Inscribed First Ed. “Mary Poppins”

Value (2013) | $2,500$3,500

It's a copy of Mary Poppins that has been signed by P.L. Travers that was given to my uncle.

It defies some of the points that people feel books have to have to be valuable. It's not a particularly old book, the condition is fairly good, but it's a little worn up, as children's books tend to be. It's a first edition, and it's from 1934. Here we have the title page and the frontispiece illustration by Mary Shepard. And then you mentioned the point that is most interesting about this copy. On the end papers, there's this wonderful inscription with a double signature, "For Julian Fisher, from Mary Poppins, P.L. Travers, October, 1936." And Julian Fisher was your uncle?

He was my uncle. My grandfather knew P.L. Travers and evidently got her to sign this book for my uncle when he would have been about ten.

So the perfect age to have read the book.


What's nice about this is we often see books that are only signed by the author. This is a true presentation copy, a gift from the author to a likely reader. We see double signatures sometimes from authors who use pseudonyms. That is, Samuel Clemens often signed items Samuel Clemens and Mark Twain. This book is not written in the first person. So it's very interesting that Travers signed with her own name and then again with the name of her character. P.L. Travers died this year, as you know.


After several decades in almost seclusion. I've checked the auction records, and surprisingly for a 20th century author, there are very few inscribed copies that seem to turn up. I wouldn't hesitate to estimate this to bring between $1,000 and $1,500.


Appraisal Details

New York, NY
Update (2013)
Update (2012)
Appraised value (1998)
$1,000 Auction$1,500 Auction
Louisville, KY (July 11, 1998)
20th Century

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