Raspe studied natural science and philology at Gottingen and Leipzig and worked as a librarian for a number of universities before being appointed librarian and custodian of the Landgraf's collection of coins, gems, etc, in 1767. Raspe was elected to the Royal Society in 1769. Raspe stole from the gem collection and fled to England in 1775 to avoid prosecution. While there, he published anonymously various fantasy stories which were purported to be related by one Baron Munchausen, a baron in real life that Raspe had met in Gottingen, but hardly likely to have provided him with the tales. Raspe fled to Ireland in 1791 after becoming involved in a mining swindle, where he died three years later. The Munchausen tales were translated and expanded upon by G. A. Burger, the German poet, and published under his name in 1786 and 1788.
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The Surprising Adventures of Baron Munchausen
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