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Joaquín and Jeanne Maurín Collection

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: BMC-M-54

Scope and Contents

Organization of the Collection: The collection is divided into five sections: Writings and Related Materials, Joaquín Maurín Correspondence, Other Materials, Jeanne Maurín Papers, and Photographs and Artwork.

Writings and Related Materials is organized into Fiction, Articles and Political Works, Ramón J. Sender Correspondence, Materials for Cómo se Salvó Joaquín Maurín, and Unpublished Writings. Most of the papers in this section consist of unpublished materials or manuscripts published after Maurín's death. Of these works, many were first composed during Maurín's time in prison and they include autobiographical materials, children's fiction written for his son, and scholarly works on modern history and the Spanish writer Miguel de Unamuno. The collection also contains political pamphlets and articles published between 1914 and 1937 and photocopies of the correspondence published in Correspondencia Ramón J. Sender-Joaquín Maurín (1952-1973).

The section "Materials for Cómo se Salvó Joaquín Maurín" contains fragments of essays and correspondence collected by Jeanne Maurín for the publication. Unless otherwise noted, all material is in Spanish.

Joaquín Maurín Correspondence is organized into Incoming, Outgoing, and Third Party. The majority of the correspondence dates to the 1940's, just prior to and just following Maurín's emigration to the United States. These letters regard life inside prison, various political matters, and, after Maurín was released in 1946, issues related to his emigration. There are some letters from 1973, including an incomplete letter Maurín was composing to Julián Gorkin on the day of his death. There are also two letters from 1926 during Maurín's first imprisonment.

The Third Party correspondence contains two letters from the Russian revolutionary Victor Serge, one of which is addressed to the French writer André Gide.

Other Materials is organized into Miscellaneous Personal Materials, Miscellaneous Papers, and Clippings. This section includes political pamphlets, unidentified writings regarding the Spanish Revolution and political prisoners, documents related to Maurín's internment at the Salamanca Prison, and a large collection of notes and newspaper clippings.

Jeanne Maurín Papers is organized into Personal and Business Correspondence, Correspondence with Publishers, POUM and Political Correspondence, and Other Materials. This collection contains voluminous correspondence with friends, family, and business associates between the 1940s and Jeanne's death in 1996. In many cases Jeanne retained copies of her own letters, particularly when the letters regarded business matters. Letters written before her husband's death usually include discussion of Maurín's health and activities. Maurín is often refered to by his nicknames, Quim, Quinet, or Kim. Correspondence with members of Maurín's family include the most information about him and constitute a large portion of the collection. See in particular the Iglesias, Navarri,and Zorilla correspondence, all relatives of Maurín in Spain.

Letters from the 1950's also include discussion of Jeanne's work at Dana Perfumes. After Maurín's death and through the early 1980's her correspondence is mostly concerned with the management of the ALA and the publication of Cómo se Salvó Joaquín Maurín.

"Correspondence with Publishers" contains documentation of the publication of Cómo se Salvó Joaquín Maurín and communications about some of Maurín's still unpublished manuscripts. "POUM and Political Correspondence" contains correspondence primarily from the 1970's and 1980's with figures involved in the POUM and European and American politics, notably Jordi Arquer, Pedro Bonet, Julian Gorkin, Leo Hamon, Luis Portela, and Ella and Bertram Wolfe. Jeanne's papers also include various materials and documents related to the American Literary Agency, Dana Perfumes, the emigration of the entire Maurín family including Jeanne's parents, and the death of Maurín's brother, Manolo.

Photographs contains a large collection of photographs and albums of the Maurín family as well as pictures of Jeanne's family including her parents (Kalman and Mina Lipschitz), brothers (Boris Souvarine and Leon Lipschitz), as well as unidentified Russian relatives. The collection also contains photographs of POUM figures and events. All photographs reproduced in the collection guide are taken from this collection.


  • Creation: 1910 - 2005

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use.

Biographical / Historical

Joaquín Maurín was a Spanish writer and politician active in leftist politics in the years before the Spanish Civil War. Born in Bonansa, Spain, Maurín began his career as a teacher in Lérida. In the 1920s he left his job at the Liceo Escolar and dedicated himself full-time to political work. During this time Maurín worked mainly with the anarcho-syndicalist Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (CNT) and its newspaper, La Lucha Social. He traveled to Moscow in 1921 for the Third Congress of the Comintern, where he met Lenin and Trotsky. Upon his return to Spain he co-founded La Ballata, a weekly syndicalist newpaper, with Pedro Bonet. He was imprisoned in 1923 under dictator Primo de Rivera and he later fled to Paris where, on November 26, 1927, he married Jeanne Lipschitz.

Jeanne was born in Paris on March 15, 1904. Her parents, Kalman and Mina Lipschitz, were Russian immigrants who had moved to France in 1895. Jeanne and her older brother, Boris Souvarine, were active in French politics from an early age. Souvarine was an important member of the French Communist Party and a noted writer and political critic. Jeanne and Souvarine attended the 1921 congress in Moscow, where she met Maurín.

The Mauríns returned to Spain in 1930 along their young son, Mario. Maurín continued to work with Communist organizations but had became increasingly wary of Stalin, the CNT, and the International Communist Party. In 1931 he founded the Bloque Obrero y Campesino (BLOC) and in 1935 the BLOC merged with Andrés Nin's Izquierda Comunista de España to form the powerful Partido Obrero Unification Marxista (POUM). The POUM played a central role in George Orwell's Homage to Catalonia. During the 1930s he published Los Hombres de la Dictura, La Revolución Española, and Hacia la Segunda Revolución. He was elected to the Spanish Parliament in February 1936.

In July 1936 Maurín was arrested and imprisoned while attempting to flee the state of Galicia upon the outbreak of civil war. He spent ten years in Franco's prisons, moved from Jaca to Saragossa to Salamanca and finally to Barcelona. Jeanne and Mario, who were in Paris at the time of Maurín's arrest, emigrated to the United States in 1941 where Jeanne worked for Dana Perfumes while petitioning for her husband's release. Maurín was freed in 1946 and joined his family in the States soon after. In the US he established the American Literary Agency (ALA), which worked with Spanish language writers. He continued to publish in various English and Spanish language journals, sometimes under the pseudonyms W.K. Mayo and Felix R. Anderson. In 1966 he published Revolución y Contrarevolución en España. Maurín ran the ALA until he died in New York on November 5, 1973.

After her husband's death, Jeanne worked to preserve the memory of her husband. In 1980 she published Cómo se Salvó Joaquín Maurín, a book about Maurín's imprisonment and the efforts to free him. She also oversaw tributes to him in Spain and the transfer of his ashes to Bonansa in the early 1980's. Jeanne would eventually move to Rosemont, Pennsylvania to be near Mario, a professor of French at Bryn Mawr College. She died in Rosemont in 1996.


15 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Spanish; Castilian


Custodial History

Gift of Mario Maurin.

Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

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