10 Famous Literary Characters and Their Real-Life Inspirations

By Emily Temple

Who was the spark behind the creation of Tintin, Long John Silver, and Severus Snape?

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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.

This post also appears on Flavorpill, an Atlantic partner site.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2011/11/10-famous-literary-characters-and-their-real-life-inspirations/248451/