Canadian novelist and screenwriter Winnifred Eaton Reeve, née Eaton,
was born in Montreal, Quebec. Her birth date is usually given as 1879 but she was born on August 21, 1875. At age 17 went to Jamaica to report debates
of the Legislative Council. Moved to Chicago at which time her
short stories were first published in Saturday Evening Post and
other periodicals. Her first novel, Miss Nume, was published in
1899, followed by her best selling novel, A Japanese nightingale,
in 1901. Continued to publish about a novel a year under the
pseudonym Onoto Watanna.
In 1917, after marrying Francis F. Reeve, moved to a ranch near Morley, Alberta, and then after several years to Calgary. Prominent in cultural organizations in Calgary, founding the Little Theatre movement and serving as first president of the Calgary branch of the Canadian Authors Association. Lived in the United States from 1924 to 1931, where she worked as an editor for Universal Pictures and wrote stories and screenplays for several film companies, such as Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Fox Films and Universal Pictures. Returned to Calgary in 1931; however, poor health restricted her writing and she wrote only a few short stories after that time. She died on April 8, 1954 in Butte, Montana, while returning to Calgary, Alberta, from California. Further biographical information available in Onoto Watanna : the story of Winnifred Eaton Reeve / by Diana Birchall (Urbana, Illinois : University of Illinois Press, 2001).
Winnifred Reeve's work and interest in the theatre prompted a generous donation by the Francis F. Reeve Foundation, which made possible the construction of the Reeve Theatre at the University of Calgary.
Fonds transferred in 1982 from the Glenbow Archives, Calgary, Alberta.
Fonds consists of personal and business correspondence; contracts; biographical material; manuscripts of short stories, novels, articles, screenplays and screenplay adaptations; published work; newsclippings of articles about W. E. Reeve and reviews of novels and screenplays; and other miscellaneous material. An additional accession, MsC 329, consists of a videotape of Diana Birchall discussing her book, Onoto Watanna : the story of Winnifred Eaton Reeve, on Connie Martinson Talks Books, Santa Monica, California, May 2002.
Acquired in 1982. MsC 329 donated by Diana Birchall in 2002.
Text in English.
No restrictions on access.
File level inventory available at repository.