(Baron). The hero of a volume of travels, who meets with the most marvellous adventures. The incidents have been compiled from various sources, and the name is said to have pointed to Hieronymus Karl Friedrich von Münchhausen, a German officer in the Russian army, noted for his marvellous stories (1720-1797). It is a satire either on Baron de Tott, or on Bruce, whose Travels in Abyssinia were looked upon as mythical when they first appeared. The author is Rudolf Erich Raspe, and the sources from which the adventures were compiled, are Bebel's Facetiæ, Castiglione's Cortegiano, Bildermann's Utopia, and some of the baron's own stories.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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