During the First World War, two young girls, Elsie and Frances, began to take a series of photographs of fairies by the stream behind their house. Soon, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, famous creator of Sherlock Holmes, was championing the pictures as real, and the Cottingley Fairies were making headlines around the world. Only in their old age did the two girls confess that they had faked the pictures, but inspite of this, Frances always maintained that she had indeed seen, and even photographed, real fairies. With assistance from Elsie's son Glenn and Frances's daughter Christine, and with previously unpublished material including access to Conan Doyle's original letters and 1920s hand-coloured photographs, Doug Stuart shines new light on this remarkable story and provides answers to many outstanding questions. 'Image and Reality - The Cottingley Fairy Photographs' presents careful research, examining original cameras, letters, prints and negatives, and charts the history of paranormal photography, changes in our understanding and interpretation of photographic images, and the effect of The Cottingley Fairies on the history of the arts and popular culture.
Photographs reproduced with kind permission of Christine Lynch