Eugenia Price (June 22, 1916 – May 28, 1996) was an American author best known for her historical novels which were set in the American South.
Price was born into a middle-class family in Charleston, West Virginia. Her father, Walter was a dentist. At the age of ten Eugenia decided that she wanted to be a writer, an ambition encouraged by her mother Anna. She submitted a poem to her school's literary magazine. In 1932 she graduated from high school, declared herself an atheist and decided to pursue a career in dentistry instead of writing. After attending Ohio University for two years, Eugenia Price became the only female student to be enrolled in Ohio's Northwestern Dentistry School. After studying dentistry for two years, she decided to pursue a career in writing again.
In 1939 she was hired by NBC to work on their radio series "In Care of Aggie Horn", where she worked until 1942 when she left NBC and was hired by Procter & Gamble. In 1945 she formed her own production company named "Eugenia Price Productions" and continued to write serials for Procter & Gamble.
Conversion to Christianity and Unshackled!
In 1949, Eugenia Price embraced Christianity, an act which would have a profound effect on her career and her reputation. After post-conversion hiatus, Eugenia Price felt led to accept a job as writer/director for "Unshackled!", a radio drama sponsored by the Pacific Garden Mission. The radio show was first broadcast on WGN (AM). In 1953 Eugenia Price published the book "Discoveries Made From Living My Life", which launched her career as an inspirational novelist. She would spend 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.
Career as a historical novelist and community activist
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 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" – which consists of the books "The Beloved Invader" (1965), "New Moon Rising" (1969) and "Lighthouse" (1972) – were extensively researched and based on real people. This is in contrast to her later novels, such as "Another Day" (1984) and "The Waiting Time" (1997) which featured her own characters. Other historical novels include "The Georgia Trilogy" consisting of "Bright Captivity", "Where Shadows Go", and "Beauty From Ashes." The "Florida Trilogy" has "Don Juan McQueen", "Maria", and "Margaret's Story." Then she has a "Savannah Quartet" with "Savannah", "To See Your Face Again", "Before the Darkness Falls", and "Stranger in Savannah."
After moving in 1965 to St. Simons, Georgia with her long-time companion, 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 industrialisation.
She 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.'"
- "Annie Merner Pfeiffer Library – WV Authors Eugenia Price". Archived from the original on March 15, 2005. Retrieved September 7, 2005.
- "New Georgia Encyclopedia Eugenia Price (1916–1996)". Retrieved September 7, 2005.
- Eugenia, Price.(1955) The Burden is Light. New York.
- "Unshackled!" Archived December 31, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
- Pearman, Renee (2002). "Georgia History in Fiction: Eugenia Price: A Twentieth-Century Northerner Writes About the Nineteenth-Century South". Georgia Historical Quarterly. 86 (1): 96. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
- Obituary in the June 3, 1996 edition of "The Islander" from St. Simons Island.