The Travels and Surprising Adventures of Baron Munchausen

A Novel

Illustrated by William Strang and J. B. Clark

Part of The Neversink Library

No one has journeyed to as many foreign lands as Baron von Munchausen. Nor, when it comes time to fire a cannon, will you find anyone more accurate. Courtly life is as natural to him as the harshest polar desert. On the subject of politics and science he has no equal. And all discussion of the moon must start and stop with the only man who has ever been there. His feats of prowess are famed the world over. Who else could leap a hedgerow with a carriage and horse on their back? No one. And then of course there are the bears. . . My god the poor bears!

Written at a time when science was replacing religion, and explorers were mapping the globe, and in our own time made into an acclaimed movie by Terry Gilliam, The Travels and Surprising Adventures of Baron Munchausen unleashed the quintessential madman upon the Age of Enlightenment—and it remains the tallest of tall tales to this day.

RUDOLPH ERICH RASPE (1736–1794) was a librarian, scientist, and sometime gemstone thief. After a botched confidence scheme, Raspe fled Germany for England, where he wrote and anonymously published The Travels and Surprising Adventures of Baron Munchausen. Written in English, the work remained obscure until translated into German by Gottfried August Bürger, to whom it was attributed. After Raspe’s death, the true author was revealed.