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.
About the Author
Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann (1776-1822) was born in K nigsberg, Prussia (which is now Kaliningrad, Russia). He was educated in law, but his chief interest was music and as a young man moved to Germany hoping to begin a musical career; he went on to work as a composer, director and orchestral conductor. He only turned seriously to writing during his thirties, as a way to supplement his income. With his four novels, and around fifty stories and novellas, he became one of the best-known and most admired and influential authors of his time. He is the subject and hero of Offenbach's famous opera The Tales of Hoffmann and is regarded by many as a seminal figure in the field of fantasy for children.
About the Illustrator
Robert Ingpen was born in 1936 in Geelong, Australia and still lives and works nearby in Barwon Heads. He studied illustration art and book design at The Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. In 1986, he was awarded the Hans Christian Andersen Medal for his contribution to children's literature and he has been honoured with Membership of the Order of Australia. The Nutcracker is published following his highly acclaimed series of illustrated Children's Classics, which have now been published in many editions around the world. The titles in the series are: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Alice Through the Looking-Glass, Around the World in Eighty Days, The Jungle Book, Just So Stories, Peter Pan and Wendy, The Adventures of Pinocchio, The Secret Garden, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Treasure Island, The Wind in the Willows and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
This edition is beautiful, with gold-foil details on the spine and the dust jacket and the shape of an old-style wooden toy soldier impressed onto the front cover. There's illustrated endpapers and, best of all, the book is jam-packed with pictures by renowned Australian illustrator Robert Ingpen. * Reading Time *