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One of five beloved Christmas classics
Written in 1816 by one of the leaders of German Romanticism for his children, nephews, and nieces, The Nutcracker captures better than any other story a child's wonder at Christmas. The gift of a handsomely decorated nutcracker from a mysterious uncle sets the stage for a Christmas Eve like no other for the little girl Marie. That night, Marie's extraordinary present comes to life, defends her from the taunting Mouse King, and whisks her off to the Kingdom of Dolls. The inspiration for the classic ballet, E. T. A. Hoffmann's irresistible tale of magic and childhood adventure continues to captivate readers of all ages. Today, many of the most enchanting symbols of Christmas, from nutcrackers to sugar plums to mistletoe, are still imbued with the power of this story.
Penguin Christmas Classics
Give the gift of literature this Christmas.
Penguin Christmas Classics honor the power of literature to keep on giving through the ages. The five volumes in the series are not only our most beloved Christmas tales, they also have given us much of what we love about the holiday itself. A Christmas Carol revived in Victorian England such Christmas hallmarks as the Christmas tree, holiday cards, and caroling. The Yuletide yarns of Anthony Trollope popularized throughout the British Empire and around the world the trappings of Christmas in London. The holiday tales of Louisa May Alcott shaped the ideal of an American Christmas. The Night Before Christmas brought forth some of our earliest Christmas traditions as passed down through folk tales. And The Nutcracker inspired the most famous ballet in history, one seen by millions in the twilight of every year.
Collect all five Penguin Christmas Classics:
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Christmas at Thompson Hall: And Other Christmas Stories by Anthony Trollope
A Merry Christmas: And Other Christmas Stories by Louisa May Alcott
The Night Before Christmas by Nikolai Gogol
The Nutcracker by E. T. A. Hoffmann
E. T. A. Hoffmann (1776-1822) was one of the best known and most influential authors of his time. Phantasiestücke, his earliest collection of tales, appeared in 1814. This was followed three years later by Nachstücke and then in 1819-21 by Die Serapoins brüder. Among his longer works is his second and final novel, Die Lebensansichten des Katers Murr (The Life and Opinions of the Tomcat Murr), which represents the highpoint of his art. He exploited the grotesque and the bizarre in a manner unmatched by any other Romantic writer.
Joachim Neugroschel (translator; 1938-2011) won three PEN translation awards and the French-American Foundation Translation Prize. He translated Thomas Mann's Death in Venice and Sacher-Masoch's Venus in Furs, among other works, for Penguin Classics.