P. L. Travers Was Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

P. L. TraversThe Italian mathematician Francesco Barozzi was born on this day back in 1537. Like many mathematicians then and now, he was a bit of a mystic. This caused people to accuse him of sorcery. Eventually, the Inquisition went after him and found him guilty. Twice! The second time it was for apostasy and heresy. Did he burn? Of course not! He was rich. So he bought his way out of punishment with 100 ducats of silver crosses given to the Catholic Church.

Satirical poet John Oldham was born in 1653. British suffragette Evelina Haverfield was born in 1867. Venezuelan composer Reynaldo Hahn was born in 1874. British composer Albert Ketelbey was born in 1875. He wrote kind of syrupy late Romantic stuff like The Phantom Melody:

The great developmental psychologist and epistemologist Jean Piaget was born in 1896. Poet Philip Larkin was born in 1922. Actor Robert Shaw was born in 1927. Here he is in the best scene from Jaws that he also wrote (the scene, not the movie):

And Whitney Houston was born in 1963.

Perhaps the greatest point guard of all time, Bob Cousy is 85 today. Comedian David Steinberg is 71. Actor Sam Elliott is 69. Hack novelist Jonathan Kellerman is 64. Actor Melanie Griffith is 56.

The day, however, belongs to the variously talented P. L. Travers. She is best known for her book Mary Poppins and its many sequels. She was also an actor; that’s her in the photo above as Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Here is a nice short video about the inspiration for the character:

Happy birthday P. L. Travers!

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

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