P.L. Travers, author of the famous 'Mary Poppins" stories, based the fictional nanny on her own great aunt Ellie, and a previously unpublished story about the aunt Travers affectionately called "Sass" is soon to be released to the public.
According to The Guardian, Travers described her aunt as a woman who's "remarkableness lay in the extraordinary and, to me, enchanting discrepancy between her external behavior and her inner self. Imagine a bulldog whose ferocious exterior covers a heart tender to the point of sentimentality and you have Christina Saraset." Traver's great aunt was the inspiration for her popular character, though at the time she didn't even realize it.
"I thought to myself, 'Some day, in spite of her, I shall commit the disrespectful vulgarity of putting Aunt Sass in a book.' And then it occurred to me that this had already been done, though unconsciously and without intent," Travers noted upon learning of the death of her great aunt, the news source reported. "We write more than we know we are writing. We do not guess at the roots that made our fruit. I suddenly realized that there is a book through which Aunt Sass, stern and tender, secret and proud, anonymous and loving, stalks with her silent feet. You will find her occasionally in the pages of Mary Poppins."
The previously unreleased story was given as Christmas gifts by Travers in 1941, with approximately 500 copies made for family and close friends. It will be published with two other unreleased stories in a collection.
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