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Endlessly imaginative, deliciously quirky, and tempered by a strong sense of humour, Hoffmann's story will, like Drosselmeier's magical inventions, delight and enthral adults and children a like.
This beautiful volume, published to celebrate the bicentenary of the tale's first publication in 1816, brings together the complete, unabridged German classic, in a new translation by the eminent translator Anthea Bell, with over seventy wonderful illustrations by the award-winning artist Robert Ingpen. The Nutcracker is well-loved by many, and is perhaps best known as the inspiration for Tchaikovsky's famous ballet, performed as a favourite Christmas spectacle the world over. The ballet was based on a French retelling of the story, and Hoffmann's German original is rarely translated in its entirety.
In addition to telling the familiar tale of the gentle young girl and her love for the enchanted Nutcracker - a Christmas gift from her enigmatic Godfather Drosselmeier - who leads the toy soldiers in a dramatic battle against the sinister Mouse King, and whisks her away to the Kingdom of Toys, the original text also includes the story within the story, told to Marie by Drosselmeier when she is ill in bed: The Tale of the Hard Nut, about the cursed Princess Pirlipat, which explains the background of how the poor Nutcracker came to be.