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Histoire d'un casse-noisette

The Nutcracker

conte/short story, pub:1844

What today appears as a fairy tale of a young girl's magical dream began as a morbid story filled with dark undertones. E.T.A. Hoffman, the author of "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King," never intended the story to be for children, as his words portrayed a bleak view of humanity and relationships. Published in 1816, Hoffman's tale would undergo revision by Alexander Dumas, eliminating much of the bitterness to adapt the tale as a children's story. The new version was read with interest by Marius Petipas, the senior ballet master of the Russian Imperial Ballet, who commissioned Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky to compose a score for a full-length "Nutcracker" production. The story would later be simplified (but with the music left intact) and was created as a holiday tale that has lasted generations. (Taken from Showgate.)

    Histoire d'un casse-noisette (PDF)
    Nutcracker Libretto
    The Nutcracker Story and Legend

Oeuvres/Related Works
    Dumas père, Alexandre: The Nutcracker - Available from amazon.com (Dumas's version, out of print)
    Hoffman, Ernst Theodor Amadeus: The Nutcracker - Available from amazon.com (Hoffman's version, illustrated by Maurice Sendak)

From A Bibliography of Alexandre Dumas père by Frank Wild Reed:
     A children's story, borrowed from Hoffmann, but freshly and most amusingly told in Dumas' inimitable manner ; it has one of our author's short, characteristic introductions. Hoffmann's story was entitled "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King."
     Original edition : Paris, J. Hetzel, 1845. It was first issued in 40 parts, each of 16 pages.
     First edition in volume format, same firm, 1845, 2 vols., small 8vo. (they are now often met with bound into a single volume), pp. 132, 123, each including the table of contents for that volume. This edition is very daintily illustrated with woodcuts by Bertall, Vol. I. having a frontispiece and vignette on the title and 136 text illustrations ; Vol. II., a vignette on the title-page and 99 text illustrations, but no frontispiece. The pagination as above includes both the frontispiece and title-page of Vol. I., and the half-title and title-page of Vol. II.
     Quérard gives the date of the original edition as 1844, in which connection refer to the same statement concerning "La Bouillie de la Comtesse Berthe" (page 197).
     It forms one volume in the standard Calmann-Lévy edition (including "L'Égoïste" and "Nicolas le Philosophe"), and one in their 4to. illustrated edition.
     In Le Vasseur's "Alexandre Dumas Illustré" it is included in Vol. XVII., where most of Dumas' children's stories are collected together.

         References :—
     Quérard: "Supercheries Littéraires Dévoilées," Vol. I. Column 1108.
     Parran: "Bibliographie d'Alex. Dumas," page 50.
     Glinel: "Alexandre Dumas et Son Œuvre," pp. 393-94.

         English Translations :—
     "The Story of a Nutcracker;" London, Chapman and Hall, "Picture Story Series," 1846. Reprinted 1847.
     "The Story of a Nutcracker: " London, Routledge, sq. 16mo., 1872.
     "Princess Pirlipatine and the Nutcracker;" London, Philip Allan, coloured plates by Violet Dale, much adapted from Dumas' text by O. Eliphaz Keat, pp. 146, 1918. Reprinted, same firm, 1924.
     "The Nutcracker of Nuremberg," illustrated with (most dainty black) silhouettes cut by Else Hasselriis, translated by Grace Gingras ; New York, R. M. McBride & Co., 1930, pp. xv, 154.

From A Bibliography of Alexandre Dumas père by Frank Wild Reed:
     (CXXII.) One twelve-line stanza, rhyming a, b, a, b, c, d, c, d, a, b, a, b.
     (CXXIII.) One four-line stanza, rhyming a, b, b, a.
     (CXXIV.) Two six-line stanzas, rhyming a, a, b, c, c, b.
     (CXXV.) Two couplets and refrain.
     (CXXVI.) One eight-line stanza, rhyming in couplets.

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