Or done on purpose to make this letter more realistic?!?
I studied history in college and read enough primary sources from 1700 to 1900 to easily recognise this letter as being extremely probable, a very welcome sight in a piece of historical fiction!
The interesting tidbit is this line below. If I remember correctly, Lord John told Jamie that the land was from his wife’s family. I even went back and checked to be sure (by the way, I love this latest update for some (all?) Kindle books that let’s you easily flip through pages quickly!).
In actuality (within this book, at least) the property was bequeathed to her son, Lord John’s stepson, but as would be very normal at the time and today, Lord John would be its executor until the child comes of age and back then, this wording would be common since as head of household, the husband would be considered the owner regardless of actual standing.
So, has Ms. Gabaldon forgotten the specifics of her story? Or has she purposely changed the tale to not only show a more real character (one who shares information as he interprets it), but also shows one of the problems of studying history–the trustworthiness of our primary sources, especially when it comes to information about women and children.
Based on other hints and circumstances I’ve come across in this book and its predecessors, I’m extremely confident that the latter is the case, which is also a little surprising since I’m pretty sure Ms. Gabaldon doesn’t include studying history in her author blurb.
And, as a side note, while drawing this line (below) with the – character, I learned that my Amazon Fire on screen keyboard has even more characters than I thought! The dash (-) kept giving me an underscore (_) whenever I tried to hold the key down to make it “run away” which was very confusing so I went to investigate what was happening. By depressing a character key for a full second, such as the dollar sign, it pulls up 5 more currency characters! And there are many other examples! Including percentages! I’m a dork, haha.
Drums Of Autumn (Outlander, Book 4) by Diana Gabaldon –
“Lord John determined that the lad must go to Virginia, where Lord John’s family has Substantial Property”
Start reading this book for free: http://amzn.to/29HHxHj