I heard these two facts a few years ago when I was touring Mozart's house in Salzburg, Austria. Even though I was on tourist overload, I remembered them, and, long story short, ended up writing a biographical novel, Mozart's Sister.
What's a biographical novel--or bio-novel, for short? In my case, I define them as novels that are factual (as much as I can make them so) but read like a novel. It's a chance for my ladies-of-history to speak, to tell their life-stories.
And so at the age of 5 and 10, Leopold and his wife took their children on a grand musical tour, to Vienna, Paris, London, Holland, Germany... They performed before royalty, in castles and palaces. Beyond the normal music, they did tricks like playing with a cloth over the keys. The aristocracy of Europe loved them. Their father readily accepted gifts and payment, though what they'd receive as compensation--and when they'd receive it--was a surprise.
While Leopold struggled with money, status, and his own delicate ego, Nannerl was literally left behind. With money tight, and the children's star waning, their father focused on the son alone. Even though Nannerl could compose and was an expert at accompanying--without music--there were no women composers, so she was not encouraged. Women were supposed to take care of the home, get married, and have babies. He used her talent as long as it made him money, then pushed her aside.
|The Mozarts, notice Mrs. Mozart shown in a portrait, |
after she died
I think it was hard for Nannerl because she was shown the world and was initially encouraged in her music. To have all that taken from her would be more painful than never having it at all.