Baron Munchausen watches a crocodile eat a lion, 1811.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
'The Baron, arrives at Ceylon [Sri Lanka}, and conquers two extraordinary opponents'; engraving by Thomas Rowlandson. Illustration from 'Surprising adventures of the renowned Baron Munchausen, containing singular travels, campaigns, voyages, and adventures', published in London in 1811. The book was based on the stories of Karl Friedrich Hieronymous von Munchausen (1720-1797) a cavalry captain with a Rusian regiment who served in two Turkish wars. He was known as a teller of tall tales about travel, war, and hunting adventures.