Who was PL Travers and what is her connection with Australia?

A website site that answers the question:

Where did Mary Poppins come from?

It surprises many people to learn that P.L. Travers, the creator of these stories set in London featuring an English nanny, was actually an Australian. She was born Helen Lyndon Goff in Maryborough, Queensland, on 9th August, 1899. Her family moved to another Queensland town, Allora, when she was three. After the death of her father in 1907, the family - her mother and two sisters - moved to a cottage rented for them by a wealthy aunt in Bowral, New South Wales. The family lived there until 1917, though Lyndon did attend boarding school in Normanhurst, a suburb of Sydney, from 1912 until 1916, returning to Bowral for the holidays. The family then moved to Ashfield in Sydney in 1917. Taking the name, Pamela Travers, she pursued a career on the stage, touring with a theatre company through regional NSW and New Zealand during 1921-22. By this time she had begun to write and publish poetry, as well as newspaper columns.

In February 1924, she fulfilled a long-held dream and sailed for England and Ireland and began her career as the writer, P.L. Travers. She only ever returned once to visit Australia, for two weeks in 1963.

Click on one of the links below to find out more...

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Acknowledgements: The content on this website is indebted to many sources and attribution is given where possible. In particular, it draws on the biography of PL Travers by Valerie Lawson Out of the Sky She Came (1999) and conversations with a longtime friend of P.L. Travers, Patricia Feltham. But no inference should be drawn that this or any other attribution indicates endorsement by those individuals of the website's content. In particular, neither individual is making the claim that Bowral is the birthplace of Mary Poppins. Responsibility for that claim and all the website content is accepted by Paul McShane, Convenor - BookTown Australia info@booktown.com.au

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