The former home of P. L. Travers, one of the 20th century’s most influential authors, is sure to be snatched up faster than you can say supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.
If there was any house that parents could convince their children to keep spit-spot, as if by magic, it’s this one.
A hop and a skip from the cherry-strewn streets which inspired the Banks family home, 29 Shawfield Street in the charming borough of Chelsea was once the home of P. L. Travers, creator of one of England’s most beloved literary characters: Mary Poppins. The iconic property is now on the market through Russell Simpson at a guide price of £4.85 million.
P. L. Travers was born Helen Lyndon Goff in 1899 in Queensland, Australia. Suffering the loss of her father Travers at a young age, Goff boarded in Sydney and toured as an actress with Allan Wilkie’s Shakespearean Company until her move to England in 1924.
Helen Goff disappeared in England when, despite protests from her family, Goff took on her father’s Christian name and became known as Pamela Lyndon Travers. Travers continued to act and dance in London, moving to Sussex in 1931. Two years later, she began to write Marry Poppins.
Travers first found success when Mary Poppins was published in 1934. Appealing to children and adults alike, the character became iconic, propelling Travers to one of the most celebrated and influential authors of the 20th century.
In 1962, P. L. Travers purchased 29 Shawfield Street following the release of her fifth book, Mary Poppins From A to Z. It was here that she wrote three further books and lived out the rest of her days, before passing away in 1996. The house itself featured in Saving Mr Banks, a movie documenting Mary Poppin’s (slightly reluctant, as P. L. Travers was vehemently opposed to it for a number of years) journey from page to screen.
A light and spacious four-bedroom Grade II-listed house, 29 Shawfield Street is just off the eastern side of the Kings Road. Recently refurbished, the property benefits from three terraces, five entertaining spaces and even a pleasant outdoor space – a high prize in such a premier area of London.
It may take more than a spoonful of sugar to swallow the price, but for literary lovers looking for a London home, there couldn’t be a more appropriate property on the market.
And of course, if one were in want of a little extra help, there’s always the option of casting an advertisement to the wind and waiting for an unusual answer. After all, if there was a family destined to receive the helping hand of a flying nanny, it would be the one to live in her creator’s beloved home. Wouldn’t it?
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