Mary PoppinsMary Poppins is a book written by Pamela L. Travers, published in 1934. "Mary Poppins" is also the name of the lead character in the book and its sequels, as well as of a movie based on the book.
Mary Poppins is a magical English nanny who takes care of four children who live at Number Seventeen Cherry Tree Lane, London. Her best friend is Bert, a cockney who seems to have a number of jobs, including chimney sweep, pavement artist, etc. The character of Mary Poppins is based upon the author's relationship with G. I. Gurdjieff, the Greek Armenian mystic and "teacher of dancing".
The Mary Poppins series of books includes the following titles:
- Mary Poppins, published 1934 (A good copy of the first edition of this book now sells for over 700 US dollars.)
- Mary Poppins Comes Back, published 1935
- Mary Poppins Opens the Door, published 1943
- Mary Poppins in the Park, published 1952
- Mary Poppins in the Cherry Tree Lane, published 1982
- Mary Poppins in the House Next Door, published 1988
Note that the character in the original book is quite different to Mary Poppins as portrayed by Julie Andrews in the Disney film and that there were only two children, rather than four. Bert was played by Dick van Dyke whose accent in the film is nothing like an authentic English accent.
One source claims that Walt Disney started trying to get the film rights from Travers in 1948 but didn't succeed until 1961.