and five casting decisions that took the shine off the stars

Humphrey Bogart - The Amazing Dr Clitterhouse (1938)

Obituary: P. L. Travers

P. L. Travers (the initials stand for Pamela Lyndon) is best known as an author of children's books, in particular as the creator of Mary Poppins, one of the most original and universally loved characters in modern children's fiction: a "cosmic nanny" / "guardian angel" who arrives one day out of the blue, as if sent from Heaven, in Cherry Tree Lane to look after the Banks children, Jane and Michael.

When a nanny has to go

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Letter: South Bank needs debate, not prejudice

PETER Popham, in "A duel of lady versus knight" (21 January), tries to discredit the views of an active and highly respected woman in the field of architecture who dares to criticise Sir Richard Rogers's proposals for the South Bank by painting her that bane of British men, a "bluestocking", a bookish Mary Poppins.

It's no fairytale

Scottish Opera's Hansel and Gretel makes few concessions to childhood. By Raymond Monelle

true gripes children's tapes

Every time I think of the medieval majesty of Mont Saint Michel I don't hear polyphonic choirs or Debussy's La Mer, I hear "Hop, Skip & Jump!" played on a synthesizer and sung by a middle-aged woman who ought to have known better.

BOOKS: He said, she said

TALKING FROM 9 TO 5: How women's and men's conversational styles affect who gets heard, who gets credit, and what gets done at work by Deborah Tannen, Virago pounds 16.99

Bourne to be mild

SHOW PEOPLE: MATTHEW BOURNE

THE GOOD, THE GREAT & THE UGLY No. 100 Virginia Bottomley

I see it's Good Health Day on Tuesday. I suppose that'll mean another opportunity for Virginia Bottomley to give us all a lecture?

Interviewing vampires was my speciality : The agreeable World of Wallac e Arnold

I AM NOT what one might call an inveterate fan of the cinema, though like everyone else I thoroughly enjoyed the performance of Miss Julie Andrews in Mary Poppins. Indeed, I enjoyed it so much that I threw my now legendary Mary Poppins party, in which the great and the good came dressed as their favourite characters.

Letter: Subversion in the nursery

Sir: Genevieve Fox writes that "even Mary Poppins... ended up upsetting the social order by marrying the children's widowed father." ("So farewell then, Mary Poppins", 9 January). Not so. The mother in the Banks household was very much alive - a devoted,

So farewell then, Mary Poppins

Last week's kiss between Prince Charles and Tiggy Legge-Bourke made man y people wonder less about the role of the modern royal and more about the role of the modern n anny.

Silly Questions: It's all been a terrible mistake

FIRSTLY, let us catch up with the penguins squeezed out a couple of weeks ago. The question was why they are so often portrayed (as in Batman or The Wrong Trousers) as criminals. R J Pickles believes it is due to their resemblance in gait and dress to 'the sinister, ubiquitously evening-suited criminal elements who own speakeasies in gangster B- movies.'

Bunhill: Raving bankers

EXAMPLES of nice fictional bank managers have been flooding in since I suggested last week the breed did not exist. My theory that English literature and film is dominated by two types of bank manager - stuffy, pompous Captain Mainwarings and rapacious Mr Bulstrodes - is looking thin. Modern-day bank managers desperately need a role model from fiction.

BOOKS / W H Smith / IoS Family Book Quiz: Winners & Answers

We had a very good response to the W H Smith / IoS Family Book Quiz (21 November 1993), with more than 50 correct entries, so the winners and runners-up were drawn out of a hat.
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