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3.4 out of 5 stars
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3.4 out of 5 stars
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 26 December 2013
"Mary Poppins, She Wrote" by Valerie Lawson is a biography of an unusual person P.L. Travers who forever go down in history as the creator of the popular children character Mary Poppins.

Her character becomes interesting again these days when movie "Saving Mr. Banks" was released in theaters, starring Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks, that describes difficulties P. L. Travers had with famous filmmaker Walt Disney during production of the Mary Poppins novel adaptation.

Helen Lyndon Goff, who will eventually become Pamela Travers, or shortly P.L. Travers, originates from Australia where she began her acting and writing career. After moving to UK, she continued her career writing poems professionally until 1934 when she released her first Mary Poppins story that has remained main theme of her books until her death in 1996.
She was the person who ran away from popularity, and because of her experience that she saw herself as the renowned author, she wasn't very popular in her environment.

An unusual detail that's not so much known about her life is that she adopted child when she was in her forties. It was a boy separated from his twin that will meet his brother many years later when they'll be teenagers. Her son was very angry on her foster mother because she never told him about his twin and that was the reason for the big problems that were difficult to smooth between them.

Travers also had lots of problems with her health therefore she was many times seeking help from different spiritual people, traveling all around the world.

The problems with Walt Disney incurred because their vision of Mary character were completely different - Travers saw her as much more complex character than Disney presented her in his popular movie. Therefore, their relations were very tense, and it all culminated on movie premiere where she wept seeing what kind of caricature they made from the character she created.

"Mary Poppins, She Wrote" is solid biography of a woman whose character everyone knows, and her personal life almost none, although in some parts the book seems a bit incomplete, especially for the lack of view on her motherhood.
However it's a work that is interesting because of many details from a person's life whose anonymity was important - P. L. Travers lived a sad but unusual life while in same time she searched for spiritual enlightenment, traveled across the globe and had many relationships with both men and women.

And due to above-mentioned Valerie Lawson work can be recommended to all those interested in the figure of the author who created Mary Poppins, but also for a different view of Walt Disney that this book offers.
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on 1 May 2014
I bought this book as I had read an article about PJ Travers and I thought she sounded like an interesting person who had lead an unusual life. When I ordered the book, I took a gamble as there were no reviews for it on Amazon and it was relatively expensive. In my opinion the book reads like an academic thesis. It is long, very detailed and boring. I read only about one quarter of the book. During her life Ms Travers wrote a lot of verse/poetry and much of it is included in the book. I am not a fan of poetry and feel that the verse really ought to have been the subject of a separate book or at least contained in the appendices, so that one could more easily skip it. There is a lot of detail of Ms Travers' childhood in Australia. For example, when her mother had a headache she asked her daughter to put her cooling hand on it. PL Travers kept a diary throughout her life and much of the book includes quotes from the diaries. Maybe the book was never edited or maybe it is just out there because of the recent anniversary of the Mary Poppins film, and the Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson film replaying the making of the Mary Poppins movie. If you like the Mary Poppins books, a lot of biographical detail, verse, poetry and some purple prose, buy it.
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VINE VOICEon 7 January 2015
I just couldn't get into this book at all, the writing is so stilted, the subject is boring, the character of the subject is not very nice, so it was sent to the cloud after several chapters, never to be seen again.
Sorry I can't recommend it at all.
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on 22 November 2015
It is always interesting to learn about a person who wrote something that inspired one of the most delightful films ever when it comes to children's classic, in this case P L Travers. I quite enjoyed this, found it heavy going at times, but on the whole was pleased to have read it.
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on 26 February 2014
Found this book unutterably boring. Too much unnecessary information and padding. Needs to be read in small doses to stay interesting. Still trying to get through it.
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on 30 March 2014
Thought this sounded a good story in light of the Emma Thomson book but I gave up after 100 pages. Just too dull and not at all gripping. Sorry
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on 14 April 2015
I was looking very much forward to receiving a copy of this book until it arrived and I realized it's incredibly small print - for me, alas!, unreadable (and no, I'm only in my forties). So I ordered another edition, hardcover this time, and this one is fine. Can't wait to start reading it!
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on 14 June 2015
Interesting up to a point but not written in a very engaging style. Obvious that a great deal of research went into preparation of this biography and it rings true, but I finished reading it with a sigh of relief.
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on 16 April 2014
And almost every other person of note she came across - The story of the woman for me gets lost in the chapters refrerring to the mentors she came across in her writings or as the writer refers to them Mr Banks 1 ,2, 3 etc. This tends to lead you away from the subjects life.
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on 28 February 2014
Rather boring to be honest. I gave up less than halfway through. I would not recommend it unless you are into the history of P L Travers. It is all a matter of personal taste,
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