Filmmaker Robert Clem pays tribute to Augusta Evans Wilson and ST. ELMO in his film THE PASSION OF MISS AUGUSTA. The film premiered September 12, 2013, in Mobile, Alabama. I haven’t seen the movie, but I’m looking forward to viewing the DVD. (I’m listed as one of the co-producers in the credits.)
“The Passion of Miss Augusta” is part drama, part documentary. The film begins as a silent film version of ST. ELMO then fast-forwards to the 1950s with the main characters in modern dress. As you watch the trailer (above) notice the differences between the silent and modern-day versions.
Augusta Jane Evans Wilson (1835-1909), American novelist (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The novels of Augusta Evans Wilson–especially St. Elmo, have profoundly influenced my life. For example, I collect salt cellars. Why? Because there is a line in St Elmo that goes like this: “He paid no more attention to her than the salt cellars on the table.” My yard is filled with oxalis, jasmine, purple heliotrope, camellias, and scented geraniams because Augusta mentions them in her books. I collect antique toothbrush holders. Why? Because I saw Augusta’s Victorian toothbrush holder in an Augusta Evans Wilson museum exhibit in Mobile, AL. Pilgrims Progress, Dante, Lucille, Putrach’s Lives, and a copy of Robert Brownings poems showcase my bookcase because Augusta refers to them in her novels. I collect multiple copies of Augusta Evans Wilson’s novels because each of them has a different cover and– just because I want to.
Augusta Evans Wilson inspired me to become a writer, and her novel ST. ELMO inspired mine–THE PRINCE IN THE TOWER” A Modern Gothic Romance–which features a John Gilbert look-alike. The film adaptation of ST. ELMO was released in 1923 (Fox).