Book characters who are more famous than their creators

Last week, I had a little fun sharing quotes from some of the books I’ve read that I think are beautifully written. That post was prompted by a post on Dave Astor on Literature called More Premium Prose Practitioners. This week, Dave has shared a post about characters [from books] who are more famous than the authors who created them. You can read Dave’s post here: I have decided to share some quotes from books I’ve read whose characters are more famous than the author of the book. The best part is you need to guess who the CHARACTER IS.

Book 1 – Italian author – Children’s book

“Woe to those who lead idle lives. Idleness is a dreadful illness and must be cured in childhood. If it is not cured then, it can never be cured.”

“A conscience is that still small voice that people won’t listen to.”

“Are you not afraid of death?’

I am not in the least afraid!… I would rather die than drink that bitter medicine.’

At that moment the door of the room flew open, and four rabbits as black as ink entered carrying on their shoulders a little bier.”

Hint: Created by a carpenter in Florence, this is believed to be the most widely known children’s tale in the world.

Book 2 – American author – Adult fiction

There is more than one famous character from this book so I’ll accept any of them.

“Your young white, who gathers his learning from books and can measure what he knows by the page, may conceit that his knowledge, like his legs, outruns that of his fathers’, but, where experience is the master, the scholar is made to know the value of years, and respects them accordingly.”

“In short, the magnifying influence of fear began to set at naught the calculations of reason, and to render those who should have remembered their manhood, the slaves of the basest passions.”

“You are young, and rich, and have friends, and at such an age I know it is hard to die!”

Hint: This author contributed to the creation of the American literature genre.

Book 3 – Children’s book – British author

“I’ll never be like other people, but that’s alright because I’m a bear”

“A wise bear always keeps a marmalade sandwich in his hat in case of emergency.”

“Things are always happening to me. I’m that sort of bear.”

Book 4 – British author – Adult fiction

“It is a fair, even-handed, noble adjustment of things, that while there is infection in disease and sorrow, there is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humour.”

“You may be an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of underdone potato. There’s more of gravy than of grave about you, whatever you are!”

“There are some upon this earth of yours who lay claim to know us, and who do their deeds of passion, pride, ill-will, hatred, envy, bigotry, and selfishness in our name; who are as strange to us and all our kith and kin, as if they had never lived. Remember that, and charge their doings on themselves, not us.”

If you know who the famous characters are, let me know in the comments.

83 thoughts on “Book characters who are more famous than their creators

  1. Terrific post, Robbie, and thank you very much for the mention and link!

    I’m not totally sure of the answers to your four examples, but here are my guesses:

    1. Pinocchio?

    2. A character created by Washington Irving or James Fenimore Cooper?

    3. Winnie the Pooh?

    4. Ebenezer Scrooge/”A Christmas Carol”?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Ah Dave, you are a literary giant. You are spot on with your four responses and 2 is indeed a James Fenimore Cooper book. It is one you discussed in your book, it was the name of that particular hero that grabbed your attention if I recall correctly.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Thank you very much, Robbie! 🙂 Natty Bumppo of Cooper’s five “Leatherstocking” novels? (Including “The Last of the Mohicans.”) Quite a character with quite a name! My favorite of the five books is “The Deerslayer,” in which Natty is very young.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I agree with every one of your guesses, Dave!! Who could forget Pinocchio? I have used the quote about an “underdone potato” every time I check whether my potatoes are finished cooking. And when I don’t want to exercise, I think of this quote from Winnie the Pooh: “A bear, however hard he tries, grows tubby without exercise.”

      Robbie – this was a great post!! Love everyone of your choices.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Well, well… (Scrolling up tp the comments) I should have guessed Pinocchio. And Cooper. Read that one, in French, more than 50 years ago I think.
    Never been a big fan of Winnie the Pooh. (Shame on me)
    And I must confess to my great shame that Dickens is not a favourite of mine. His books always fell out my hands… I know. I shall get therapy…
    (Dankie for the challenge)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It is my great pleasure to challenge you. I love Pooh Bear and Dickens but I was brought up with them. I have always been a person to stay close to the loves of my childhood. I read Dickens with a dictionary when I was 12. I remember so many of the words I looked up, they made a great impact on me. I thought it was interesting that Pinocchio is the best known children’s story in the world. How amazing! Mooi bly (keep well)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I cannot agree more. One has to be faithful to the child one was. I did read Kipling (in French) when I was little. My father actually had the Jungle book in English he would translate it for my sister and I every night as a bedtime story when we were little kids in Africa. (I thought I lived in the Jungle Book!)
        My other references were Jules Verne and Enid Blyton (in French too).
        I think I only got to Dickens too late.
        You too. I assume ‘bly’ is the Dutch ‘blij’?
        (Love languages…)

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I also like Kipling although my view on him has been a bit tainted by some of his poetry. I also loved Jules Verne and Enid Blyton which I read in English. I tried to learn French on my own, but I didn’t seem to have a flair for it, sadly. You are correct that much of Afrikaans is derived from Dutch, it was historically called Kitchen Dutch. Thanks for this lovely conversation.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Enid Blyton in French has been completely “adapted”. All the “scenery is in France. I tried to read one in English once but it was like another author… 😉
            “Kitchen Dutch”? LOL. Only the Dutch would say that. It just evolved, is all. A Flemish friend of mine says “it’s funny, it’s like ‘old’ Dutch”. Probably like Québecois and today’s French. I have a Blogger friend from Canada, sometimes she uses such ‘old’ expressions. I find it lovely.
            To learn French on your own would be difficult if you don’t have another Romance language to fall back on. But I suspect you can probably understand some German or Swedish…
            Thank YOU. 🙏🏻

            Liked by 1 person

          2. I understand how they would. Again it’s like the French attitude towards the French Canadians… Condescending… (Such is mankind, alas)
            The writing can be tricky, but for example, Tack in Swedish and Takk in Norwegian mean the same thing. Thank you. Same as “danke”, “dank u”. When I tried to learn German, I used English words to guess at some words…
            Au revoir.

            Liked by 1 person

          3. “Hodgepodge is putting it mildly. I don’t think I know any blogger anywhere on the planet who don’t think it’s a disaster… Sigh.
            And yes, keeping the language “pure” is a vast laugh. (So many words in Dutch come straight from French: “maréchaussée”. 🤣)

            Liked by 1 person

          4. Nord Man. North Man. A land conceded to the Vikings by a French King whose name escapes me now… A French humourist of the early 20th century once said: “England? England? Ah. Yes, an old French colony that went terribly wrong.” 😉
            Was your son Michael?

            Liked by 1 person

  3. Okay 1 is Pinocchio, 2 is I don’t know, 3 is Winnie the pooh and 4 is Scrooge.

    At least you picked 3 books I know, or at least I think I know these 3 books.

    QUESTION: in the children’s books with the fondant characters…. I’m in the Hallowe’en book now, are the characters Jack Frost, the Count and Skeleton edible? I would think they are, being made out of fondant, but I want to make sure!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pinocchio; someone from James Fennimore Cooper who was not born in a log cabin but in a big white mansion owned by his famous father, JUDGE Cooper after whom Cooperstown is named; probably Paddington Bear, but I never read it because it wasn’t available when I was a kid and Owen had other interests — but I do know about him from Disney and other writings; and finally, Scrooge of Charles Dickens. I know that story well, but some of those quotes don’t sound like “A Christmas Carol.” I’m not a big Dickens fan, but I’ve read that one and seen every version of the movie (kid and grandkid). Actually, I rather prefer A Tale Two Cities — it has the world’s best opening lines:

    “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Marilyn, very well done, you are spot on. I read up a little about James Fenimore Cooper when I wrote this post and learned a bit of what you’ve shared about his background. Most writers in that timeframe came from wealth. Reading and writing were the past times of those who didn’t have to toil for a living. The lines I chose from A Christmas Carol were a little obscure because so many contain the name Scrooge. I didn’t want to make it that easy. I am listening to A Christmas Carol again now. My favourite is Great Expectations but I do like the opening of A Tale of Two Cities. Thanks for joining in.


      1. I haven’t read every book, but I’ve read enough — some of them so long ago I might as well have not read them at all. I know more about Cooper because the Baseball Museum is in Cooperstown, as is the Cooper mansion and Otsego Lake which he call in the books “Glimmerglass (sp?).” I was surprise because somehow I though James Fenimore Cooper was a child at least of the frontier rather than of an elegant town in upstate New York. The town even has its own opera house!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I always enjoy visiting the historical houses and places of interest relating to authors. I read The Last of the Mohicans when I was very young and enjoyed it very much. It was full of mystery for me and something I knew little about. The backgrounds and characters of famous authors often surprise me. Roald Dahl wasn’t a nice person and neither was Enid Blyton.


          1. We bumped into her in a shop on Martha’s Vineyard. She had a pretty little house there, so Garry sent me to strike up a conversation. He got shy when he wasn’t working. Eventually, we got sort of friendly for a few months until we ran out of things to talk about. Dahl was really evil in so many ways.

            Liked by 1 person

  5. It was fun reading through the comments, Robbie. Paddington Bear was the only one I was sure of. The rest… I guessed and was dead wrong! These are so interesting and remind me that somehow I need to make more time for reading. Lol.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I used to read a lot of classics, Robbie, but I have a hard time getting into them these days. I think I’ve gotten used to modern writing, a tighter pov, and a quicker pace. You always intrigue me though with your knowledge of the classics and some beautiful writing.

        Liked by 1 person

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