Updated: Mar 21
Just over 100 years ago, two girls took a short walk to the bottom of their garden. What they returned with would capture the public's imagination, world-wide. Whether you see proof of the existence of fairies (apparently they prefer to be known as 'The Fae') or just the mischievous creations of two young cousins, these black and white images have taken on their own, almost-mythological, status.
Whether it's purely for the strength of conviction shown by those who vouched for the authenticity of the pictures in the early years, or for the way that they have helped inspire modern day writing and film-making, the Cottingley Fairies (as they came to be known - after the village where the girls lived) have deserved their notoriety.
Amongst the most famous of the early believers was physician and inventor of Sherlock Holmes no less, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Doyle interpreted the images as clear and visible evidence of psychic phenomena.
The Theosophical Society also ecstatically accepted the photographs as real. Edward Gardner, a writer and leading member of the Society, took them as proof that the “next cycle of evolution was underway” and mounted a campaign to convince the public of their authenticity.
There was of course a fair deal of scepticism. However, the level of excitement around the photographs perhaps speaks of the need after the First World War to escape to a more colourful, romantic and playful world.
Over a hundred years later, we're not short of modern day fairy tales on our screens. Recent popular examples include, Amazon's Carnival Row and Netflix's Cursed. It seems that the tales told by young Elsie Wright and Frances Griffiths, no matter how 'tall' you think they were, certainly resonate, even now.
Taking direct inspiration from the Cottingley Fairies, here at Taffy Apple Gifts we offer the chance for your little one to leap in to a magical world with our Fantasy & Fairytales Collection of portraits.
Visit our webpage for more information on how we can turn one of your ordinary photographs in to a truly unique portrait, that your aspiring Fairy Princess will love!