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Memories Before and After The Sound of Music
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Memories Before and After The Sound of Music

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A very, very good autobiography written by Agathe, the oldest daughter in the real von Trapp family. She details both her mother's and her father's families, how they acquired their titles, how they came to meet and marry, and how George and her mother, Agathe, met and married. Needless to say, the movie/play and her life are very, very different. If you are a movie buff, the second to the last chapter details her coming to understand the differences between movie von Trapps and real von Trapps. I was blown away by how loving her family was, how big her family was, how often they moved around Austria and Italy (prior to the Great War where her father was a naval submarine commander), and how Georg took them on sailing trips, camping trips, and helped them explore the world in greater detail than they might otherwise have done. All of the children were brought up with the wealth that they inherited, with a series of nurses and governesses, and each child's entrance into the world is detailed and each child's personality is given with love. The point at which her mother dies and Maria comes into their lives is also a part of this book, but it was not until many, many years into her life that Maria made her appearance.

One aspect that I had not expected was the series of drawings Agathe makes - the grounds around the homes they lived in, the coastline of the Adriatic Sea where her father lived in his early years, his trips to the seas around Vietnam - that are detailed and lend great touchpoints to the story. She is a talented artist and takes great pride in her accomplishments. It was common for girls and boys of their class to have received instruction in art and music, and the young von Trapp children are no exception.

Agathe also details how their singing as a family came about, including their early concerts through Europe and America, as well as their new lives once they escaped from Nazi Austria. It was a grueling scheduled - on the road from October to just before Christmas, then from January through May. But she and her siblings saw many areas of the US from their tour bus, and Maria made sure that they got out and explored when they could." ( )
  threadnsong | Jun 18, 2016 |
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