E.T.A. Hoffmann's famous tale The Nutcracker and the Mouse King may seem almost over-familiar as the inspiration for TcHaikovsky's equally famous ballet (in fact based on a French retelling of Hoffmann's original German tale).
However, its translation is rarely ever entire. This edition displays the full range of Hoffmann's quirky powers of invention.
Here is the whole text in English, together with another less known tale, The Strange Child, in which Felix and Christlieb, the son and daughter of a country gentleman, Sir Thaddeus, meet a child in the woods.
To Felix their new playmate appears a boy, to Christlieb another little girl.
They are not the first of their family to have met the strange child.