[RASPE, Rudolph Erich]. Gulliver Revived: or, the Vice of Lying properly exposed; Containing Singular Travels Campaigns Voyages by Baron Münchausen. A new edition, Considerably enlarged, and ornamented with beautiful Copperplates. Hamburgh, Printed for B. G. Hoffmann, 1790.
Small 8vo. Contemporary German half-calf over marbled boards, spine ornamented in gilt and with raised bands; pp. xxiv, 188, engraved frontispiece and six engraved plates; binding a little rubbed, lettering-piece with loss; the occasional brown spot here and there, sectional title with tiny marginal repair; a good copy af a great rarity; German ownership inscription Eugen Heidenreich, dated 1849, to front fly-leaf.
An early and beautifully illustrated edition of the complete Münchhausen imaginary voyages. Although Raspe was German, he wrote the miraculous adventures in English, while engaged in mining activities in Cornwall. The first edition had appeared in Oxford in 1786 (a chapbook of 49 pages) and subsequent editions saw the corpus increasing and revised. All early editions are very rare. The editor of this Hamburg edition remarks that 'the first edition contained no more than was written by Baron Münchhausen, and includes chapters 2, 3, 4, 5 and six only. All the other chapters are the production of another pen, written in the Baron's manner' (Preface).
The character of Münchhausen is loosely based on a real baron, Hieronymus Karl Friedrich, Freiherr von Münchhausen, who fought for the Russian Empire in the Russo-Turkish War of 1735–1739. Upon his return, he was famous for his outrageously elaborate tales surrounding his military career, on which Raspe based his adventures, which include riding on a cannonball, fighting a forty-foot crocodile, and travelling to the Moon. The real Baron was, understandably, quite put out by this unwanted fame, and threatened legal proceedings against the book's publisher. Perhaps fearing a libel suit, Raspe never acknowledged his authorship of the work, which was only established posthumously.
ESTC N7462 (only 22 pages of preliminaries; giving 8 locations in the US and on the Continent, some incomplete); VD18 11448482. - The International Science Fiction Database does not list this Hamburg edition.