The Coming of the Fairies

The Coming of the Fairies Sir Arthur Conan Doyle best known as the creator of Sherlock Holmes but also a devout spiritualist was entirely convinced by a set of photographs seemingly showing two young girls playing with a gro

  • Title: The Coming of the Fairies
  • Author: Arthur Conan Doyle John M. Lynch
  • ISBN: 9780803266551
  • Page: 296
  • Format: Paperback
  • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, best known as the creator of Sherlock Holmes but also a devout spiritualist, was entirely convinced by a set of photographs seemingly showing two young girls playing with a group of tiny, translucent fairies To demonstrate his unshakable belief in the spirit world, the celebrated writer published, in 1922, The Coming of the Fairies It recounts tSir Arthur Conan Doyle, best known as the creator of Sherlock Holmes but also a devout spiritualist, was entirely convinced by a set of photographs seemingly showing two young girls playing with a group of tiny, translucent fairies To demonstrate his unshakable belief in the spirit world, the celebrated writer published, in 1922, The Coming of the Fairies It recounts the story of the photos, their supposed provenance, and the startling implications of their existence.One of the great hoaxes of all time, the Cottingley Fairy photographs are proof of mankind s willingness to believe Conan Doyle s book, reprinted here with the original photographs, offers a unique insight into the mind of an intelligent, highly respected figure, who just happened to believe in fairies.

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    1. Once upon a time, the man who created the world’s most famous consulting detective had his leg pulled by two young women. In the days before Photoshop, the young ladies took pictures of fairies. They posed with the fairies. They claimed to see the fairies quite often. Of course, the fairies were pasted pictures. You look at this photographs today, and part of you wonders how people could be so gullible. Yet, we have famous fake pictures today as well. Do you really think the reporter is always [...]

    2. "The series of incidents set forth in this little volume represent either the most elaborate and ingenious hoax ever played upon the public, or else they constitute an event in human history which may in the future appear to have been epoch-making in its character." If somebody ever asks me what my favorite opening sentence in a book is, I think I will refer them to the above. When I cracked open this book I expected to have a nice, tongue-in-cheek read of one man's defense of a few fake photogr [...]

    3. It's hard to believe that, what I consider, the most intelligent author of all time, was fooled by a family of girls. Come on Doyle, what about that deductive reasoning you wrote so well with Holmes.It's like the phrase "Eliminate the impossible" never even crossed his mind.But he was a diverse yet conflicted writer who just wanted to believe. Can't fault him for that.What's that old saying?, "You don't quit playing because you grow old. You grow old because you quit playing". If you decide to r [...]

    4. Whether you believe in them or not; or, whether you think you don't have the psychic ability to see them; or, whether you think it's fake, just doesn't matter. Doyle's work presents a good discussion of the reactions of the people when the photos showed up. Perhaps, the artistic side of the matter nobody would dare to question."September 6, 1920. MY DEAR DOYLE, Greetings and best wishes.I have received from Elsie three more negatives taken a few days back. I need not describe them, for enclosed [...]

    5. This is, in some ways, a terribly sad book. Conan Doyle turned to spiritualism to help him deal with the vast wave of senseless death which had ravaged his family. His views made him, and I hope not to offend any spiritualists reading, terribly gullible, because the way spiritualists demonstrated the veracity of their claims was so poor. Conan Doyle does not realise how credulous he is.At one point, toward the end of Chapter One, he explains how the investigation of the Cottingley fairy photogra [...]

    6. I read The Coming of the Fairies to try to answer for myself the question of how Sir Arthur Conan Doyle could bring himself to believe in fairies.Since the book is not well-known I’ll first give a summary of its contents.This is a relatively short book (196 pages) containing the 5 “fairy photographs” taken in 1917 and 1920 in Cottingley, Yorkshire by Elsie Wright (age 16 in 1917) and Frances Griffiths (age 10 in 1917), as well as additional photographs taken in the same area. Though the bo [...]

    7. The story of the Cottingley Fairies is one of the biggest hoaxes of the 20th century, alongside the infamous Piltdown Man case. Essentially, a couple of bored teenage girls decided to cut a load of fairy figures out of magazines and photograph them in the woods, pretending they were the real thing. What's astonishing is that many people believed them, none more prominent than the great Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who wrote this book on the case.The whole thing seems astonishingly obvious and fake to [...]

    8. "If you believe in fairies, clap your handsIn this short book, Conan Doyle tells the story of the famous 'Cottingley Fairies' – 5 photographs taken over a three-year period purporting to show fairies and gnomes sporting in a valley in Yorkshire. The photos were taken by two young girls, but it was only when Conan Doyle got his hands on them that they became a cause célèbre. By the time the first photos surfaced in 1917, Conan Doyle had already become a firm supporter of spiritualism and, whi [...]

    9. Being a fan of Conan Doyle's fiction and having read previous accounts of the Cottingley fairies within various 'mysteries of the world' type books, I was both eager and wary to read 'The Coming of the Fairies'. Thankfully, I was spared the second-hand embarrassment I thought I was going to endure. This slim volume is delightful despite the more recent revelations that have proven so many of the theories and ideas contained within inaccurate (the original Cottingley photographs were debunked as [...]

    10. The reason for looking up and reading this obscure piece of history is because the recent rediscovery of a very cute movie titled: Fairy Tale: a true story. This short book is the nonfiction account of the events dramatized in the aforementioned movie. The events being the infamous Cottingly Fairy photographs. The actual photos as reprinted by Doyle do appear rather fake to my modern eye. It is also a problem that Doyle's only argument in favor of the photo's depicting real fairies is that the g [...]

    11. Oh, the poor delusional man. He really believes it.The writing is rather dry and repetitive. Unfortunately for Doyle, pounding the same point over and over doesn't actually make it true; if it did, fairies would have taken over Yorkshire by now.I'm not convinced of his investigative abilities, as he relies entirely on the testimony of others. And while I'm willing to believe the expert photographers who asserted that the plates were taken in a single exposure, and therefore are not faked by a tr [...]

    12. This is the book published by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, of Sherlock Holmes fame, supporting his belief that the Cottingley photographs are genuine.I'm giving it five stars, not because the reasoning is sound (it isn't), but because of sheer historical interest. This book is evidence that, contrary to what we now believe of the case, the Cottingley Fairies did not fool the entire world. There were plenty who saw through the ruse from the beginning.Conan Doyle presents his arguments in the form of e [...]

    13. I'd heard of the Cottingley Fairy pictures before but it was only after reading The Cottingley Secret that I learned about this book.This was written when the events were happening, at a time when belief in fairies was more accepted. It was a time when people wanted to believe in fairies and magic, so when two little girls gave them pictures claiming to prove their existence, they didn't get thrown out as some type of hoax. Rather, it was almost as hard to believe that the pictures were faked as [...]

    14. I read this book, like many others I have read, thanks to an independent publisher who releases free ebooks of forgotten and out of print volumes [1]. In retrospect, this book is likely one that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle likely long regretted writing, as it puts him in a rather poor light. It is largely forgotten now, but in the early 20th century there was a hoax where two Yorkshire lasses faked a set of photos showing supposed stationary faires, and passed them off as actual phenomena. The whole [...]

    15. If I were reviewing this as a piece of efficient reportage, mingling hard fact, letters, and background to the subject, then, yes, it's well done. But I find it impossible to get away from the underlying 'hard fact' that an elderly, desperately unhappy man so wanted to believe that he allowed himself to be duped. I also take issue with the common misconception that the perpetrators were 2 little girls - the elder was 16, had worked in a photographers, and knew perfectly well what she was doing. [...]

    16. This was a pretty good read. I had heard about the fairy photos before and knew that Arthur Conan Doyle had been a believer in them, but never knew why he had believed in them so strongly. It was neat to read all of the arguments from both sides, and the accounts of other people who were claiming to see the fairies made me wonder if they truly thought they were seeing them or what was their reason for saying they could. Quite an interesting book.

    17. This is an excellent primary source document for those studying Conan Doyle, spiritualism, folk belief, theosophy, or any similar topic in Victorian/Edwardian thought and culture. But it's not proof that fairies exist.

    18. Very interestingMany references to other sources and books. I look forward to more reading about fairies. I found this book mentioned in a murder mystery.

    19. The Coming of Fairies is an interesting book. I was, of course, very familiar with the Sherlock Holmes mysteries, which I enjoy very much. My daughter got me a compilation of a couple dozen of those stories exactly as they were printed in the news papers of the day.The Coming of Fairies is nothing like those. I guess I was vaguely aware in Doyle's belief in spiritualism, which was not unusual for that time in history. I was also peripherally aware of the photos of fairies to which this book refe [...]

    20. The sad coda to Arthur Conan Doyle’s great career was his belief in spiritualism. The man responsible for the famous line “When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth,” spent his final years clinging to every impossibility that he found. This book is his account of Cottingley Fairies incident, including his article in The Strand Magazine, and the work of Doyle and his partner Edward Gardner in investigating the claims.As a primary source [...]

    21. It's hard to go into this book without already feeling like you'll be reading rubbish. I am not a cynic, nor am I totally closed to the possibility of such phenomena. But the fact that the young girls later in life admitted to faking the photographs that inspired Doyle to write this is impossible to ignore. Even without this knowledge, the discerning reader can find enough in the text to cause plenty of head shaking and wincing. Early in the book, Doyle quotes a correspondent who almost stumbles [...]

    22. I find it hard to believe that the same man who created Sherlock Holmes, a character of the utmost ability to deduce conclusions logically could also believe in fairies. My favorite part was where he scoffingly pointed out that there was no such thing as fairy rings, those had to be created by fungus spreading out, but if the fairies happened to use them afterward, well, that was OK. Really? i wonder if I would have liked this better if I hadn't already known that the girls later fessed up to fa [...]

    23. Weird, enchanting little book about the notorious "Cottingley Fairies" hoax of the early 20th century: two little girls who took photographs of one another with what they claimed were real "fairies," but turned out, of course, to be the result of double-exposure and drawings cut from books. Before the big unmasking, though, Robert Louis Stevenson was one of the girls' biggest defenders -- hence this book, which assays to set down their entrancing little myth as history.

    24. I read this book because I loved the movie Fairy Tale: A True Story. When I found out that Arthur Doyle wrtoe a book about it I just had to have it. I am not saying it is a bad bookn but it was kind of slow for me. I kept drifting away into different thought from time to time. I did like the chapter about the discriptipns of the different fairies. Also liked the photos that were through out the book.

    25. Holy shit! Arthur Conan Doyle is fucking crazy!The guy who created Sherlock Holmes spends a couple hundred pages explaining fairies, firmly believing he is on the cusp of the world's largest scientific breakthrough. He does this through equal measures of pulling information straight out of his ass, and painstakingly transcribes accounts be people who would later admit they were liars, with pants afire.A difficult book to read, mostly to be enjoyed ironically.

    26. 2.5 stars. A little boring and sometimes hard to follow. I paid more and purchased an actual book because I thought the photos would be better than on my kindle. The photos in this book are horrible. Better off getting the cheaper kindle version and then finding the photographs on the web. They are much clearer there.

    27. Este libro me gusta mucho, que está raro y todo sí, pero tomando en cuenta que Doyle le entró al espiritismo por aquellas épocas, ya no está tan raro.Me gusta que por un par de capítulos parece que las niñas de verdad están convencidas de haber visto hadas reales, de que no fue un sueño ni su imaginación ni un engaño ni nada. Te da un momento de magia.

    28. The material in the book is interesting although sometimes it just seemed like I was reading a mini-textbook (I think I was). Yet, it was interesting to know so much about fairies since I like them. Also, it is interesting to see how this man of reason who created Sherlock Holmes once believed in fairies.

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