Mary Poppins’s real-life model appears in unseen PL Travers story

PL Travers wrote about the eccentric great aunt who inspired Mary Poppins in a story which she gave away as a Christmas gift in 1941, and which is being released to the general public for the first time this November.

Travers called her great aunt Ellie, whose real name was Helen Morehead, Christina Saraset, or Sass for short. In her semi-autobiographical story Aunt Sass, she writes of how “her remarkableness lay in the extraordinary and, to me, enchanting discrepancy between her external behaviour and her inner self”, adding “imagine a bulldog whose ferocious exterior covers a heart tender to the point of sentimentality and you have Christina Saraset”.

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