'Scarlett' author dead at 70

Jan. 26, 2004 at 5:05 PM

RICHMOND, Va., Jan. 26 (UPI) -- Alexandra Ripley, the writer who dared to reunite Rhett and Scarlett in the "Gone With the Wind" sequel, "Scarlett," has died. She was 70.

Ripley died of natural causes on Jan. 10 at her Richmond, Va., home, where she had recently moved from Charlottesville, Va., her daughter Elizabeth Lyon Ripley told the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

The estate of "Gone With the Wind" author Margaret Mitchell handpicked Ripley to pen the eagerly awaited follow-up to Mitchell's Civil War epic.

Although the 1991 novel met with lukewarm reviews from critics, it was embraced by fans and secured the No. 1 spot on The New York Times' best-seller list.

Ripley is survived by two daughters, Elizabeth Ripley and Merrill Ripley Geier, and a granddaughter, all of Richmond. She was separated from her husband, John Graham of Charlottesville.

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