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  • Published: 30 October 2007
  • ISBN: 9780143104834
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 192
  • RRP: $26.99

Nutcracker and Mouse King and the Tale of the Nutcracker



The original stories behind everyone's favorite Christmas ballet

It wasn't until the 1950s that seeing The Nutcracker at Christmastime became an American tradition. But the story itself is much older and its original intent more complex. This eye-opening new volume presents two of the tale's earliest versions, both in new translations: E.T.A. Hoffmann's Nutcracker and Mouse King (1816), in which a young girl is whisked away to the Land of Toys to help her animated nutcracker defeat the Mouse King, and Alexandre Dumas's 1845 adaptation, The Tale of the Nutcracker, based on Hoffmann's popular work. Irresistible tales of magic, mystery, and childhood adventure, these timeless delights and fresh interpretations about the importance of imagination will captivate readers of all ages.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

  • Published: 30 October 2007
  • ISBN: 9780143104834
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 192
  • RRP: $26.99

About the authors

E.T.A. Hoffmann

ERNST THEODOR AMADEUS HOFFMANN was one of the most important writers of German Romanticism. He is probably best remembered for his novellas and short stories, which combine fantastical elements with a darker realism and examine the harmful effect of the unfettered imagination on the pathological mind. His novella The Sandman inspired Delibes’ ballet Coppelia, whilst The Nutcracker and the Mouseking became the basis of Tchaikovsky’s much-loved Christmas ballet.

Alexandre Dumas

Alexandre Dumas was a French playwright, historian and prolific novelist, penning a string of successful books including The Three Musketeers (1844), The Count of Monte Cristo (1845), and Twenty Years After(1845). His novels have been translated into a hundred different languages and inspired over two hundred films. In his day Dumas was as famous for his financial irresponsibility and flamboyant lifestyle as for his writing. Dumas died in 1870.

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