Münchhausen, Baron

Münchhausen, Baron

▪ Hanoverian storyteller
in full  Karl Friedrich Hieronymus, baron of (Freiherr von) Münchhausen , Münchhausen also spelled  Münchausen 
born May 11, 1720, Bodenwerder, Hanover [Germany]
died February 22, 1797, Bodenwerder

      Hanoverian storyteller, some of whose tales were the basis for the collection The Adventures of Baron Munchausen.

      Münchhausen served with the Russian army against the Turks and retired to his estates as a country gentleman in 1760. He became famous throughout Hanover as a raconteur of extraordinary tales about his life as a soldier, hunter, and sportsman. A collection of such tales appeared in Vademecum für lustige Leute (1781–83; “Manual for Merry People”), all of them attributed to the baron, though several can be traced to much earlier sources.

      Münchhausen, however, was launched as a “type” of tall-story teller by Rudolf Erich Raspe (Raspe, Rudolf Erich), who used the earlier stories as basic material for a small volume published (anonymously) in London in 1785 under the title Baron Munchausen's Narrative of His Marvellous Travels and Campaigns in Russia. Gottfried August Bürger (Bürger, Gottfried August) freely translated Raspe's volume back into German in 1786, and it was Bürger's edition that became the most widely known in German. Later and much enlarged editions, none of them having much to do with the historical Baron Münchhausen, became widely known and popular in many languages. They are generally known in English as The Adventures of Baron Munchausen.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • MÜNCHHAUSEN, BARON VON —    a cavalry officer in the service of Hanover famed for the extravagant stories he used to relate of his adventures and exploits which, with exaggerations, were collected by one Raspe, and published in 1785 under Münchhausen s name (1720 1797) …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Münchhausen,Baron Karl Friedrich Hieronymus von — Münch·hau·sen (münKHʹhou zən) also Mun·chau·sen (mŭnʹchou , mŭnchʹhou ), Baron Karl Friedrich Hieronymus von. 1720 1797. German soldier and raconteur known for his fantastic stories about his adventures as a hunter, sportsman, and soldier. * * * …   Universalium

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