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10 Famous Literary Characters and Their Real-Life Inspirations

We all know truth is stranger than fiction, and some things (and people) are just too good to have been made up. We’ve already shown you quirky cartoon characters based on real people, and though we imagine there are many more life-to-literature adaptations than life-to-cartoon, we’ve decided to continue the trend and pick some of our favorite famous literary characters inspired by real-life people. For the most part, we’ve skipped the autobiographical inspirations, mostly because there are too many too count, though many writers would probably tell you there’s a little bit of themselves in every character they write, so in some ways that distinction is a losing battle. Click through to read out list of ten famous literary characters and their real-life counterparts, and let us know your own picks for your favorite truth-inspired heroes and heroines in the comments!

Tintin — Palle Huld

The 15-year-old Danish writer and actor’s 1928 voyage around the world, documented in his book Around the World in 44 days by Palle reportedly inspired Hergé’s Tintin, himself a young jet-setting fellow. As far as we can tell, Snowy was just a stroke of pure genius invention.

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