The Surprising Adventures of Baron Munchausen
Publication Date: November 6, 2012
List Price: $20.00*
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The only available hardcover edition of the fantastical story of the semi-mythical folk hero Baron Munchausen, who has delighted generations of readers all over the world. With a full-cloth, quality hardcover binding, a silk ribbon marker, and gorgeous illustrations by Gustave Dore.
Baron Munchausen was a real German adventurer known for his fondness for tall tales and exaggeration. But the exploits that Rudolf Erich Raspe attributed to him in his book, which he first published in London in 1785, quite clearly drew on folklore and on Raspe's own whimsical inventiveness. The Baron's escapades include a balloon expedition to visit the King of the Moon, an encounter with the goddess Venus, a battle with the Turkish army, and an enormous sea creature who swallows him up in the South Seas.
Charles Perrault was a serious writer who understood, at the end of his life, that his duty, as a human being and an intellectual, was to increase the level of reason and humanity of people. Therefore, he gathered European folktales and transformed them in order to enhance their moral qualities. Barbarity, man's temptation, was an individual disgrace he wanted to dilute in the fountain of knowledge. Children were to read his fairy tales and choose to follow, with the help of their maturing consciousness, the road to wisdom. More than three centuries later, a world on the verge of total self-destruction should listen, at last, to the echo of the fabulist's intelligence.