The Fairy Photos

The mysterious photos taken in Cottingley in 1917 by two young girls were heralded by the Sherlock Holmes author, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, as proof of the existence of fairies.

The photos taken in 1917 by two young girls were heralded by the Sherlock Holmes author, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, as proof of the existence of fairies. Cousins Elsie Wright and Frances Griffiths were 15 and 9 when they took the photos in the village of Cottingley near Leeds in the north of England. In 1920 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle published the photos in an issue of the Strand magazine as part of an article on fairy life. He was a leading member of the Theosophical Society, a movement interested in the spirit world which had gained a following in the devastating aftermath of World War One. In 1983 Elsie Wright finally admitted that the photos had been faked.

Photo: Copyright Alamy. Frances Griffiths and the "Cottingley Fairies" in a photograph made in 1917 by her cousin Elsie Wright with paper cutouts and hatpins.

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