Rudolf Erich Raspe  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Picture from an old Dutch edition of Munchhausen (R.E. Raspe, De verrezen Gulliver. Amsterdam, 1827)[1]

Rudolf Erich Raspe (1736 - 1794) was a German librarian, writer and scientist, and he was called by his biographer John Carswell a "rogue". He is best known for his collection of tall tales: The Surprising Adventures of Baron Munchausen, originally a satirical work with political aims.

Raspe was born in Hanover, studied law and worked as a librarian for the university of Göttingen. Since 1767 he was responsible for some collections of the landgrave of Hesse-Cassel Frederic II before having to flee to England in 1775 after pilfering some gems that were supposedly in his care. He was employed by Matthew Boulton in the mines of Cornwall, and he was also publishing in geology and in the history of art. He also worked for the famous publisher John Nichols in several projects. In 1791 he moved to Scotland, and after an involvement in a mining swindle there, he left. He finally moved to Ireland where he managed a copper mine on the Herbert Estate. He died in Killarney, County Kerry, Ireland, of typhoid, in November of 1794.

The Baron Munchausen tales were made famous when they were 'borrowed', translated into German, and embellished somewhat by G. A. Bürger in 1786 - and have been a favourite read of subsequent generations, as well as the basis of several films, including Terry Gilliam's The Adventures of Baron Munchausen.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Rudolf Erich Raspe" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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