“Don't you know that everybody's got a Fairyland of their own?”: Rare First Edition of Mary Poppins
Item Number: 99865
New York: Reynal & Hitchcock, 1934.
First American edition of this children’s classic. Octavo, original cloth, illustrated with 27 line cuts (13 full-page) and chapter tailpieces by Mary Shepard. Fine in a fine dust jacket without wear. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. A superior example. Accompanied by a collection of two autograph letters entirely in the hand of P.L. Travers, one page of an original typed Mary Poppins manuscript corrected in Travers’ hand, and an original full-page newspaper article featuring an interview with Travers. Accompanied by an explanatory letter of provenance from the letters’ recipient which reads in part, “When I returned to New York in the early 40s, Pamela Travers whom I had met asked me to stay in her flat off Lexington Avenue and look after her adopted son Camillus. I did so and Pamela sometimes wrote me notes on the back of typewritten sheets of Mary Poppins with instructions, whilst she went to visit Montreal…She was a strange character but I liked her in spite of her sometimes peculiar ways.” The letters are in very good to near fine condition. A desirable collection.
"The first Mary Poppins stories were written when [Travers] was recovering from an illness, and were told to two children of her acquaintance. Mary Poppins appeared in 1934 and was an immediate success" (Carpenter & Prichard, 540). It centers on magical English nanny of the same name. She is blown by the east wind to Number 17 Cherry Tree Lane, London, and into the Banks's household to care for their children. It was adapted by Walt Disney in 1964 into a musical film titled Mary Poppins, starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke. It received a total of thirteen Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture – an unsurpassed record for any other film released by Walt Disney Studios – and won five; Best Actress for Andrews, Best Film Editing, Best Original Music Score, Best Visual Effects, and Best Original Song for "Chim Chim Cher-ee". In 2013, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". Mary Poppins is widely considered to be Walt Disney's "crowning achievement", being his only film to garner a Best Picture nomination at the Oscars in his lifetime. In 2004, Disney Theatrical in collaboration with Cameron Mackintosh produced a stage musical also called Mary Poppins in London's West End theatre. The stage musical was transferred to Broadway. In 2013 the film Saving Mr. Banks depicted the making of the 1964 film.