E. T. A. Hoffmann

Ernst Theodor Wilhelm Hoffmann, German Romantic writer, composer, and artist, is known for his stories in which supernatural and sinister characters move in and out of men’s lives, ironically revealing tragic or grotesque sides of human nature.
The Nutcracker and the Mouse King (German: Nussknacker und Mausekonig) was written in 1816. Young Mary Stahlbaum’s favorite Christmas toy, the Nutcracker, comes to life, and after defeating the evil seven-headed Mouse King in battle, whisks her away to a magical kingdom populated by dolls. Dark undertones hover around the sometimes oddly sinister Godfather Drosselmeier.

The 1845 adaptation by Alexandre Dumas père, “The History of the Nutcracker,” was the basis for the famed and beloved Nutcracker ballet by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov, scored by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Its annual performance has become a Christmas tradition in many venues.

Nutcracker and Mouse King

Nutcracker and Mouse King

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The Mouse King (also known as Rat King in some versions) is the main antagonist in the novel and ballet adaptation The Nutcracker. He is an oppressive ruler who wishes to rule over a magical kingdom where he comes from. He becomes successful as he transformed the prince into a nutcracker and overthrew him.

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