It's extraordinary how firmly linked with "The Holiday Season" (what I like to call "Christmas"!), the image of a nutcracker has become. It seems that nutcrackers - in particular THE Nutcracker - is just as familiar now as Santa (sorry... "Father Christmas") and his elves.
Is this wholly because of Tchaikovsky's music? Would Hoffmann's dark tale have been as famous without it? Hard to say for sure. I guess Germanic traditions of Christmas trees and wooden-toy markets, and marzipan treats, are popular too, so maybew it's part of that whole package. But I think Piotr Illyich has a lot to do with the appeal of a wooden Napoleonic Hussar.
Ella Bella Ballerina and the Nutcracker has now been reprinted and so should be available right up to Christmas! DO support your local independent bookshop if you can. There are lots of signed copies in certain lucky shops... worth a few pence more, surely?
And not to be outdone, Tchaikovsky's music will fill my head with visions of sugar-plums once more this Friday when I illustrate the story LIVE with a full orchestra - the Dockland's Sinfonia. An exciting week ahead!
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