Summary

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 Broadway sensation all over again.
But the story of Mary Poppins's creator, as this first biography reveals, is just as unexpected and remarkable. The fabulous English nanny was conceived by an Australian, Pamela Lyndon Travers, who in 1924 came to London from Sydney as a journalist. She became involved with theosophy and traveled in the literary circles of W. B. Yeats and T. S. Eliot. Most famously, she clashed with "the great convincer" Walt Disney over the adaptation of the Mary Poppins books into film.
Travers, whom Disney accused of vanity for "thinking you [Travers] know more about Mary Poppins than I do," was as tart and opinionated as Julie Andrews's big-screen Mary Poppins was cheery and porcelain beautiful. "You've got the nose for it," Travers candidly assessed the star. Yet it was a love of mysticism and magic that shaped P. L. Travers's life as well as the character of Mary Poppins. The clipped, strict, and ultimately mysterious nanny was the conception of someone who remained thoroughly inscrutable and enigmatic to the end of her 96 years.
"Who is P. L. Travers?" the American press inquired of "this unknown Englishwoman" whose creation resulting in Hollywood gold had won her international fame. Valerie Lawson's illuminating biography, Mary Poppins, She Wrote, provides the first and only glimpse into the mind of a writer who fervently believed that "Everyday life is the miracle."
©2013 Valerie Lawson (P)2013 Simon & Schuster
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By rebecca on 14-05-14

Gave up

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

I found it painfully slow

Has Mary Poppins, She Wrote put you off other books in this genre?

I usually enjoy biographical works but this was just hard work

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By V Stone on 24-04-14

Long-winded and rather pedantic

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

Someone who likes to know minute detail about someone's life together with a fascination with rather strange views on life. I persevered to the end but would never listen to it again. I found many of the characters were of little interest to me.
I also found the narrator's voice to be either grating or very dull.

What will your next listen be?

?

Would you be willing to try another one of Terry Donnelly’s performances?

no

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Mary Poppins, She Wrote?

The mass of detail about everyone P L Travers ever seems to have met. I understand that Pamela left a mass of papers and the biographer was not nearly sufficiently selective.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By wobbly on 09-01-14

Interesting story not helped by narrator

After seeing the Mr. Banks movie, I was intrigued by PL Travers, so immediately looked for the book the movie is based on. The author appears to have done the best she could with the material available to her, and the book certainly added to my understanding of the complexity of Travers. I was left wanting to know more, so I will continue to research her as well as to read the Mary Poppins books. I did not enjoy the narration of this book, primarily due to the prissy tone taken any time Travers was quoted. Perhaps this was an impersonation - I don't know how she spoke. But to my ears, she was presented as a pouty child no matter her age, while other people who were quoted were not stuck with such irritating voices. Poor Mrs. Travers. I finished the book in spite of the narrator, simply because I was so interested in the story.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Thomas on 20-05-14

This lady had issues

Listen to the book as a break from my normal stuff...Saw the movie "Saving Mister Banks" and enjoyed it...wanted to get a little deeper into the story...This book went A Lot Deeper...
Strange Woman...

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2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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