P.L. Travers’ novel, Mary Poppins was a favorite of mine as a child. It fired my imagination. Fancy my delight when we moved to a small town in the Southern Highlands of Australia a few years ago, to discover that Pamela had lived in our street in the early part of the 20th Century. The Victorian house still stands.
We now have a statue of Mary Poppins, in P.L. Travers’ honor in our park.
Pamela Travers was born in Queensland, but after her years in Australia, she lived in Ireland, England, and spent time in America. She wrote Mary Poppins while recuperating from a serious illness‒“to while away the days, but also to put down something that had been in my mind for a long time.”
Pamela read books on myths and legends and her mother’s library books (which involved sneaking into her room while she was asleep!) She worked as a secretary, a dancer and an actress and went on to become a journalist. She was made writer in residence to both Smith and Radcliffe Colleges in Massachusetts. Pamela died in 1996 aged 97.
Her novel, Mary Poppins has since inspired countless books, movies and musicals. My favorite is still the Julie Andrews version. Enjoy A Spoon full of Sugar: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HrnoR9cBP3o
Like many writers, Travers’ characters are drawn from life: Mary, from her spinster aunt, a crisp no-nonsense woman with a heart of gold. “Spit spot into bed” was a favorite phrase of her mother’s.
Mary Poppins was one of the books which opened my eyes to the whimsical and fanciful. While my heroes and heroines don’t dance on rooftops, fly around holding umbrellas, or arrange tea parties on the ceiling, they are thrown into adventures. In my Regency series, The Spies of Mayfair, they are faced with life and death situations while falling in love.
What a Rake Wants-The Spies of Mayfair, Book 3 is released in August.
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