The stories about Baron Munchausen were first collected and published by an anonymous author in 1781. An English version was published in London in 1785 by Rudolf Erich Raspe as "The Surprising Adventures of Baron Munchausen".
It is not clear how much of the story material derives from the Baron himself; however, it is known that the majority of the stories are based on folktales that have been in circulation for many centuries before Munchausen's birth.
"The Surprising Adventures of Baron Munchausen" presents a certain eighteenth-century German noble ventured abroad for military service and returned with a series of amusingly outrageous stories.
Baron Munchausen's astounding feats included riding cannonballs, traveling to the Moon, and pulling himself out of a bog by his own hair.
Since the book appeared readers have been delighted in knowing about these unlikely adventures. Hence, by the nineteenth century, the tales had undergone expansions and transformations by several notable authors and had been translated into many languages. A figure as colourful as the Baron naturally appeals to the artistic imagination, and he has been depicted in numerous works of art. His definitive visual image, however, belongs to Gustave Doré.