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Mythical VS Fictional People


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#1 Willow

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 12:07 PM

Top ten fictional characters that the British public thinks are real

1) King Arthur 65%
2) Sherlock Holmes 58%
3) Robin Hood 51%
4) Eleanor Rigby 47%
5) Mona Lisa -35%
6) Dick Turpin 34%
7) Biggles 33%
8) The Three Musketeers 17%
9) Lady Godiva 12%
10) Robinson Crusoe 5%



Top ten historical figures that the British public thinks are myths

1) Richard the Lionheart 47%
2) Winston Churchill 23%
3) Florence Nightingale 23%
4) Bernard Montgomery 6%
5) Boudica - 5%
6) Sir Walter Raleigh 4%
7) Duke of Wellington - 4%
8) Cleopatra - 4%
9) Gandhi 3%
10) Charles Dickins - 3%


Shame-faced Brits are increasingly confusing fact and fiction when it comes to historical knowledge that's the verdict of a compelling new study which found that most people believe that fictional figures such as King Arthur, Sherlock Holmes and Eleanor Rigby really existed.

The study, specially commissioned by UKTV Gold, tested the nation on its historical knowledge by asking 3,000 people a series of questions relating to famous factual and fictional characters. The results provide a fascinating insight into the influence that popular TV, film and fiction has had on the nation's perception of history over the last 50 years.

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#2 AnnieV

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 01:43 PM

I must admit, I thought Lady Godiva was a real person :clap: and isn't it true that the Mona Lisa could have been a portrait of a real person?
And I don't think I've ever heard of Bernard Montgomery.
But these stats were really surprising to me...I would have thought most people would know the difference between history and legend.
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#3 Yosei

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 02:13 PM

I must admit, I thought Lady Godiva was a real person :clap: and isn't it true that the Mona Lisa could have been a portrait of a real person?
And I don't think I've ever heard of Bernard Montgomery.
But these stats were really surprising to me...I would have thought most people would know the difference between history and legend.


Well, according to Wiki, she WAS, but her story may not have been so spectacular:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godiva

Likewise, it is widely speculated by historians that King Arthur was loosely based on a popular, but minor, warlord. Certainly he wasn't a king and certainly not in the time period we picture him, but could have been a good leader that someone made stories about that got added to over time.

Perhaps Wiki is mistaken, but Dick Turpin actually seems fairly well documented for a fictional character:
http://en.wikipedia....iki/Dick_Turpin

I'm also pretty sure the Mona Lisa was obviously a portrait of *somebody*, even if we don't know her real name, so this list is a little skewed in the sense that, having fictional stories about someone doesn't exactly mean the *PERSON* is fiction.


There are other cases where these things are not so easily determined, too---and this one tends toward the other direction:
http://en.wikipedia....i/Old_King_Cole

I was a little surprised at the more recent ones in both lists, like Sherlock Holmes and Florence Nightingale. You would think a hundred years isn't THAT long! And Charles Dickens? How did these people make it through school without having to read his books?

Edited by Yosei, 06 February 2008 - 02:19 PM.

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#4 AnnieV

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 03:53 PM

I must admit, I thought Lady Godiva was a real person :clap: and isn't it true that the Mona Lisa could have been a portrait of a real person?
And I don't think I've ever heard of Bernard Montgomery.
But these stats were really surprising to me...I would have thought most people would know the difference between history and legend.


Well, according to Wiki, she WAS, but her story may not have been so spectacular:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godiva

And Charles Dickens? How did these people make it through school without having to read his books?

I went and read what the wiki said about Lady Godiva, and thank God I'm not stupid...it said exactly what I thought I knew. And if I am stupid, I guess it's not my fault! LOL!

Oh, and Charles Dickens was one of the ones that surprised me most (along with Winston Churchill and Florence Nightingale). It's not like he was a character in one of his stories!
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#5 Redhead

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 04:22 PM

In some ways, I'm not too surprised about King Arthur - I have a very well read friend who believes that he really did exist, along with Camelot, Merlin, and so on. This man isn't stupid by any means, yet refused to budge and laughs when told that the actual legend has changed over the centuries when society changes.

It's a very sad day, however, when the citizens of the UK do not know that the very man who defended their nation against AXIS powers and saved them from Hitler was a very real man. But then, are we much brighter here? Look how many people read "DaVinci Code" and suddenly believe it to be the truth.

Oh, on a side note, it is widely believed that Da Vinci used more than one model for Mona Lisa. One woman's hands were used, and one woman's neck, and so on. And there is one school of thought that he may have actually painted himself for the face, but made it more femmine. He did enjoy practical jokes and the thought is that may have been one.

Edited by Redhead, 06 February 2008 - 04:24 PM.

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#6 Yosei

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 04:23 PM

Yeah---come to think of it there should still be plenty of people alive who *remember* Winston Churchill...Wonder how old these people they surveyed were?
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#7 Redhead

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 04:26 PM

Well, the war ended in 1945, so there are many people - like Queen Elizabeth II - who are still alive who remember him. And I believe that Mr. Churchhill died in the mid to late 1960s - so anyone who was at least pre-teen then should remember him.
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#8 eatnama

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 05:27 AM

Actually the Three Musketeers (+ d'Artagnan) are based on real life characters with a lot of Dumas flavour on top. And I've always thought Robin Hood was based on some RL person, too?

#9 Mark London

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 08:00 AM

Well acutally folks me being from the UK i am not surprised by these results.

And you know why ???

Because alot of schools especially in my days did not teach Modern History as such, I can remember learning about the Stone Age, Romans and the dark ages. It wasnt until my last years at school did we ever learn anything newer, we covered the two world wars and that was it.

I was obviously amazed we didnt cover such subjects as mentioned above.

So basically our Government and Education system are to blame !

Mark :)

#10 AnnieV

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 09:12 AM

I was always under the impression that British schools were supposed to be "better" than American ones. (I'm not sure if that's a personal, unwaranted assumption, or if I've been influenced to believe that.) Maybe Americans would do just as poorly...all I have for comparisson is my own (public school) education, and the only person on the "real" list that I don't remember learning about is Bernard Montgomery...so I suppose my history classes served me well. :)
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#11 Mark London

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 03:53 PM

After looking at the list again,

Im convinced it is some kind of poll for a younger audience ie. 18-21's or something, because I am convinced our age groups would given better results.

Bernard Montgomery (Monty) is our famous military leader as Patton was for you in WWII

Mark :)

#12 AnnieV

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 05:48 PM

Bernard Montgomery (Monty) is our famous military leader as Patton was for you in WWII
Mark :)

Ah yes...I looked him up on Wikipedia as soon as I read this and now I am very well informed! :hug:
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#13 Redhead

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 07:18 PM

I agree, Mark, it must have been the younger crowd that was polled. I am thinking of Churchill again. I looked him up and found that he died in '65, and De Gaulle died in '70. I remember them and hearing about their deaths as well as Eisenhower's and Truman's deaths. But then in the US, there were only 3 television networks, and homes had only one set - the whole family watched the news together - and oddly enough it was discussed by our whole family too! I have a hunch that in the UK as well as here, a family watching any program together, let alone a news broadcast is not happening.
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#14 Shawn333

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Posted 13 February 2008 - 10:36 AM

I can't decide if this is more funny or sad. When I first saw the title with VS. in it, I thought this was going to be a hypothetical who would win in a death match between fictional and real people, kind of discussion. Like Churchill vs. King Arthur and Lady Godiva vs. Ghandi. And my all time favorite theoretical topic, who would win if Bruce Lee fought Batman.

On a serious note, I can totally see how people might think King Arthur and Robin Hood were real. There's always been speculation that they were based on historical figures or more likely composites of several people.

#15 AnnieV

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Posted 13 February 2008 - 10:40 AM

And my all time favorite theoretical topic, who would win if Bruce Lee fought Batman.

Oh, Batman, totally. :weeee:
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