RepositorySpecial Collections Archives (GB 0029)
Ref NoEUL MS 462
Datec 1809-2008
Extent9 boxes, 1 oversized folder
TitleMaureen Baker-Munton collection of papers relating to Daphne du Maurier
DescriptionThis collection comprises papers relating to literary, personal and family matters, which were created or compiled by Daphne du Maurier, and later came into the possession of her close friend and power of attorney, Maureen Baker-Munton. Many of the papers have been annotated with explanatory notes by Maureen Baker-Munton, which add a curatorial element to the collection.

Items were purchased from the auction of the personal collection of the Late Maureen Baker-Munton at Rowley's Auction House, Ely, Cambridgeshire on Saturday 27 April 2019.
Admin HistoryDaphne du Maurier (1907-1989) was the daughter of the actor Sir Gerald Du Maurier (1873-1934), and his wife Muriel, and the granddaughter of the artist and novelist George Louis Palmella Busson du Maurier (1834-1896). She grew up in Cumberland Terrace, London, and Cannon Hall, Hampstead, but the family developed strong links with Cornwall after buying a riverside house near Fowey, and it was in Cornwall that Daphne settled. She began publishing stories and articles in 1928; her first novel, 'The Loving Spirit', was published in 1931 by Heineman. There followed 'The Progress of Julius' (Heineman, 1933) and 'Gerald, a portrait' (Gollancz, 1934) before her first enduring success, 'Jamaica Inn', which was published by Gollancz in 1936. Two years later she published her most significant and best-loved novel, 'Rebecca'. Besides these she published a number of other novels, short-stories and biographical portraits, blending history and literary art in some, while developing her own unique vision of the macabre in others. She published one volume of autobiography, 'Growing Pains', about her early life in 1977. Du Maurier used both male and female narrators in her novels and her works often explored themes around gender and sexuality. Until the age of 15, Daphne du Maurier had a male alter ego, 'Eric Avon' (see 'Growing Pains: The Shaping of a Writer', p. 59) and she often spoke privately about having a masculine side to her personality (see M. Forster, 'Daphne du Maurier, p. 222). During her life, du Maurier experienced attraction to both men and women, but she never spoke or wrote publically about her own sexual identity. In 1932, she married Frederick A M Browning, later Lieutenant-General Sir Frederick (d 1965); they had one son and two daughters.

Maureen Luschwitz (1922-2013) was born and grew up in India. Following the outbreak of the Second World War, she joined the armed forces. She met Frederick Browning (more commonly referred to as 'Boy' or 'Tommy'), the husband of Daphne du Maurier, at a military social function in India in 1943. Frederick Browning employed her as his personal assistant and, in 1944, she travelled with him to Kandy in Ceylon (present-day Sri Lanka), where he was based as Chief of Staff to Admiral of the Fleet Louis Mountbatten at South-East Asia Command. In July 1946, after they returned to England, Maureen Luschwitz continued working for Frederick Browning and also became part-time secretary to Daphne du Maurier. In 1955, she married Monty Baker-Munton (also referred to as 'Bim') with whom she had one child. Maureen and Monty Baker-Munton often corresponded and visited Daphne du Maurier and Frederick Browning in Cornwall, and a very close and trusting friendship grew between the two families. Maureen and Monty Baker-Munton were some of the few people outside of the family who knew the true extent of Frederick Browning's episodes of depression, and they supported Daphne du Maurier throughout this period and following Frederick Browning's death in 1965. Daphne du Maurier made Monty Baker-Munton her trustee, the Director of du Maurier Productions and, in the 1970s, she asked him to be her literary executor and Maureen Baker-Munton to be her power of attorney. They continued to support and care for Daphne du Maurier through her illness in later life, until her death in 1989. Maureen Baker-Munton died on 03 January 2013, aged 90. Her collection of Daphne du Maurier related material was sold at auction at Rowley's Auction House, Ely, Cambridgeshire on Saturday 27 April 2019. (Source: 'Maureen Baker-Munton (1922-2013) - a short essay inspired by the sale of her archive of Daphne du Maurier related material' by Ann Willmore (2019), available at
LanguageEnglish, some French and Italian
Access StatusOpen
Related MaterialThe library holds the following papers relating to Daphne du Maurier and her family, EUL MS 144, 206, 207, 276, 301, 307, 341, 342, 346, 351, 354, 359, 363, 400, 456, 462 463, 464. Other papers of Daphne du Maurier, particularly her letters, are held at many other repositories including the following: Bath Reference Library; Bodleian Library; BBC Written Archives Centre; British Library Department of Manuscripts; Cambridge University Library; Eton College Library; Manchester University (John Rylands Library); National Library of Scotland; Princeton University Library Manuscripts Division, USA; Rhodes House Library; University of Durham Library; University of Bradford Library; University of Bristol Library; University of Warwick (Modern Records Centre); West Yorkshire Archive Service. Sound recordings of interviews with du Maurier are held at the British Library National Sound Archive. Papers relating to George du Maurier are held at the following repositories: Pierpont Morgan Library, USA; Huntington Library, USA; Victoria and Albert Museum (National Art Library); National Library of Scotland; Dorset County Museum. Papers relating to Guy du Maurier (1865-1915) are held at the Houghton Library, Harvard University, USA. A duplicate copy of the Sylvia Llewelyn-Davies memorial photograph album (EUL MS 207/3/1) is held at the National Portrait Gallery.
Access ConditionsUsual EUL conditions apply. Some items closed.
ArrangementMaterial has been arranged by the archivist into sections relating to literary, personal and family matters to enable ease of access.
Creator_NameMaurier, Daphne du (1907-1989); author
Baker-Munton, Maureen (1922-2013); née Luschwitz
Mgt_GroupLiterary papers
DS/UK/118Maurier; Daphne du (1907-1989); author1907-1989
    Powered by CalmView© 2008-2024