Maria is the first book in Eugenia Price’s Florida trilogy. The character, Maria, was based on the real-life Mary Evans who lived in the house now owned by the St. Augustine Historical Society and known as the “Oldest House”.
In the early 1960s, Eugenia Price was well-known as an author of Christian books. While traveling through south Georgia on a book tour, she saw a sign pointing to St. Simons Island and decided to do a bit of exploring. That detour became the inspiration for her first historical novel, Beloved Invader, based on the life of a St. Simons resident, Rev. Anson Dodge. She, too, became a resident of St. Simons Island and spent the rest of her life writing historical novels based on real people in coastal Georgia and Florida.