Mary Poppins, She Wrote

Mary Poppins, She Wrote

The Life of P.L. Travers

Book - 2006 | 1st Simon & Schuster ed.
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The story of Mary Poppins, the quintessentially English and utterly magical children's nanny, is remarkable enough. She flew into the lives of the unsuspecting Banks family in a children's book that was instantly hailed as a classic, then became a household name when Julie Andrews stepped into the starring role in Walt Disney's hugely successful and equally classic film. Now she is a sensation all over again-both on Broadway and in Disney's upcoming film Saving Mr. Banks.

Saving Mr. Banksretells many of the stories in Valerie Lawson's biography Mary Poppins, She Wrote, including P. L. Travers's move from London to Hollywood and her struggles with Walt Disney as he adapted her novel for the big screen. Travers, whom Disney accused of vanity for "thinking she knows more about Mary Poppins than I do," was a poet and world-renowned author as tart and opinionated as Andrews's big-screen Mary Poppins was cheery and porcelain-beautiful. Yet it was a love of mysticism and magic that shaped Travers's life as well as the very character of Mary Poppins. The clipped, strict, and ultimately mysterious nanny who emerged from her pen was the creation of someone who remained inscrutable and enigmatic to the end of her ninety-six years.

Valerie Lawson's illuminating biography provides the first full look at the life of the woman and writer whose personal journey is as intriguing as her beloved characters.
Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, 2006.
Edition: 1st Simon & Schuster ed.
ISBN: 9781476762920
9780743298162
0743298160
Branch Call Number: BIO TRAVERS LAWSON
Characteristics: x, 401 p., [16] p. of plates : ill. ; 25 cm.

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cowsonthefarm
Nov 08, 2014

A very flowery writing style totally undermined my enjoyment of this book. A lot of unnecessary poetic descriptions that really added nothing. I could not wait to finish it so I could move on. Its too bad because P.L. Travers' biography would have been very interesting on its own. Go see the movie instead.

martins_mom Apr 17, 2014

Apparently Travers was not a nice little lady sitting in her comfy study writing charming books for children. In fact she denied that she wrote "for children" at all. An interesting and surprising study of a complex personality.

ontherideau Dec 30, 2013

As a child I gave no thought to the creator of Mary Poppins because of course it had to be Walt Disney.
The story of P.L.Travers, a woman whose name itself is a myth and who was influenced by Yeats and Eliot explains a lot. I know I will watch Mary Poppins again, now it will be with a different appreciation.

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GailRoger
Feb 18, 2011

I had to rush through the final third of this one because someone had put a hold on it. I grew up with PL Travers' Mary Poppins books, having been brought to them by the Disney film.

Mary Poppins is, of course, only a tiny part of the life of this complex and sometimes prickly woman: an Australian who thought of herself as English (and Anglo-Irish), a young actor and poet who counted WB Yeats among her mentors, and a seeker of exotic philosophies.

The title is clunky, but the book itself is well-researched and ably written.

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