|Amazon Price||New from||Used from|
The original Mary Poppins was not as "saccharine" as the movie character, says Lawson, and her bittersweet biography of the supernanny's elusive creator, Travers (1899–1996), convincingly portrays a writer who created her character out of the childhood sorrows that haunted her. Drawing on archival sources and private papers, Lawson, a writer for the Sydney Morning Herald, sensitively traces Travers's emotionally deprived girlhood in Australia, where she was raised largely by an elderly aunt; her early career as an actress and columnist; and her 1924 emigration to London, where she worked as a journalist and theater reviewer. Emphasizing how Travers's desire for the father who had died when she was seven affected both her life and work, Lawson explores mythological and literary influences on the six Mary Poppins stories, written over 54 years (the first was published in 1934). Never married, Travers adopted an Irish baby boy; Lawson movingly reveals the emotional fallout of their failed relationship. After detailing Travers's fussy movie negotiations with Walt Disney and the downplaying of her authorship in the 1964 hit film, Lawson captures the melancholy of Travers's retreat into isolation and old age. 2 photo inserts. (Oct. 14)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
This ambitious biography of P. L. Travers was first published in Australia in 1999. The occasion for this American edition is the imminent opening of the Broadway musical version of Travers' timeless, "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" tales of Mary Poppins, the imperious nanny who arrived one morning on the East Wind. It turns out there was a lot of the difficult Travers in Poppins. The early death of Pamela's father (she was born Helen Lyndon Goff in Australia) left the family dependent on wealthy Great-Aunt Ellie, another early inspiration for Poppins. The untimely bereavement also inspired Travers' lifelong search for a father substitute, first in the Irish poet AE (George Russell) and later in such dubious gurus as Gurdjieff and Krishnamurti. The translation of the Poppins stories into the celebrated Disney film brought Travers a decade of international fame, which had declined considerably by the time of her death at age 96 in 1996. This meticulously researched but overlong biography may help restore a diminished literary reputation, but its unsparing portrait of an exceedingly unsympathetic human being will win Travers no new posthumous friends. Michael Cart
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
This book was horribly boring. I read almost everything, but I couldn't finish this onePublished 1 month ago by Mary A. Cannon
Interesting look at the life of the woman who wrote Mary Poppins.Published 2 months ago by miceatwork
I was very pleased with the expedient delivery of the book. It was a good book. Thank you very much.Published 4 months ago by TERRENCE
I love biographies but this one was really difficult to follow! The author is from Sydney, Australia and certainly has a different writing style than an American author would. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Carol