Travers, P. L.

Travers, P. L.

(Pamela Lyndon Travers), 1899–1996, British author best known for her Mary Poppins children's books, b. Australia as Helen Lyndon Goff. She worked as an actress and journalist and moved to London in 1924. With Mary Poppins (1934), Travers introduced the world's children to that prim, plain, vain, imperious, acerbic, and mysteriously magical English nanny, her young charges, and many others. The book was a great success, and seven sequels followed, the last in 1988. Disney's film adaptation (1964), which retained some story lines but changed the spirit of the book and its characters, made Travers famous. She was also the author of several other books for children. Interested in the occult, she wrote a biography (1973) of her teacher, G. I. GurdjieffGurdjieff, George Ivanovich
, 1872–1949, Armenian spiritualist and author. After spending years traveling, Gurdjieff settled in Moscow (c.1913). He fled the Russian Revolution (1917) with a band of followers, settling in Fontainebleau, France, where he established the
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. In addition, she wrote extensively about mythology; many of her essays were collected in What the Bee Knows: Reflections on Myth, Symbol and Story (1989).

Bibliography

See biography by V. Lawson (1999, 2005); study by E. D. Draper and J. Koralek, ed. (1999).

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