This note accompanies the follow episode(s):
The Writer’s Almanac for August 9, 2017: The Calculus

August 9, 2017: birthday: P.L. Travers

It’s the birthday of the creator of Mary Poppins, P.L. (Pamela Lyndon) Travers, born Helen Lyndon Goff, in Mayborough, Queensland, Australia (1899). Before the publication of Mary Poppins, she adopted P.L. Travers (books by this author) as her literary pseudonym.

In 1933, while recovering from an illness at her home in Sussex, Travers wrote the first stories in the Mary Poppins series and made them into a book about a prim British nanny who appears at a household in a high wind and floats away when the wind changes. Mary Poppins was published the following year. The book was an immediate success in Britain and the United States. Between 1935 and 1988, she published seven sequels, including Mary Poppins Comes Back and Mary Poppins in Cherry Tree Lane. The 1964 Walt Disney movie starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke was based on Travers’ stories.

She said in an interview: “Mary Poppins is both a joy and a curse to me as a writer. As a writer you can feel awfully imprisoned, because people, having had so much of one thing, want you always to go on doing more of the same.”