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The Story of the Trapp Family Singers (1949)

de Maria Augusta Trapp

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1,494259,534 (3.81)20
With nearly 1,500 Broadway performances, six Tony Awards, more than three million albums sold, and five Academy Awards, The Sound of Music, based on the lives of Maria, the baron, and their singing children, is as familiar to most of us as our own family history. But much about the real-life woman and her family was left untold. Here, Baroness Maria Augusta Trapp tells in her own beautiful, simple words the extraordinary story of her romance with the baron, their escape from Nazi-occupied Austria, and their life in America. Now with photographs from the original edition.… (més)
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Outlines the events that led to the American Revolutionary War and the writing of the document that separated the America from Britain.
  BLTSbraille | Oct 11, 2021 |
The story that inspired "The Sound of Music."
  BLTSbraille | Oct 5, 2021 |
I first read this book when a teen. What a delight to read it again and find that it is her testimony.

In the movie, the climax is the escape from Austria. In the book, that is treated with a brief flashback - only enough to let us readers know that it did happen.

This book is really about the many 'miracles' in her life that witnessed to her that God is in charge and he blesses those who trust in him.
( )
  bread2u | Jul 1, 2020 |
https://nwhyte.livejournal.com/3312512.html

Actually only the first part of the book deals with their time in Austria; the rest is about their experiences in America. Neither book nor film explains much about Maria's own background - apparently both her parents died by the time she was ten, and various other arrangements did not work out; she did get a professional teaching qualification before entering the convent.

The major change to the story is the telescoping of time. Maria and Georg married in 1927, when he was 47 and she was 22 (when the film was made, Julie Andrews was 29 and Christopher Plummer 35); over the next ten years the family became noted performers, especially when most of their money was wiped out in a bank crash and they needed the income; Maria had three more children to add to the seven from the first marriage; the turning point when they decided to flee was after they were invited to sing for Hitler on his birthday after the Anschluss, and knew that they could not bring themselves to do it but also could not stay in the Reich if they said no. And they fled to Italy, where Georg von Trapp had citizenship due to havig been born in Zara when it was Austrian (it was then Italian and is now the Croatian city of Zadar).

Most of the story about her romance with Georg von Trapp is consistent between the book and the musical/film, and a lot of the little details about life in the Trapp household are taken from the book. Maria's rival for Trapp's affections is described as "Princess Yvonne", a distant cousin of the first Mrs Trapp, and by implication of Austro-Hungarian nobility. I have done a bit of detective work on this. The first Mrs Trapp was born Agatha Whitehead, into a family of British naval engineers who moved to the Austro-Hungarian coast (now in Croatia) - her grandfather invented the torpedo, and his sons carried on the work. Her mother was an Austro-Hungarian aristocrat, who would have had many eligible nieces and cousins I suppose; also her father's sister married Georg von Hoyos, her cousin was the diplomat Alexander von Hoyos, and there are plenty of candidates on that side as well (I see an Ilona who would be the right age and is almost "Yvonne"). Incidentally Georg von Trapp was a submarine captain, and personally sank eleven Allied ships in the first world war, six of them British; we don't hear much about that.

The book is frank about the problems of impoverished gentility and very direct about the plight of refugees trying to get permanent status in the USA - it is of course inhumanly difficult now, but it wasn't all that easy back then even for nice white people. Maria is also very up front about her personal piety and devotion to the Catholic faith - it’s entirely consistent with the story of her vocation, and it’s an element that is only alluded to as background colour in the film.

It's a celebrity memoir, written for fans, but also I feel putting down on paper the stories that Maria had told her friends and family over many years. She finishes with reflections on the fundraising that the family had done for humanitarian relief in Austria after the war ended, an emotional but also super-organisational task, and on Georg’s death from lung cancer in 1947 on the Vermont farm that the family set up as first a refuge and then a business, and which is still run by the grandchildren. ( )
  nwhyte | Dec 28, 2019 |
The book that my favorite movie is based on! ( )
  mollygerry | Nov 19, 2018 |
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With nearly 1,500 Broadway performances, six Tony Awards, more than three million albums sold, and five Academy Awards, The Sound of Music, based on the lives of Maria, the baron, and their singing children, is as familiar to most of us as our own family history. But much about the real-life woman and her family was left untold. Here, Baroness Maria Augusta Trapp tells in her own beautiful, simple words the extraordinary story of her romance with the baron, their escape from Nazi-occupied Austria, and their life in America. Now with photographs from the original edition.

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