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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,

if slightly dotty, suffragette. And the whole point about Mary Poppins was that she knew her place. She was subversive in a very proper manner.

Perhaps Ms Fox has confused one Julie Andrews' role with another - that of Maria von Trapp in The Sound of Music. Maria ran away from a nunnery, stitched playsuits out of old curtains and answered back. She was the children's friend but even more friendly with their father, whom she went on to marry.

Many working mothers would give their best briefcases for a Mary Poppins. Unfortunately, she was a fictitious character who disappeared over the rooftops of London never to be seen again.

Yours faithfully, DEBORAH JACKSON Bath 9 January