According to a survey by British TV as reported in the London newspaper, nearly half of 3000 teenagers surveyed thought English king Richard the Lionhearted was fictional. More than one in four thought Florence Nightingale was a fictious figure. A small number even though that Sir Walter Raleigh, Cleopatra and Gandhi were not real persons.
They believed these to be real:
King Arthur nearly two thirds believe that he existed and led a round table of knights at Camelot. Sherlock Holmes was so convincingly brought to life in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's novels and in movies that more than half believe that the detective really lived at 221B Baker Street.
More than half believed that Robin Hood lived in Sherwood Forest, robbing the rich to give to the poor and 47 per cent believed Eleanor Rigby (Beatles song character) was a real person.
Mona Lisa, the Three Musketeers and Lady Godiva were also believed by some to have really lived.
Mama used to have neighbors who believed the characters on daily soap operas were real people. I had a neighbor once who said she liked to watch soap operas because their lives were 'so like her own.' She took her interesting life elsewhere before I noticed any real excitement.
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