Saturday, September 24, 2011

A Spoon Full Of Suger?

One winter while I was at a friends house discussing books she declared "Oh I just LOVE the Mary Poppins books my P.L Travers!"  I was a bit confused "Isn't that a disney movie?"
She then explained to me the story behind the movie.

P.L Travers was an Australian native who grew up with a love for literature and an admiration for J. M Barrie, the author of Peter Pan. In fact, once she wrote the first story of Mary Poppins she sought out Peter Davies, the adopted son of Barrie and supposed inspiration for the book Peter Pan, to be her publisher.

P.L Travers wrote many novels, poetry collections, children's books and a few non fiction.
She also worked as a journalist. 
Her most famous character, Mary Poppins, is the most widely known.

However, few know the REAL Mary Poppins.

P.L Travers' Mary Poppins is depicted within a series of children's novels written between 1934 and 1989. Travers claims that she did not make the character up, that the character came to her while she was sick in bed one day and would not leave her alone until she began to write her out.

  • Mary Poppins - 1934
  • Mary Poppins Comes Back- 1935
  • Mary Poppins Opens the Door - 1944
  • Mary Poppins in the Park - 1952
  • Mary Poppins From A-Z - 1963
  • Mary Poppins in the Kitchen - 1975
  • Mary Poppins in Cherry Tree Lane - 1982
  • Mary Poppins and the House Next Door - 1989


Walt Disney loved the idea of Mary Poppins and began working on an adaption which focused on the first book, along with a small part of the second. 
Although P.L Travers as an production advisor to the disney musical once it was complete she absolutely hated it.  
She was furious that Walt Disney did not listen to her requests and instead added what she thought was awful animation, distasteful music and worst of all, changed her character of Mary Poppins from a harsh mysterious nanny to a soft, whimsical disneyfied version of the original.

In fact, Walt Disney didn't even invite her to the premier of the movie, she had to ask permission to attend.  It is rumored that at the premier she walked up to disney DEMANDING that the animation be taken out. At that, Walt Disney walked away saying "Pamela, the ship has sailed."

She vowed from then on out that no more of her books would be adapted into movies.
She even had it placed in her last will and testament.

Travers in the musical A Midsummer Nights Dream. She was also an actress. 

Although Travers never married, at the age of 40 she adopted a young boy named Camillus, from Ireland.

When I began reading the first Mary Poppins book I was astonished how different the main character was from the movie. As I began to read, page after page, I fell in love with the harsher, mysteriously magical, sharp Mary Poppins and the dry sense of humor that carries the book. 
I now want to live on Cherry Tree Lane!

Like always, anytime I find a collection of books to drool over I read them as slowly as possible in order to suck every single ounce of joy from their pages. 

I also annoy the HECK out of my husband by running into whatever room he happens to be in, jumping in front of him with excitement and reading to him a funny or moving section of the book.

He politley smiles, acts interested, then carries on with whatever he was doing before disturbed him with my childlike excitement.

I'm trying to pace myself with the Mary Poppins books. 
So far I have only read two of them. 
One I finished about a year ago and the other I just finished this morning.

It makes it easier when there are only 2 at the library and no money in the pocket to buy books with. 

However, I did jump up and down in the living room a while back asking Roger to "PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE get me the Mary Poppins collection for Christmas!!!!!!  PLEASE PLEASE!!!!!!"

I have it in my head that one of these days when my children are a little older, they too are going to  appreciate the Mary Poppins books.  

I'm going to snuggle up with them on the couch on many a cold, snowy afternoon, with some hot chocolate, and a Mary Poppins book.
They'll tell my grandchildren, "when I was little my momma used to read these books to me." 

Until then, I will indulge my love of children's literature all by myself.

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