Price, Eugenia (1916–1996)

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Price, Eugenia (1916–1996)

American author. Born in Charleston, West Virginia, on June 22, 1916; died in Brunswick, Georgia, on May 28, 1996; attended Ohio University; studied dentistry at Northwestern University; never married; no children.

The author of numerous inspirational books and popular antebellum romantic novels, Eugenia Price was born in Charleston, West Virginia, in 1916, the precocious daughter of a dentist, and entered Ohio University at 16. She later studied dentistry at Northwestern University, but gave it up to pursue a writing career. Price broke into the profession by writing soap operas, first in Chicago, then New York and Cincinnati. Following a conversion to Christianity in the late 1940s, she began writing inspirational books, among them Beloved World and The Eugenia Price Treasury of Faith. Price turned out some two dozen books of this nature and won a wide following before turning to novels.

On a book tour in 1960, Price and her editor and companion Joyce Blackburn took a side trip to St. Simons, an island off the coast of Georgia, and were so taken by its beauty that they decided to make it their home. Using this Southern locale as a backdrop, Price began a series of romantic novels, the first three of which—Lighthouse, New Moon Rising, and Beloved Invader—focused on an actual St. Simons cleric and his two wives. Experiencing instant success, Price wrote a Florida trilogy and a Savannah quartet before returning to the St. Simons setting for a Georgia trilogy. The first book of the latter series, Bright Captivity (1991), was on the bestseller list of The New York Times; the third, Beauty from Ashes (1995), was also a bestseller. Price's last book, The Waiting Time, was published posthumously in 1997. Although the novels never won serious literary acclaim, they sold more than 40 million copies and were translated into 18 languages. They also made St. Simons famous. Of the thousands of visitors to the island each year, many are Price fans, there to scout out houses and other locales detailed in her books. Eugenia Price died in 1996, age 79, and was buried in the St. Simons cemetery plot she purchased shortly after arriving on the island in 1960.


Thomas, Robert McG., Jr. "Obituary," in The Day [New London, CT]. May 30, 1996.

Barbara Morgan , Melrose, Massachusetts

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