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British teens think Churchill was fictional figure

Polling some 3,000 British people under the age of 20, the study revealed a stunning lack of basic historical knowledge — generally taken for granted by older generations.

For instance, a massive 47 percent of those queried said
the 12th-century crusading English king Richard the Lionheart was fictional, his illustrious military reputation notwithstanding.

In addition, 27 percent believed that Florence Nightingale, the ground-breaking nurse who helped injured soldiers recover their health during the Crimean War, was in fact a mythical figure.

By contrast, a range of fictitious characters that featured at some stage in British films and literature over the past few centuries were credited with real-life status. These included King Arthur as the mythical character most often mistaken for having been a living historical figure, with no less than 65 percent saying they believed he existed and was the head of a round table of knights at the castle of Camelot.

Fifty-eight percent said that Sherlock Holmes lived at 221B Baker Street in London despite the fact that the renowned detective only ever lived as a character in the popular novels penned by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

And, just over half of respondents said they thought that Robin Hood lived in Sherwood Forest, robbing the rich to give to the poor. Meanwhile, 47 percent of those polled said Eleanor Rigby was a real person rather than a fanciful creation of The Beatles.

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