Outlander Book Club: Lord John and the Private Matter Chapter 11 breakdown

Lord John brings up some concerns to his mother in Lord John and the Private Matter Chapter 11. Here's our breakdown of the chapter.
Outlander Season 3 -- Courtesy of Nick Briggs/STARZ
Outlander Season 3 -- Courtesy of Nick Briggs/STARZ /

Lord John Grey turns to his mother for some answers in Lord John and the Private Matter Chapter 11. He also brings up the impending marriage.

John is still trying to figure a few things out about Trevelyan. He is still looking for any signs that this is a marriage that should be called off, but it looks like too many people are onboard with the marriage happening. That’s not surprising considering John hasn’t brought up the potential of him having syphilis.

John’s mother is a surprising figure, and I love that we get to see where some of John’s opinions have come from. It’s clear that his family doesn’t follow all the expectations of the society of the time. At least, not behind closed doors.

Breaking down Lord John and the Private Matter Chapter 11

The chapter starts with John turning to his mother for an idea on the German wine that Trevelyan could like. Countess Benedicta doesn’t know of any German wine, and she doesn’t really want to know all the details. She assumes that John is getting ready for the get-together that he’s supposed to be throwing—something John has forgotten about.

He decides to ask her where she gets her wine from. It turns out that Benedicta has turned to a new small business owner, Fraser et Cie. John immediately thinks of Jamie Fraser, but he pushes those thoughts away. The name Fraser is a common one. I did wonder if this was a connection to Jared Fraser, who we know does have a wine business.

With Trevelyan on his mind, he questions whether the marriage is right. After all, Trevelyan seems to be involved in affairs. Benedicta makes it clear that she knows all about the affairs. It’s what men do, and we get a brief mention of the scandal that Lord John almost caused that led to him being sent to govern Ardsmuir.

John is shocked as Benedicta shares that Olivia is younger than Trevelyan, so won’t know of the affairs. Nor will she care all that much. She doesn’t know what love is and only cares about her wedding dress. The two will marry, and hopefully, marriage will make Trevelyan more discreet in his matters. Then Olivia will hopefully have a child who can keep her company while Trevelyan is dealing in his own matters.

Could this chapter be used in an adaptation?

If there is a Lord John Grey series, I do suspect that we’ll see this chapter used. It’s an important one to get to know Lord John and his family. It’s in this chapter when we find out that Benedicta reads scandalous, frivolous books. It’s clear that she is slightly more liberal than most women of her time, which gives us a look at where John gets it from.

This is also important to see how Benedicta knows a little about who Trevelyan is. She doesn’t want scandal, but she does want to make sure Olivia marries into money. We also get a reminder that Benedicta is a woman of her time, and that means simply accepting who men are right now. I feel like we get that reminder that John is always slightly more in the future in terms of his expectations of society.

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