Tuesday, February 5, 2008

The Truth Is History

In a survey of 3,000 people commissioned to celebrate UKTV Gold's forthcoming Robin Hood season some very disturbing figures have come to light.

Many Britons are not sure which historical figures are fact or fiction. One in four believe that Winston Churchill and Florence Nightingale are myths and more than half think Sherlock Holmes actually existed.

It probably doesn't help things that in a Star trek the next generation episode Commander Riker states that Sherlock Holmes is his most favourite historical character, an ironic warning about the future maybe.

In a new survey, 47% of people thought that Richard the Lionheart, the 12th-century English king, was a myth.

Charles Dickens, one of the most famous and boring writers in English literature, was a fictional character himself.

Indian political leader Gandhi; Cleopatra, ruler of ancient Egypt; adventurer Sir Walter Raleigh;Popeye the sailorman; British military leader Bernard Montgomery; and Boudica, were all thought to be characters dreamt up for films and books.

Over half of those questioned (58%) believe that the detective Sherlock Holmes created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle for his novels of the late 1880s actually lived in Baker Street, with his lover/sidekick Watson.

David Niven head of research at the UK pollsters 'Detail Results' said: "Its no wonder that the bible is now frequently shown as fact on the History channel, just throw in some actual place names and some known kings and queens and people will believe it."

:: Historical figures and the percentage of Britons who believe they 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 (14%)
7. Duke of Wellington (4%)
8. Cleopatra (4%)
9. Gandhi (3%)
10. Charles Dickens (3%)
11.Old Knudsen (25%)
12.Ronald Reagan (7%)
13. Peter Pan (28%)
14.Frodo (4%)
15.Uncle Sam (9%)

:: Fictional figures and the percentage of Britons who believe they are real:Sherlock Holmes (58%)Biggles (33%) John Wayne (68%) Jesus (89%) Tom Cruise (2%)


Marie said...

I was actually glad to see this. Usually these things come out about Americans, it's nice to know that stupid people are indeed everywhere.

Manuel said...

A lot of people think I an Paisley's real too. But he's just a bogeyman created by the church to scare kids to sleep and adults out to vote.......

King Arthur said...

I'm not sure if I existed or not.