The Story of the Trapp Family Singers

George and Maria von Trapp
George and Maria von Trapp

The Story of the Trapp Family Singers
Maria Augusta Trapp
First published in 1949

Maria was a novitiate in the Nonnberg convent in Salzburg, Austria when asked by the Mother Superior to be a teacher for the youngest daughter of Baron von Trapp, retired Captain in the Austrian Navy. This assignment was for one year after which Maria expected to become a nun and live a sheltered life.

Maria loved the many children of the von Trapp household and became a mother to them. During the course of the year, the Baron broke off an engagement after he realised that he loved Maria. Rather an unconventional romantic development but Maria (and her mother superior) felt this was the will of God.

The book goes on with descriptions of married life in Austria and the birth of her first child. Trapp lost his fortune in 1935 due to the collapse of a bank. The family started performing music performances which developed into a very popular touring act.

In 1938, Austria was annexed into Greater Germany by the Nazi regime. The devoit Catholic von Trapp family decided to leave Austria for America.

The remainder of the book describes their ordeal as refugees in the United States, gaining permanent residence, developing their musical peformances including musical camps and their country life in Stowe, Vermont. A lot of detail was spent describing the death of the Baron, but Maria wanted to celebrate the life of her beloved husband.

The book is the basis of the film “The Sound of Music” which I will watch again in the near future.

More information in the Wikipedia article on Maria von Trapp,  and the Trapp family house in Vermont.

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