Une majorité de Britanniques sont convaincus que Sherlock Holmes a réellement existé mais 23% d'entre eux pensent que Winston Churchill était un personnage de fiction, révèle une enquête publiée ce matin (4 février 2008).
LONDRES (AFP) - Winston Churchill, Premier ministre de 1940 à 1945 puis de 1951 à 1955, est considéré comme un personnage fictif par 23% des répondants, tout comme Cléopâtre (4%), Gandhi (3%) ou l'écrivain Charles Dickens (3%), précise l'enquête réalisée pour le compte de la chaîne UKTV Gold
Parmi les 3 000 personnes interrogées pour ce sondage, 47% sont persuadées que Richard Ier, dit Coeur de Lion, n'a jamais été roi d'Angleterre mais n'a vécu que dans les livres, alors qu'il a régné de 1189 à 1199.
En revanche, 58% des personnes sondées croient que Sherlock Holmes, personnage créé par Arthur Conan Doyle en 1887, a réellement existé.(Note de la SSHF : Où est le problème ?)
Expressindia » Story
LONDON (AFP) - Britons are losing their grip on reality, according to a poll out Monday which showed that nearly a quarter think Winston Churchill was a myth while the majority reckon Sherlock Holmes was real.
The survey found that 47 percent thought the 12th century English king Richard the Lionheart was a myth.
And 23 percent thought World War II prime minister Churchill was made up. The same percentage thought Crimean War nurse Florence Nightingale did not actually exist.
Three percent thought Charles Dickens, one of Britain's most famous writers, is a work of fiction himself.
Indian political leader Mahatma Gandhi and Battle of Waterloo victor the Duke of Wellington also appeared in the top 10 of people thought to be myths.
Meanwhile, 58 percent thought Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's fictional detective Holmes actually existed; 33 percent thought the same of W. E. Johns' fictional pilot and adventurer Biggles.UKTV Gold television
surveyed 3,000 people.(From SSHF point of view: where is the problem?)
Gandhi, Churchill 'myth', Sherlock real for Britons
London, February 4: Mahatma Gandhi never existed while Britain's wartime Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill was a fictional character. Don't fret. This is only what most Britons think about the great leaders.
According to a survey carried out in Britain, many believe that Mahatma Gandhi and Churchill are just mythical figures like Florence Nightingale, popularly known as the 'Lady with the Lamp'.
In fact, almost a quarter of the population have the popular notion that Churchill, "the greatest Briton of all time", was made up.
Moreover, despite his celebrated military reputation, 47 per cent of respondents feel the 12th-century English King Richard the Lionheart is fictional, according to the survey of 3,000 British teens.
In contrast, a number of fictitious characters like Sherlock Holmes, King Arthur and Eleanor Rigby were given real life status.
While almost 65 per cent of respondents believe that mythical figure King Arthur existed and led a round table of knights at Camelot, 58 per cent of teens think that Holmes really lived at 221B Baker Street.
Fifty-one per cent of respondents believed that Robin Hood lived in Sherwood Forest, robbing the rich to give to the poor, while 47 per cent believed Eleanor Rigby was a real person rather than a creation of The Beatles.
The poll also revealed that nearly three quarters of those surveyed did not read history books while and 61 per cent admitted that they changed channels rather than watching historical programmes on television.
"While there's no excuse for demoting real historical figures such as Churchill, the elevation of mythical figures to real life showed the impact good films could have in shaping the public consciousness.
"Stories like Robin Hood are so inspiring that it's not surprising people like to believe these characters truly existed," the British media quoted Paul Moreton, the Head of UKTV Gold channel, which commissioned the poll, as saying.
Challenge Churchill! One in four think Winnie didn't exist (but Sherlock Holmes did)
By REBECCA CAMBER
Never, in the field of human ignorance, have so many known so little about famous Britons.
A quarter of the population think that Winston Churchill never actually existed, a survey suggests.
While a poll recently named him the greatest Briton of all time, the wartime prime minister is seen by many as a mythical figure along with the likes of Florence Nightingale and Sir Walter Raleigh.
This could well have something to do with the TV insurance adverts inviting viewers to "challenge Churchill" and featuring a lugubrious talking dog.
According to the survey of 3,000 respondents, many believe the inspirational Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi, Cleopatra and the Duke of Wellington are also characters dreamed up for films and books.
Some think Charles Dickens was himself a character in fiction rather than the creator of David Copperfield, Oliver Twist and Martin Chuzzlewit.
In a damning indictment of the nation's historical knowledge, many of those surveyed said they believe Sherlock Holmes was a real person, along with the pilot Biggles and even the Three Musketeers.
Almost 50 per cent were certain that Eleanor Rigby existed not just in the imagination of John Lennon and Paul McCartney.
And they were in no doubt about the existence of King Arthur, Lady Godiva, Robin Hood and Dick Turpin.
In many cases such characters were based on real historical figures but their exploits have been embellished.
While there was a highwayman called Richard Turpin, the famous ride he is said to have undertaken from London to York in a day was made by another rogue.
Similarly, there was an Anglo-Saxon noblewoman named Godiva, but there is no evidence that she rode through the streets naked.
And there is only vague evidence that King Arthur ever existed, let alone led his Knights of the Round Table.
Robin Hood is a similarly shadowy figure. The poll, carried out by UKTV Gold to test the nation's general knowledge, suggests that the under-20s are most lacking in basic historical education.
Historian Correlli Barnett said: "This suggests a complete lack of common sense and respect for our greatest heroes of the past."
"Churchill and Wellington were great men, but this suggests we no longer value people of great achievement.
"It's all about celebrities and popular culture. What it also tells us is what is going wrong in our school curriculums.
"Something must be completely lacking in our national education that people could be so ignorant as to think these people never actually existed.
"No doubt these other ones like Robin Hood, people mistake as being real because they have recently been featured on the TV."