Charlotte Amelia Collins and her eleven brothers and sisters (two of whom were adopted) accompanied her British Army Officer father to his various postings, mostly in India where they were privately educated. His failing health prompted their return to England and dependence on his Irish wife's inherited annuity. Charlotte escaped by joining a brother who had established himself as a successful businessman in New York. After his death she lived independently until 1887, when she became the second wife of the well-known Canadian-born painter, Charles Wyatt Eaton (1849-1896), with whom she spent four winters in Canada. Their two children died in infancy. Widowed in 1896, Charlotte was left financially secure and began writing out of interest. Her first published work was a memoir of her husband and her second a volume of verse. She then converted her acquaintance with author Robert Louis Stevenson into three books of memoirs, and collaborated with Harriet Barnett on a romance novel. Though not a Catholic, after the sudden death of a close friend she retreated to a convent, where she often sought solace in her later years.
Some accounts suggest that Charlotte died the same day as her husband, on 7 June 1896; however, in 1911 she donated her husband's materials to the Art Museum of Toronto. The Wyatt Eaton fonds are now housed at the Art Gallery of Ontario.
Ireland; India; England; New York; Montreal (1892-93; winters to 1896); New York
non-fiction; fiction; poetry; life-writing
SKETCH OF THE LIFE OF WYATT EATON (189-); DESIRE (1904); A LAST MEMORY OF ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON (1916); THE ENCHANTED SEAGULL (by Roxroy Keene and Harriet Barnett, 1917); STEVENSON AT MANASQUAN (1921); R.L.S. AT MANASQUAN (1931)
CRAFTSMAN (New York)
Officer, British Army
Daughter of Irish landowner, gentry
Charles Wyatt Eaton
Life dates of spouse 1
6 May 1849, Philipsburg, Quebec - 7 June 1896, Newport, Rhode Island
Spouse 1 note
painter; teacher (art); author
Marriage 1 date
23 July 1887
Children's names and dates
Morgan, Henry, CANADIAN MEN AND WOMEN OF THE TIME
National Union Catalogue
letters to Lorne Pierce, Lorne and Edith Pierce collection, Queen's University Archives; letter to J.D. Logan, Logan papers, Acadia; fragments, personal letters, Newton McTavish papers, North York Public Library
Line drawing by Una Vernelli (Vancouver, British Columbia).