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Agathe von Trapp Books In Order

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Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Memories Before and After the Sound of Music (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon

Agathe von Trapp is the author of the bestselling novel “Memories Before and After the Sound of Music,” which she published in 2003.

Agathe was the eldest daughter of Agathe Whitehead von Trapp born in Pola on 12th March 1913, which was then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and is now part of Croatia.
She has quite a storied family history as she is granddaughter of the inventor of the torpedo, Robert Whitehead.

Her father Georg von Trapp then worked as a commander of submarines in the Austrian navy during World War I. Recognizing his heroic and valorous endeavors, he was named a baron.
The Agathe family-inspired film became a worldwide sensation when it was released, as it snapped five Oscars and smashed all manner of box office records.

Adjusted for inflation, the film was in the top three for the biggest-grossing films of all time just behind Star Wars and Gone with the Wind.

Nonetheless, the film somewhat detracted from the reality of the experience the Von Trapps remembered having and left them distressed. Moreover, they did not enjoy much financial remuneration from the vast profits that the film generated.

Following the death of her mother from scarlet fever in 1922, Agathe von Trapp’s family was left devastated and could no longer find peace in the place they had once been so happy.
George sold the family home and moved the family to Salzburg, Austria, where he had bought a new property.

Trapp’s father would then marry Maria Augusta Kutschera, who had been brought in to teach the children and through her, the Trapp family grew by three.

The Trapps lost much of their wealth when Wall Street crashed in 1929, resulting in the worldwide Depression. Things were so bad that they had to take in lodgers and dismiss most of their servants.
It was at this time that they began considering becoming singers, which the family loved doing as a hobby.

As the “Trapp Family Singers,” they were some of the most successful groups of the 1930s as they sang, folk songs, madrigals, baroque and Renaissance music. They even won an award at the 1936 Salzburg Music Festival.

During the 1930s, Agathe von Trapp and her family once again found themselves in imminent danger due to the rise of the Nazis in Germany.

By 1938, Austria was annexed by Germany and since Georg was a stubborn man that would not fly the Nazi flag in his house or sing for Hitler at his birthday party, they has to make a difficult choice.

Unlike in “The Sound of Music” film, they did not flee to Switzerland by traveling over the Alps. Given that Georg was born in Zadar which was part of Italy following World War I, the entire family could claim Italian citizenship.
In 1938, they all left their home in Switzerland alongside Martha Zochbauer their secretary, and Rev. Fraz Wasner their musical conductor, and headed to Italy. Once in Italy, they went to London en route to New York to begin their new lives.
They would all become US citizens in 1948 a year following the death of Georg the family patriarch. They made their home in Vermont where Georg had bought a 600-acre farm in the small town of Stowe.
They continued performing as “The Trapp Family Singers” until 1956.

At some point, Agather teamed up with a good friend named Mary Louise Kane and together they launched a private kindergarten.

It was this same kindergarten that would become one of the best private kindergartens in the state when they moved to Baltimore, Maryland, and made a lot of money.
During this time Agathe took German, music, and art lessons and would become a talented watercolorist among many other things.

Being an introspective and very private person she for a time dropped the Von Trapp name to fend off questions and was then known simply as “Miss Trapp.”

When the film inspired by the family’s story was produced in the 1950s, the family had very little input on the writing, leaving them all with a bad taste in their mouth. They did not like how each person was portrayed and how their story was too simplified.
During the 1980s, Agathe Von Trapp began writing her own version of the Von Trapp family history.

She got encouragement from Janet Horn her doctor while her husband helped edit and finance the work that would become “Memories Before and After The Sound of Music.”
After achieving much fame, she died of congestive heart failure at age 97 in Baltimore.

“Memories Before and After The Sound of Music” is a work that describes the life of the author and her family.

She was born to a man who was a commander of a submarine in the Austrian Navy and an aristocratic woman who came from a notable Austrian family that also included a British industrialist and inventor.
They had seven children before her mother died of scarlet fever and soon after, Agathe’s childhood was disrupted by the First World War and a few decades later by the rise of the Nazis during the Second World War.
The author does her best to inform her readers of the fiction in the movie. According to Agathe, her father was a kind and loving man and not as stern as was portrayed in the film.

He was a man interested in music and continued to encourage them to perform, even after the death of Agathe’s mother. Maria who was Georg’s second wife was not a wonderful woman.

Even though she developed genuine affection with the children, she could sometimes be difficult. Nonetheless, Agathe acknowledges that the film The Sound of Music had some role to play in the latter lives of all the Von Trapps.
Several themes shine through the work most notably music, faith, and family.

Even after the Von Trapps stopped touring in 1956, they maintained close contact with the Stowe, Vermont-based Trapp Family Lodge that remains the center of family activity to this day.

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