National Library of Australia

P.L. Travers, author of Mary Poppins

P.L. (Pamela Lyndon) Travers (1899–1996)Stories touched upon and sometimes altered in W.D.’s (Walt Disney’s) script, 1961

typescript on The Beverly Hills Hotel stationery; 27.0 x 18.5cm

ML MSS 5341⁄9

Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales
Stories touched upon and sometimes altered in W.D.’s (Walt Disney’s) script, 1961

Judging by her emphatic comments on the draft script, Australian author P.L. Travers (1899–1996) was unhappy with Walt Disney’s proposed film version of her Mary Poppins books.

In fact, Travers (real name Helen Lyndon Goff) hated the movie, released in 1964, even though she was involved in its production. In an interview years afterwards, Travers said she ‘simply didn’t believe they [Disney] could get it so wrong’.

Travers wrote eight books featuring the famous London nanny, the first in 1934 and the last in 1991. For much of her life she was interested in myth and mysticism, important elements in the books and film.

The Queensland-born author left Australia in 1924 and made her first, and only, return visit about 40 years later. Her original manuscripts and other personal material are held in the Mitchell Library at the State Library of New South Wales.