Myth, Symbol, and Meaning in Mary Poppins
Routledge – 2007 – 200 pages
The Mary Poppins that many people know of today--a stern, but sweet, loveable, and reassuring British nanny--is a far cry from the character created by Pamela Lyndon Travers in the 1930's. Instead, this is the Mary Poppins reinvented by Disney in the eponymous movie. This book sheds light on the original Mary Poppins,
Myth, Symbol, and Meaning in Mary Poppins is the only full-length study that covers all the Mary Poppins books, exposing just how subversive the pre-Disney Mary Poppins character truly was. Drawing important parallels between the character and the life of her creator, who worked as a governess herself, Grilli reveals the ways in which Mary Poppins came to unsettle the rigid and rigorous rules of Victorian and Edwardian society that most governesses embodied, taught, and passed on to their charges.
Giorgia Grilli teaches children's literature at the University of Bologna. She has published four books on children's literature in Italian.