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Tale of the Nutcracker, The

About the Story

Tale of the Nutcracker, The

Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann (1776-1822) was born in the kingdom of Prussia. Hoffmann was an author, composer, theatre manager, and music critic, but he is best known as the author of the 1816 novel The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, which is the original source for Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s 1892 ballet. An author of fantasy and horror, Hoffmann’s novel was intended for adults and is more violent and unsettling than Alexandre Dumas’s version of the story or Tchaikovsky’s ballet. Hoffmann is considered a pioneer in fantasy and horror fiction. He combined realism and fantasy with the macabre to create worlds in which inanimate things come to life. His works influenced writers including Edgar Allan Poe, Nikolai Gogol, Charles Dickens, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Franz Kafka, and Alfred Hitchcock. Hoffmann is also known for his short story, “The Sandman” and his novel The Life and Opinions of Tomcat Murr.