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ETA Hoffmann’s The Nutcracker and the Mouse King may be familiar to many, having served as the inspiration for Tchaikovsky’s famous ballet. However, the ballet was based on a French retelling of the story, and Hoffmann’s German original is rarely translated in its entirety. This edition of the complete German classic, in a new translation by the eminent translator Anthea Bell, displays the full range of the author’s quirky power of invention. It is published here alongside another lesser-known tale, The Strange Child, in which a young brother and sister meet an unusual playmate in the woods and have to deal with a sinister new schoolmaster.

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