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February 4, 2008
Out of Sight, out of Mind
A shocking survey from Great Britain shows that fully a quarter of the British people believe that Winston Churchill was a myth and Sherlock Holmes was a real person:
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. I suppose there's something clever or snarky I could say about this survey but the results are too depressing to make fun of.
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.
Deconstructionists like Jacques Derrida believe that history is myth, that textual formulations are necessarily obsolete and that whatever people truly believe as fact must be taken that way.
Welcome to the post-modern world...