Notes Concerning the Author
Augusta Jane Evans (1835-1909), an internationally popular novelist of her time, was born in Columbus, Georgia, and spent most of her life in Mobile, Alabama. She is sometimes cited under her married name, Wilson.
The three novels are pictures of the experiences of Southern people, particularly women, before during and after the War between the States, which she herself lived through. Macaria was written while Evans was serving as a volunteer Confederate nurse and published in a crude edition in Richmond in 1863. A Union general declared it “contraband and dangerous” and ordered that all Northern soldiers found with a copy were to have it burned. St. Elmo, a love story about the trials of a Southern woman after the war, surpassed Uncle Tom’s Cabin among the all-time best-sellers of the 19th century.
Availability of these Novels
All three books have been reprinted several times. In 1992 the LSU Press republished Macaria with an unfortunate introduction by D.G. Faust and Beulah with a good introduction by Elizabeth Fox-Genovese.