Notice that in the portrait above, Augusta Evans Wilson has one blue eye and one brown eye. The portrait hangs in the lobby of Mobile Infirmary, which Augusta helped found.
Augusta Evans Wilson was born May 7, 1835, at Wildwood, an estate in Columbus, Georgia. When she was quite young, Augusta, her parents, and siblings moved to Texas. Her experiences in Texas inspired her to write her first novel, Inez, which she wrote when she was only 15-years-old.
When Augusta was still in her teens, the family moved to Georgia Cottage in Mobile, Alabama, where Augusta spent the rest of her life. Some years ago, I visited Georgia Cottage and stood in the very room where Augusta wrote St. Elmo, my favorite novel. Like a scene in a pointillist painting, that moment is frozen in time.
Augusta Evans Wilson (aka Augusta J. Evans) wrote St. Elmo in 1866. She finished the last chapter at her aunt’s home in Columbus, Georgia. (I refer to his house in Chapter 7 of The Prince in the Tower). St. Elmo was Augusta’s fourth and best-known novel. I alluded to St. Elmo many times in The Prince in the Tower, especially in Chapter 11.
During the Civil War, Augusta nursed the soldiers at Fort Morgan. This partly inspired her novel Macaria, which is about the Civil War and how it affects the lives of the protagonists, “Irene” and “Russell.” I mentioned Macaria in Chapters 21 and 23 of The Prince in the Tower.