Hieronymus Karl Friedrich Von Muchhausen, baron, a German soldier, born at Bodenwerder, Hanover, in 1720, died there in 1797. He served in bis youth as a cavalry officer in the Russian army, and passed his latter days in Hanover. He delighted in telling wonderful stories of his adventures in the campaign against the Turks in 1737-'9, which gained for him the reputation of being one of the greatest liars who ever lived. The stories were repeated from one end of the country to the other, and created universal merriment. They are said to have been first compiled by Rudolf Erich Raspe, a man of letters, who, being compelled to flee from Cassel to England on account of a charge of embezzlement, was engaged in London in literary pursuits, and is generally believed to have published anonymously an English edition of the stories under the title of "Baron Munchausen's Narrative of his Marvellous Travels and Campaigns in Russia" (London, 1785). A second edition, considerably enlarged and ornamented with views from the baron's drawings, was published at Oxford in 1786, under the title of "The Singular Travels, Campaigns, Voyages, and Sporting Adventures of Baron Munnikhousen, commonly pronounced Munchausen; as he relates them over a bottle when surrounded by his friends." A third edition (London, 1786) bore the additional title of "Gulliver Revived," and was soon followed by others.
The work was first issued in a German form in 1787, under the auspices of the poet Burger. A
German edition of this famous work, entitled Des Freiherrn von Munchhausen wunderbare Reisen und Abentener (Göttingen and Berlin, 1849), contains an introduction by Adolf Lllis-Ben upon the life and writings of the author the sources and originals of the Munchhausens and the literature of fictitious travels in general. But a largo proportion of the hunting stories in this edition are derived from Henry Bebel's Facethv (Strasburg, 1508), while other incidents are borrowed from Casti-glione's Cortegiano and Bildermann's Utopia, which are included in Lange's Delicioe Academical (Heilbronn, 1765). A free German version of the English edition appeared in Leip-sic in 1846, under the title of Münchhausens Lugenabenteuer. The work still maintains its popularity in Germany as well as in England and the United States. Imitations of Munch-hausen's stories are called in Germany Munch-hausiaden. The success of the work gave rise to Immermann's celebrated novel Munchhausen (4 vols., 2d ed., Düsseldorf, 1841), and to Adolf Schrodter's picture representing the baron surrounded by his listeners.