E. T. A. Hoffmann

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Ernst Theodor Wilhelm Hoffmann (January 24, 1776 – June 25, 1822), better known by his pen name E.T.A. Hoffmann (Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann), was a German Romantic author of fantasy and horror, a jurist, composer, music critic, draftsman and caricaturist. He is the subject and hero of Jacques Offenbach's famous but fictional opera The Tales of Hoffmann, and the author of the novelette The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, on which the famous ballet The Nutcracker is based. The ballet Coppelia is based on two other stories that Hoffmann wrote. Also Schumann's Kreisleriana is based on one of Hoffmann's characters.

Hoffmann's stories were very influential during the 19th century, and he is one of the major authors of the Romantic movement.




Hoffmann's ancestors, both maternal and paternal, were jurists. His father, Christoph Ludwig Hoffmann (1736–97) was a barrister in Königsberg, Prussia, and also a poet and amateur musician who played the viola da gamba. During 1767 he married his cousin Lovisa Albertina Doerffer (1748–96). Ernst Theodor Wilhelm, born on January 24, 1776, was the youngest of three children, of whom the second died in infancy.

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