PAMELA LYNDON TRAVERS, original name HELEN LYNDON GOFF, Australian-born English writer known for her Mary Poppins books, which have been translated into more than 20 languages and were the basis for the successful motion picture Mary Poppins (1964).
Travers went to England in 1924 and became a dancer and actress, appearing mostly in plays of William Shakespeare. She also worked as a journalist and became friendly with the poets William Butler Yeats and AE (George William Russell), with whom she shared an interest in myth. AE published some of her poems in The Irish Statesman.
Her first book, Mary Poppins (1934), about a magical, good-hearted, and exceedingly efficient nanny, was an immediate success. Two years later, after she began writing sequels, Travers decided to write full-time. She traveled throughout Europe and the United States lecturing and gaining new material for her stories.
From 1965 to 1971 she served as writer-in-residence at such colleges as Radcliffe, Smith, and Scripps. She later served as a contributing editor (1976-96) to Parabola, a journal on myth and mythology. Later works include several travel books and a collection of essays, What the Bee Knows: Reflections on Myth, Symbol and Story (1989).