Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers series
Mary Poppins is a book series written by P. L Travers, born Helen Lyndon Goff in Australia and later moved to England in 1924 where she spent her adult life. She was a renowned novelist, journalist and actress and is best known for her children’s books series Mary Poppins who is a magical English nanny. After moving to England, she stared writing under her new pet name P.L Travers and in 1933, she begun the novel Mary Poppins. Mary Poppins novel features eight children’s books which were published between 1934 and 1988 and movie rights by Walt Disney.
Introduction of Mary Poppins
Mary Poppins is a protagonist novel character in a series of children’s books with the same name by P.L Travers who uses magical touch to teach the banks children valuable lessons. She comes in with the East wind and gets to Number seventeen Cherry Tree Lane to Banks home where she is given the responsibility of taking care of the Banks children. She is identified by her trend of wearing a hat and a parrot umbrella that she never leaves behind. She is tender and caring to the children but can be tough and stern if need be. The novel portrays her as practically perfect woman; tall, slender, short haired snub nose with large blue eyes and a pursed nose. The film portrays her as a gracious and elegant young woman a character that is portrayed by Julie Andrews who Travers first thought was too attractive for the role but later accepted after meeting het in person.
Mary Poppins is given the charge to take care of five Banks children where she is portrayed as no nonsense and tough nanny who uses extra ordinary measure to instill discipline to the kids. She is constantly scolding the children if they point out her magical powers but is always at ease when around her friends who include Nellie-Rubina, Mrs. Corry and Bert the Matchman. The story portrays Mary as someone with lots of exaggerated self-confidence and is always admiring herself in the mirror or any other reflection.
She has family member who as Mary, have supernatural powers. Mary is a popular one in the magic and sorcery fraternity where some character in the book are shown to portray great admiration and love on her while others fear her. Other characters refer to her as “The Exceptional” for she has the magical powers to communicate with animals; ability only possessed by children and loses it on adulthood. Her adventures happen in London and other unusual places, something that can only be explained that she is a character who has the capability of being at two places at the same time. She has abilities that make her familiar with strange people and places unknown to other people.
Main Characters in the Book
In this book series of eight books illustrated by Mary Shephard, the main character is Mary Poppins and appears in all eight books. She is a magical nanny employed to take care of the Bank children who constantly denies of having any magical powers and at some point scolds one of the kids for pointing out her previous adventure. She is known to abruptly disappear, i.e. “pop out” during her encounter with shopkeepers and chimney sweeps. Only the first three books in the series shows her entering and leaving, in the rest of the series she just vanishes. Just as flew in to the Bank’s family, she flies out using her parrot umbrella when she feels the children have learnt enough but promises to come back if ever needed.
George Banks is Mary Poppins employer and lives at seventeen Cherry Tree Lane with his wife and kids and works at the Bank in London. He is rarely home but has a gruffly love for his family. He is too much occupied with his work since he has a senior job as portrayed by the movie, that he rarely has time for his family. He however changes this attitude after a friend, Bert, cautions him that he is missing out on his children’s life and might never get the chance to see their childhood. He had a bad experience with a rough nanny while growing up and this caution by a friend completely changes him in to a dad every child would wish for. This is clearly shown when he repairs his child’s kite and even takes the kids out to play.
Mrs. Wilfred Banks is the wife of Mr. George Banks and mother of Jane and Michael. She is Mr. Banks household mistress who is constantly intimidated and treated contemptuously by Mary Poppins and especially because she never had time to looks after her children. A former actress married to a banker, she is also under pressure from her husband who wants her to fit in her social circle.
The books portrays five Banks children, Jane and Michael the eldest and who Mary Poppins go on with during most of her magical adventures, John and Barbara who are twins and started going on the magical adventures in the second book and Annabel the youngest and who only joins the magical adventure crew at the middle of the second book. The film only includes Jane and Michael.
Mary Poppins has an admirer due to her magical powers, Miss Lark who lives next door and owns two dogs, Andrew and Willoughby. She initially had Andrew only who is a pure bred but later after Andrews request, they adopted Willoughby. She appears throughout the book series and is also included in the film. Bert is Mary Poppins best friend in the series who draws lifelike pictures on the pavement but sells matches during the rainy day and hence the nickname Matchman. During Mary’s off days on Tuesdays, he usually takes her out and is also involved in Mary’s magical adventures. In the film he is seen taking care of Mary’s uncle Albert.
Admiral Boom, a former navy officer is a former neighbor in Cherry Tree Lane who now lives in ship shaped like house with his wife and assistant Binnacle; a former pirate. He is best known for his love of using sailor’s language, his favorite phrase being “Blast my gizzards”. Other characters in the books series include the Banks other servants who work with Mary Poppins. They include Ellen, who has a great love for the Bank children but abhors staying with them, Mrs. Brill the cook who hates Ellen and always fussy without a reason and Robertson Ay, the lazy jack of all trade teen who happens to be very forgetful also.