Outlander Book Club: Lord John and the Private Matter Chapter 8 breakdown

Lord John is surprised by the name of a location in Lord John and the Private Matter Chapter 8. Here's our breakdown of the chapter.
Outlander Season 6 -- Courtesy of Robert Wilson/STARZ
Outlander Season 6 -- Courtesy of Robert Wilson/STARZ /

Lord John and the Private Matter Chapter 8 puts the story back on the murder mystery. We also get to see a little more of his family life.

John and Olivia spend some time together at the start of this chapter. We get a chance to learn a little more about how he views life and the fact that he’s a bachelor. It’s clear that Olivia knows very little about who John really is, especially as she doesn’t react too much about the news that John’s lover died.

We also get to learn a little more about John’s family, especially of Hal. This is the point where we’re introduced to Hal’s sons a little, which will be important in the later Outlander books.

Breaking down Lord John and the Private Matter Chapter 8

The chapter starts with John arriving at breakfast on Monday in a cheerful mood. He has slept well, and he’s ready to continue his searches into the two matters at hand.

Before he can do that, he sees Olivia, who is at the table and organizing her wedding plans. With the wedding just five weeks away, that’s not surprising. She wants to make sure everything is perfect, and she worries that she will have nothing useful to offer in her marriage. John points out that she will be very useful for any man.

This brings up the questions about John’s decisions not to marry. John explains it that he doesn’t need a mistress because he has no estate. He also shares that Hal is continuing the family name with three sons and Minnie being pregnant again. On top of that, John shares that his lover died, but doesn’t go into any details about that.

Now John thinks of the matter of O’Connell’s murder. He has found out a little about the Stokes family. This family is descended from a Greek sailor who arrived in London around 40 years ago. All the sons have become sailors, and Iphigenia is a seamstress who has a history of being supported by various gentlemen.

John has a few tasks at hand for the day. O’Connell’s uniform has been found in a pawnshop. An Irish soldier dropped it off. Plus, Harry wants John to meet him on Tuesday in an old uniform. The fact that it’s in an old uniform suggests that there is going to be something messy going on.

The chapter ends with Rab turning up at the door. John is surprised by this, but he does want to get information about the “woman” seen at the brothel. Rab shares that he takes the woman to Lavender House, which is a surprise to John. This is a place he never thought he would have to think of again.

Could this chapter be used in the TV series?

This chapter would definitely need to be used if there is a Lord John Grey series. We get a lot of information about John in this through his conversation with Olivia. While a TV show needs to focus on the drama, we also need some character development, and this offers that moment.

Plus, it continues the investigation. We would need to see John work through the information he found outside of his head, though. This could be difficult for a TV series to do, unless there was a way to bring Harry into the story. Harry is involved in both of John’s investigations at the moment, so it makes sense to continue to use him. Remember, TV needs a lot more showing than telling.

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