Eugenia Price was a pioneer in American literature who wrote extensively on the culture and history of the American South.
Her works focused largely on themes of faith, family, and home life. Her novels introduced an element of realism to Southern fiction. Much of Eugenia Price’s works took place in Georgia. At the time of her death in 1996, Price had written fourteen novels, twenty-two inspirational books, and three autobiographies. Her books have sold more than 40 million copies.
She spent the 1950s writing inspirational and devotional books, primarily for women, and speaking at churches and civic events. She wrote over a dozen such titles with combined sales in the millions.
In 1961, Eugenia Price visited St. Simons Island, Georgia during a book signing tour.
In the cemetery for Christ Church, she saw a tombstone for the Reverend Anson Dodge and his two wives. This inspired her to research the area, including its history and famous figures. She would spend the remainder of her life writing detailed historical novels set in the American South, many of which were critically acclaimed. Her early works, particularly the “St. Simons Trilogy” — comprising The Beloved Invader (1965), New Moon Rising (1969), and Lighthouse (1971) — were extensively researched and featured characters based on real people.
Other historical series by Price include:
- the “Georgia Trilogy” (Bright Captivity, Where Shadows Go, Beauty From Ashes)
- the “Florida Trilogy” (Don Juan McQueen, Maria, Margaret’s Story) and the
- “Savannah Quartet” (Savannah, To See Your Face Again, Before the Darkness Falls, Stranger in Savannah).
After moving in 1965 to St. Simons with her long-time friend, the writer Joyce Blackburn (who assisted her with research), Eugenia Price became active in many local causes, most of which involved protecting the local environment from the effects of industrialization. Price also wrote the foreword for James Valentine’s 1988 book Guale: The Sacred Landscape.
Price died in Brunswick, Georgia on May 28, 1996 of congestive heart failure.
She is buried next to Joyce Blackburn, and just yards from Anson Dodge and his two wives. Her tombstone reads: “After her conversion to Jesus Christ, October 2, 1949, she wrote ‘Light … and eternity and love and all are mine at last.”
Sources: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugenia_Price, Pearman, Renee. “Eugenia Price.” New Georgia Encyclopedia, last modified Nov 6, 2018. https://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/articles/arts-culture/eugenia-price-1916-1996/