One Nanny, Hold the Spoonful of Sugar: The REAL Mary Poppins and Her Creator, P.L. Travers

by Mallory Sweeney

Equipped with her time-defying umbrella and magical medicine, Mary Poppins has been one of most beloved figures of the modern children's literature canon. The offbeat-nurturing nanny first appeared in 1934 in a book sharing her name; that would be the first of ten books (spanning fifty-four years) by author P.L. Travers. One might be quick to assume that the creator of a literary staple such as Mary Poppins would resemble the nanny herself--or at least have some inclination toward the glowing warmth of Julie Andrews' Oscar-winning portrayal, as we remember her from Walt D...

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