clothing, and in particular, for the useful suggestion of stabbing someone with a corset-busk.
Christiane Schreiter, to whose detective skills (and the goodwill of the librarians of the Braunschweig Library) we owe the German version of Paul Revere’s ride.
The Reverend Jay McMillan, for a wealth of fascinating and useful information regarding the Presbyterian church in Colonial America—and to Becky Morgan, for introducing me to the Reverend Jay, and to Amy Jones, for information on Presbyterian doctrine.
Rafe Steinberg, for information on times, tides, and general seafaring issues—particularly the helpful information that the tide turns every twelve hours. Any mistakes in this regard are definitely mine. And if the tide did not turn at 5A.M. on July 10
, 1776, I don’t want to hear about it.
My assistant Susan Butler, for dealing with ten million sticky-notes, photo-copying three copies of a 2500-page manuscript, and FedExing it all over the landscape in a competent and timely fashion.
The untiring and diligent Kathy Lord, who copy-edited this entire manuscript in some impossible time frame, and did not either go blind or lose her sense of humor.
Virginia Norey, Goddess of Book Design, who has once again managed to cram The Whole Thing between two covers and make it not only readable but elegant.
Steven Lopata, for invaluable technical advice re explosions and burning things down.
Arnold Wagner, Lisa Harrison, Kateri van Huystee, Luz, Suzann Shepherd, and Jo Bourne, for technical advice on grinding pigments, storing paint, and other picturesque tidbits, such as the bit about “Egyptian Brown” being made of ground-up mummies. I couldn’t figure out how to work that into the book, but it was too good not to share.
Karen Watson, for her former brother-in-law’s notable quote regarding the sensations of a hemorrhoid sufferer.
Pamela Patchet, for her excellent and inspiring description of driving a two-inch splinter under her fingernail.
Margaret Campbell, for the wonderful copy of
Janet McConnaughey, for her vision of Jamie and Brianna playing Brag.
Marte Brengle, Julie Kentner, Joanne Cutting, Carol Spradling, Beth Shope, Cindy R., Kathy Burdette, Sherry, and Kathleen Eschenburg, for helpful advice and entertaining commentary on Dreary Hymns.
Lauri Klobas, Becky Morgan, Linda Allen, Nikki Rowe, and Lori Benton for technical advice on paper-making.
Kim Laird, Joel Altman, Cara Stockton, Carol Isler, Jo Murphey, Elise Skidmore, Ron Kenner, and many, many (many, many) other inhabitants of the Compuserve Literary Forum (now renamed as the Books and Writers Community (http://community.compuserve.com/books), but still the same gathering of eclectic eccentricity, trove of erudition, and source of Really Strange Facts, for their contributions of links, facts, and articles they thought I might find helpful. I always do.
Chris Stuart and Backcountry, for the gift of their marvelous CDs,
Saints and Strangers
, to which I wrote quite a bit of this book.
Ewan MacColl, whose rendition of “Eppie Morrie” inspired Chapter 85.
Gabi Eleby, for socks, cookies, and general moral support—and to the Ladies of Lallybroch, for their boundless goodwill, manifested in the form of food boxes, cards, and enormous quantities of soap, both commercial and handmade (“Jack Randall Lavender” is nice, and I quite like the one called “Breath of Snow.” The one called “Lick Jamie All Over” was so sweet one of the dogs ate it, though).
Bev LaFrance, Carol Krenz, Gilbert Sureau, Laura Bradbury, Julianne, Julie, and several other nice people whose names I unfortunately forgot to write down, for help with the French bits.
Monika Berrisch, for allowing me to appropriate her persona.
And to my husband, Doug Watkins, who this time gave me the opening lines of the Prologue.
IME IS A LOT OF THE THINGS people say that God is.
There’s the always preexisting, and having no end. There’s the notion of being all powerful—because nothing can stand against time, can it? Not mountains, not armies.
And time is, of course, all-healing. Give anything
time, and everything is taken care of: all pain encompassed, all hardship erased, all loss subsumed.
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Remember, man, that thou art dust; and unto dust thou shalt return.
And if Time is anything akin to God, I suppose that Memory must be the Devil.