A children’s Christmas story by E. T. A. Hoffmann, “The Nutcracker and the Mouse-King” is the magical adventure of Marie Stahlbaum’s favourite toy, the Nutcracker, who battles the nefarious Mouse-King in battle and takes the reader on a wonderful adventure, into a magical land of dolls. Probably Hoffman’s most well-known story, produced in 1816, due to the fact that – some seventy-six years later – it inspired Tchaikovsky’s ballet “The Nutcracker”. A true Christmas classic, perfect for festive bedtime reading for adults and children a-like. Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann (1776 – 1822) was born in Königsberg, East Prussia. Hoffmann’s family were all jurists, and during his youth he was initially encouraged to pursue a career in law. However, in his late teens Hoffman became increasingly interested in literature and philosophy, and spent much of his time reading German classicists and attending lectures by, amongst others, Immanuel Kant. Hoffman went on to produce a great range of both literary and musical works.