Saturday, 18 April 2009

P.L. Travers

Just beenreading up on P.L Travers, the brilliant lady who wrote the Mary Poppins books. Just found this snippit of information from the hated Wikipedia and thought I would share. Makes me feel sad that she really hated the disney version! But oh well, must read the book to see how changed it is.

Im including this as I want to add an illustration from the original Mary Poppins books in the garden.

P.L Travers in 'A Midsummers night dream'

From Wikpedia-

The 1934 publication of Mary Poppins was Travers' first literary success.[1] Five sequels followed (the last in 1988), as well as a collection of other novels, poetry collections and works of non-fiction.

The Disney musical adaptation was released in 1964. Primarily based on the first novel in what was then a sequence of four books, it also lifted elements from the sequel Mary Poppins Comes Back. Although Travers was an adviser to the production she disapproved of the dilution of the harsher aspects of Mary Poppins's character, felt ambivalent about the music and disliked the use of animation to such an extent that she ruled out any further adaptations of the later Mary Poppins novels. At the film's star-studded premiere, she reportedly approached Disney and told him that the animated sequence had to go. Disney responded by saying "Pamela, the ship has sailed." and walked away. Travers would never again agree to another Poppins/Disney adaptation, though Disney made several attempts to persuade her to change her mind.

So fervent was Travers' dislike of the Walt Disney adaptation and the way she felt she had been treated during the production, that well into her 90s, when she was approached by producer Cameron Mackintosh to do the stage musical, she only acquiesced upon the condition that only English born writers (and specifically no Americans) and no one from the film production were to be directly involved with the creative process of the stage musical. This specifically excluded the Sherman Brothers from writing additional songs for the production even though they were still very prolific. Original songs and other aspects from the 1964 film were allowed to be incorporated into the production however. These points were stipulated in her last will and testament.

Although she never married, at the age of 40 Travers adopted a baby boy from Ireland named Camillis, separating him from his twin brother (she refused to take both children; the boys reunited years later).

Travers was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1977. She died in London in 1996.

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