St. Elmo

“Ah! the true rule is—a wife in her husband’s house is his servant; it is in his heart that she is queen. Whatever of the best he can conceive, it is her part to be; whatever of the highest he can hope, it is hers to promise; all that is dark in him she must purge into purity; all that is failing in him she must strengthen into truth; from her, through all the world’s clamor, he must win his praise; in her, through all the world’s warfare, he must find his peace.”

-John Ruskin

It was a lovely antique store, I’m sure. But all I really remember now are the shelves after shelves of books—so many of which I would have loved to take home. We were on our way home from elk hunting, and had found a treasure trove of antique books hidden in a rodeo town.

As my husband and I leisurely absorbed the smell, feel, and delightful covers of the books surrounding us, a title caught my eye. St. Elmo by Augusta J. Evans, with a lovely portrait of a woman gracing the cover. The title seemed familiar as one Lanier had enjoyed. When I opened its pages and saw the above quotation printed as the only introduction to its pages, I knew the book would be a good one. But I little guessed the intricate story line it would contain.

Even though the Latin phrases went right over my head, I was able to grasp a little of the vastness of the author’s knowledge by her references to history and science I had never even learned. Strong characters, and the heroine’s refreshing perspective on life would make the book in and of themselves—but the story of love, trust, and forgiveness is one you will never forget.


  1. Since I just finished the book, I can’t help but comment twice (once here and once when Gretchen posted quotes)! The book was a gripping, dimensional, thoughtful, inspiring novel of love and conscience and patience and duty. Though Gretchen is right about the Latin and (for me) references to all sorts of literature I’ve never heard of, keep reading, and delight in the subtle way Augusta Evans guides you through her story. I didn’t know how it would end until the last PARAGRAPH!
    To God be all glory,
    Lisa of Longbourn

  2. This is funny – I found & bought this book in an antique store this morning…then got on your site and read about it this afternoon!!:-) I’m looking forward to it!

  3. I read that book after Lanier recommended it, and I loved it. It is a wonderful story, and one I would definetly love to own.

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