Mary Poppins is the lead character in a series of eight childrens books written by P. L. Travers and published over the period 1934 to 1988. Mary Shepard was the illustrator throughout the series. The books centre on magical English nanny Mary Poppins. She is blown by the East wind to Number 17 Cherry Tree Lane, London, and into the Banks's household to care for their children. Encounters with chimney sweeps and shopkeepers and various adventures follow until Mary Poppins abruptly leaves — i.e., "pops-out". Only the first three of the eight books feature Mary Poppins arriving and leaving. The later five books recount previously unrecorded adventures from her original three visits. As P. L. Travers explains in her introduction to Mary Poppins in the Park, "She cannot forever arrive and depart."
The books were adapted by Walt Disney in 1964 into a musical film titled Mary Poppins, starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke. In 2004, Disney Theatrical in collaboration with Cameron Mackintosh (who had previously acquired the stage rights from Travers) produced a stage musical also called Mary Poppins in the West End theatre. The stage musical was transferred to Broadway in 2006, where it ran until its closing on March 3, 2013. In 2013 the film Saving Mr. Banks depicted the making of the 1964 film.
- Well begun is half done.