Fern-seed and Elephants
In an essay titled "Fern-seed and Elephants," C.S. Lewis
points out that each of us can recollect characters who
we know to be historical, but of whom we do not feel we
have any personal knowledge. Our relationships with
Constantine, George Washington, or Mary Queen of
Scots suggest a few. There are also those characters
who make no claim of historical reality and yet seem
to be known to us as we know real people. For me,
this rings true of many of Lewis's Narnian characters,
whereas others might suggest Shakespeare's Hamlet,
Huck Finn, or Anne of Green Gables. Moreover, though
much less common, there are characters who, holding
the first quality, also live up to the second.
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