Thursday 29th June

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The Cottingley Fairies: 100 Years of the Fairy Photographs.

The Cottingley Fairies: 100 Years of the Fairy Photographs.


London Fortean Society, in partnership with Conway Hall, present a night marking the centenary of the Cottingley Fairies case.

In July 1917 Elsie Wright and Frances Griffiths, 16 and 9 years old, took a photograph. It showed Frances in their garden with four fairies dancing in front of her. Two years later Elsie’s mother attended a meeting of the Theosophical Society in Bradford and by 1920 Arthur Conan Doyle wrote in the Strand Magazine.

The recognition of their existence will jolt the material twentieth century mind out of its heavy ruts in the mud, and will make it admit that there is a glamour and mystery to life.
Always controversial, the Cottingley Fairy photographs were not revealed as a hoax until Elsie and Frances confessed in 1983. They still claimed that they did fairies at the bottom of the garden.

Michael Terwey of the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford discusses how the photographs were taken and how they fitted in to the Spiritualist culture of the time and Professor Diane Purkis asks why Sherlock Holmes author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, along with many others, so wanted to believe in fairies?
After the talks we will discuss what Cottingley and fairies meant to people in 1917 and what they mean now in 2017.

Michael Terwey – The Cottingley Fairies: a photographic hoax

Professor Diane Purkis – Why did Conan Doyle want to believe?

Artists / Speakers: Michael Terwey, Diane Purkis, Scott Wood

Category: Lifestyle



  • Date(s) and time:

    18th July 7:30pm - 9pm

  • Admission Price:

    Standard: GBP 8.00

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