It was a curious sight recently to see a myriad of Mary Poppins’ floating down through an Olympic stadium, their outline so familiar and magical, parrot-headed umbrella open in one hand, carpet bag in the other. A plethora of Poppins’s could be used as a collective noun.
But the other curious thing is, that Mary Poppins could be claimed to be an Australian character – inspired by the relatives and written about by Australian author P.L Travers. Yet amidst the schlock of our Olympic moment a few years ago, if it wasn’t cute, furry or quirky, it didn’t rate a mention ( we could have had a swag of Miss Havisham’s linking their bridal arms and tossing their bouquets but that is a different post all together).
Valerie Lawson wrote P.L Travers’ biography back in 2000, Out of the Sky she Came, and it is a curious and elusive portrait of Travers, who like designer Florence Broadhurst, constantly played a game of Russian Dolls with their identities, that it made it very difficult to create a rounded portrait. The most fascinating part of the book involves Travers’ negotiations with Disney over her beloved creation. So it is with great curiosity and interest, we here at the Velvet Nap anticipate this: