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LadyinRetirement
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LadyinRetirement

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PostSubject: People one considered fictional but who actually lived   People one considered fictional but who actually lived EmptySat 15 Feb 2020, 16:17

Has anybody ever been surprised to learn that a character from a novel was based on a person with the same name who had lived?  I've mentioned these on random threads before but I was surprised to learn that Alexandre Dumas had used real people as a foundation for the three musketeers and d'Artagnan (though of course he changed a lot).  http://www.mousquetaires.asso.fr/en/athos-porthos-and-aramis.html and [url=partylike1660.com/charles-de-batz-de-castelmore-the-real-dartagnan]partylike1660.com/charles-de-batz-de-castelmore-the-real-dartagnan[/url]

From the time when my parents purchased a 14" screen TV I can remember the series Fabian of the Yard (which I always think of as "Fabian of Scotland Yard").  It took me aback to learn there really was a Robert Fabian and that the series took inspiration from his memoirs.

Edited because I just watched an episode of Fabian uploaded to YouTube and it said at the end "Let's meet the real Bob Fabian" and featured that gentleman speaking to camera - but I had quite forgotten that part of the programme.
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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: Re: People one considered fictional but who actually lived   People one considered fictional but who actually lived EmptySat 15 Feb 2020, 20:20

LiR,

to take our famous stripwriter Georges Remy aka Hergé (the zjé from Zjeorges and the "err" from Remy)...
about Chang in "the blue lotus". It was a real person and Hergé visited him in China after a lifelong friendship.
https://www.tintinologist.org/guides/books/05bluelotus.html
Look at the reaction of the Japanese ambassador in Belgium and even the Belgian Army trying to forbid the album...you wouldn't believe it..





And even the character of Tintin himself would be based on a real person...

https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2010/dec/07/man-who-inspired-tintin

And I read in a nearly thousand pages thick book about the life of Hergé that even the two "kwajongens" (rascals?) would have been based on rascals from the "Marollen" a neigbourhood in Brussels where Georges Remy grew up...

I read also there that a lot of Tintin was based on Georges' brother Paul.
https://www.tintinologist.org/forums/index.php?action=vthread&forum=10&topic=2458

And as you see even there conflicts with the inheritance estate and for instance the son of Paul (remember Caro's thread about "wills" Wink)

Kind regards from Paul.
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Meles meles
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PostSubject: Re: People one considered fictional but who actually lived   People one considered fictional but who actually lived EmptySat 15 Feb 2020, 20:53

And I always thought professor Calculus (professeur Tournesol in the original French version) was visually based on the Swiss physicist and explorer, Auguste Piccard, although Piccard was famously very tall unlike the diminutive Tournesol/Calculus. Apparently Hergé had seen Piccard on several occasions when the latter was teaching physics at Brussels University.

People one considered fictional but who actually lived Auguste-Piccard    People one considered fictional but who actually lived Calculus
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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: Re: People one considered fictional but who actually lived   People one considered fictional but who actually lived EmptySun 16 Feb 2020, 22:28

Yes MM, you seem to be right. In Dutch it is "professor Zonnebloem" (sunflower)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Professor_Calculus
"Calculus is partly modeled on inventor Auguste Piccard (1884–1962), Hergé stated in an interview with Numa Sadoul: "Calculus is a reduced scale Piccard, as the real chap was very tall. He had an interminable neck that sprouted from a collar that was much too large... I made Calculus a mini-Piccard, otherwise I would have had to enlarge the frames of the cartoon strip." [3] The Swiss physics professor held a teaching appointment in Brussels when Hergé spotted his unmistakable figure in the street. In The Castafiore Emerald, Bianca Castafiore mentions that Calculus is "famous for his balloon ascensions", an ironic reference to Piccard.
Philippe Goddin has suggested that Calculus' deafness was inspired by Paul Eydt, whom Hergé had known at Le Vingtième Siècle where Tintin's adventures had first appeared.[4] Cuthbert Calculus' original French name is "Tryphon Tournesol" and Tryphon was the name of Hergé's plumber.[4]
In contrast to his unquestionable scientific merits, Calculus is a fervent believer in dowsing, and carries a pendulum for that purpose. Hergé himself was a believer in the subject: dowser Victor Mertens had used a pendulum to find the lost wedding ring of Hergé's wife in October 1939.[4]
 
Although I read that much about Hergé I didn't know it.

Kind regards from Paul.
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LadyinRetirement
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PostSubject: Re: People one considered fictional but who actually lived   People one considered fictional but who actually lived EmptyTue 18 Feb 2020, 21:15

I'm getting a little better at searching the archives of the site but I hadn't realised before opening this thread that nordmann had made a thread which was not exactly the same but was not dissimilar in 2012.  https://reshistorica.forumotion.com/t263-the-real-sherlock-holmes-and-other-real-people-behind-their-fictional-counterparts?
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LadyinRetirement
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PostSubject: Re: People one considered fictional but who actually lived   People one considered fictional but who actually lived EmptyFri 06 Mar 2020, 09:27

A blog (which I sometimes read) speculating what historical inspirations author George RR Martin may have taken for his A Song of Ice and Fire novels (on which the TV series Game of Thrones) was based (increasingly loosely as the TV show progressed - the final novels of the series haven't been written yet). The page one enters the site contains the write-ups of the episodes in the final series so it might contain 'spoilers' for people who might want to watch it.  I think I can say without it being too much of a 'spoiler' that one of the subplots has two young brothers on the run (well, not literally, one is crippled but they are helped by a few loyal followers) which made me think of the Princes who disappeared from the Tower.  Earlier in the site's existence a guest historian had written about Richard III and someone (I wonder who that could have been?) put forward nordmann's idea that the body hadn't been conclusively identified as Richard.  Oh it was Richard the person asking the question was assured.  Anyway here is the link http://history-behind-game-of-thrones.com/
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Triceratops
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PostSubject: Re: People one considered fictional but who actually lived   People one considered fictional but who actually lived EmptyTue 24 Mar 2020, 14:02

Basil Fawlty, created by John Cleese and Connie Booth for the TV comedy Fawlty Towers was based on Donald Sinclair. the real life proprietor of the Gleneagles Hotel in Torquay where Cleese had stayed in 1970.

wiki:

Opinions are divided on how closely Sinclair resembled Fawlty. Former staff and visitors have remembered actual events there that were as ludicrous as those depicted in the series. However, Sinclair's family is adamant that Fawlty was an inaccurate caricature.Beatrice Sinclair later described her husband as a "gentleman and a very brave man" and not "the neurotic eccentric that John Cleese made him out to be." An accuracy she did acknowledge is that she was very much in charge of the business, just as Basil Fawlty was usually subordinate to his wife Sybil. The publication of Sir Michael Palin's diaries in 2006 supported Cleese's assessment of the Sinclairs. Rosemary Harrison, a waitress at the Gleneagles under Sinclair, stated,

Fawlty Towers was terribly funny. John Cleese exaggerated the character but the basic things are there. He probably wasn't neurotic but he was just so bad-tempered. It was as if he didn't want the guests to be there. He was bonkers. He thought it ridiculous that people wanted to drink at lunchtime. These were paying guests. They would be out by the pool looking for a drink and he hadn't opened the bar. He just wasn't cut out for the hotel business.


People one considered fictional but who actually lived Basil_Fawlty

Sinclair had been in the Navy in WW2, and had been torpedoed and sunk in his first ship and bombed and sunk in his second ship. Little wonder he was eccentric.
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LadyinRetirement
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PostSubject: Re: People one considered fictional but who actually lived   People one considered fictional but who actually lived EmptySun 17 May 2020, 14:09

There weren't really that many episodes of Fawlty Towers were there?  Yet its impact was such that it is still remembered as very comedic 40 and odd years later.

Now this isn't really 'people' and my memory is sometimes like a sieve so apologies in advance if I've mentioned this on another thread in the past.  (I couldn't find anything on a search). Apparently (from Wikipedia - I'm sure people can Google it if they wish) there was a half collie, Lassie, who saved the life of a sailor during the First World War.  There had though been a story about a "Lassie" helping lead a rescue party to find two boys in the snow written by Mrs Gaskell (though sadly only of the boys lived).  The story is called "The Half Brothers".

"Lassie" is one of a few animals to have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame - two other dogs who have stars are Rin Tin Tin and Strongheart.  Though a number of canine actors have played Rin Tin Tin, the first one was rescued from a battlefield in World War I, so the first one at least had a real life existence as Rin Tin Tin.  Strongheart (original name Etzel) featured in films before Rin Tin Tin.  I don't know that there was a dramatic backstory for Strongheart/Etzel.  Like Rin Tin Tin,  he was a German Shepherd dog and he had seen active service in the German Red Cross in World War I.  Strongheart's death was somewhat sad.  He got too near to a hot studio light and developed a tumour as a consequence of the burns he sustained which led to his death in 1929.  The stories of these dogs are, as I say, on Wikipedia if anyone wants to check.
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Green George
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PostSubject: Re: People one considered fictional but who actually lived   People one considered fictional but who actually lived EmptySun 17 May 2020, 17:27

The canine character Laddie is supposed (amongst Discworld afficionados) to be "Lassie" - with the name change reflectig the fact that Lassie was never played by a bitch.
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LadyinRetirement
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PostSubject: Re: People one considered fictional but who actually lived   People one considered fictional but who actually lived EmptyMon 18 May 2020, 11:07

Deleted - comment posted twice.


Last edited by LadyinRetirement on Mon 18 May 2020, 11:08; edited 1 time in total
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LadyinRetirement
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PostSubject: Re: People one considered fictional but who actually lived   People one considered fictional but who actually lived EmptyMon 18 May 2020, 11:07

I've never read Discworld, Gilgamesh, but I did see a cartoon version of Wyrd Sisters in the 1990s.  That snippet about Laddie is quite amusing, G, if it's true.  I read once that the word bitch was considered so improper at one time that there would be advertisements reading something like "Lady dog puppy for sale".  That could be apocryphal.  I've always wondered whether the stories about people kicking dachshunds in World War I were true or apocryphal wondering if people would really be so silly, but in the early stages of the coronavirus scare there were incidents of attacks on people of oriental appearance and I wouldn't have believed that if I hadn't seen videos of it.
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Green George
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PostSubject: Re: People one considered fictional but who actually lived   People one considered fictional but who actually lived EmptyMon 18 May 2020, 14:29

Yes, the original Lassie was a dog called "Pal", later succeeded by his son, Lassie Junior. As to why, I haven't the faintest idea. Re discworld - the original Lassie's trainer was one "Rudd Weatherwax". What the relation between him, Esme and Galder was beggars belief.
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LadyinRetirement
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PostSubject: Re: People one considered fictional but who actually lived   People one considered fictional but who actually lived EmptySun 24 May 2020, 12:45

I'd wondered with Stonyshire and Loamshire in (some at least) of George Eliot's novels sometimes being said to be Staffordshire and Derbyshire whether the prison where Hetty (in the book Adam Bede was interred was based on Stafford Jail.  A hunt around the internet revealed a belief that Hetty's story was inspired in part at least by something that happened to a woman called Mary Voce, only Mrs Voce was interred in Nottingham and unlike Hetty she didn't get a last minute reprieve.

I didn't know that in 2014 the prison in Stafford became one for category C sex offenders (male).  They are said to be prisoners who are not really deemed to be dangerous.

Before 2014 Palmer the Poisoner and Lewis Collins (Irish Republican) had been imprisoned there though obviously not at the same time.
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