Talk:Cottingley Fairies

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Untitled[edit]

According to this page, the picture was actually taken June 1917, rather than the July 1916 stated there. SD6-Agent 00:10, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Fairy Proof and Truth[edit]

The interesting thing about the Cottingley Fairies is they are an anomaly. When nature can do something, then it does it often when presented those proper conditions. There should be a lot more photographs of fairies. The images are fake, and without more evidence, then the images will remain fake. On a final point, the Cottingley Fairies were drawn by someone who had excellent drawing skills, or knew some trick of photography.

They were copied from book illustrations. --Hob Gadling 17:15, 5 October 2006 (UTC)
Or rather, the book illustrations were images of some such faeries in the first place. Myles325a (talk) 09:36, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
That's not an interesting thing, it's just common with hoaxes and crap that isn't real. Interesting would be if this wasn't such an obvious con. Even in it's day the vast majority of people saw through it for the crap it was.
There were ever those whose souls had died before their bodies did, then as much as now. Myles325a (talk) 09:36, 5 April 2012 (UTC)

Seriously, who can believe faeries aren't discovered or found by expert naturalists, but by little girls who stumble on them.

The little girls were innocent and full of love and light. Such beings can see that which those who have been blinded by the secular and atomic worlds can no longer see.Myles325a (talk) 09:36, 5 April 2012 (UTC)

The same people who can't wrap their heads around U.F.O.'s not being found by expert scientists, but they believe every drunk Redneck that has a story of seeing one. That's who. Their will always be gullible people who want to believe in something. Let's just hope they don't breed too prolifically [Monday, 2007-01-15 T 23:53 UTC] —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 75.132.156.26 (talk) 00:21, 16 January 2007 (UTC).

That's "there" above, not "their". Let's hope that that people who don't proof read their cynical and bitter outpourings don't breed all that much either. Which drunk Rednecks do you mean? And maybe expert scientists have something to hide. Myles325a (talk) 09:36, 5 April 2012 (UTC)


Another thing is that in all the photographs (especially the third), the faeries are all drastically sharper than the girls or the background.
That's coz they are FAERIES you big nong! Myles325a (talk) 09:36, 5 April 2012 (UTC)

As a result, the third and second photos look more realistic than the others. In the one with the faerie offering flowers to Elsie, not only are the flowers unusually tiny, but the expression on Elsie's face looks false, like she is acting. Trust me. I'm an actor myself.

The flowers look like that coz they are FAIRIE flowers. And I don't think Elsie looks like she is acting, she looks lovely and pure. How do you know what someone would look like when they are posing for a photo while being flowers by a faerie? You don't, do you? But Elsie and I know, coz we live in a world where the sun and moon still shine, not a dust pit of cynical and sad old men. Myles325a (talk) 09:36, 5 April 2012 (UTC)


When Elsie admitted that ALL the photos were hoaxes, Frances said that the final one was a real one. How confusing. ~~A user who does not wish to be named~~ —Preceding unsigned comment added by 82.9.114.217 (talk) 15:29, 2 August 2010 (UTC)

Elsie and Frances were browbeaten and bullied to make that "confession". Conan Doyle, who wrote about the world's most subtle and wonderful detective - Sherlock Holmes - would never be fooled by some simple fraud. He discerned the wonderful truth! We share our world with the most joyous creatures. I know. I've seen them. I am one. Myles325a (talk) 09:36, 5 April 2012 (UTC)

Image copyright[edit]

It is worth noting the information containeed here -http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/photos/cottingley.html and here http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/hoax/weblog/permalink/cottingley_fairy_copyright_question/ Jooler 09:54, 22 October 2005 (UTC)

"The re-touched versions of the pictures that are most commonly used today make the fairies look like paper cutouts, having a flat appearance, with lighting that does not match the rest of the photograph. Even the waterfall in the background appears to be taken at a slower shutter-speed than the fairies, which are sharp and clear. When viewing the original prints, however, the case becomes less clear."

This is ridiculous. It's a transparent attempt to say that the pictures aren't fake. Is there a source for the claim that the original photos look less fake than the retouched ones? (A modern source, that is--the contemporary assessments of the photos are not considered accurate nowadays.) Is there even a source for the claim that there are any retouched photos? Ken Arromdee 17:13, 31 October 2005 (UTC)

- is it? I took it as an explanation of why it wasn't dismissed as a hoax outright. Which is an interesting question: what lead to the significant belief in the authenticity of the photos? If the claim is true (I have no idea) it is an important piece of information. WilyD 15:05, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

Can anyone give a source for the claim about the originals not looking like obvious hoaxes, and an experienced photographer saying that they had moved? PatGallacher 00:03, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

From what I've read: all the photographs are retouched (likely to deal with the fact that they tended to be either over or under exposed). Of course, only one print from the original negative still exists, and it's in terrible condition, so it's pretty much unprovable as to how different the original prints are from the shots that everyone is familiar with. ([1] for a picture of the print in question.) As to the movement claim: Cottingley Connect ([2], same site as that print) contains what is supposed to be a quote from a letter of Snelling's on July 31, 1920, which contains the movement claim. (Although the quote differs from the one in this entry, which means that it's either a different source, or that at least one of the quotes isn't valid.) 156.34.221.174 18:48, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

Let's not beat around the bush. If we are going to claim that the fairies look like cutouts because of retouching, we might as well just come out and say that the photos everyone circulates are doctored in order to make real photos look like a hoax. All of the weaselly, unsourced passive voice stuff ("it is believed that") really contributes to the spin factor in this article. 65.87.169.2 17:00, 18 June 2006 (UTC)

eh? I think the point is that it provides an explanation as to why they where believed so widely at the time; because of the lighting issues etc in the originals. --Krsont 16:59, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
The opinion that the originals are different is not neccessarily notable. If it comes from a personal website or forum it should not be here, but if it is an opinion expressed by a published source, it should be sourced. Basically none of this article is sourced, despite external links.66.41.66.213 18:22, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

I think it's a hoax as well. The photos circulated over the Internet definitely make the fairies look fake. However, I looked at a book printed in the 1970s which showed some of the Cottingley fairy photos. What's interesting is that in that book, they must have used an original clipping from the magazine mentioned in the article because the fairies look almost real. I'll try and explain, in the photos on the Internet, they look like cardboard cutouts but in the book I looked at, the photos appeared to be under exposed (not enough contrast). To me, this made the fairies look like they were real and "glowing". Marmalade7777 03:34, 14 January 2007 (UTC)

Unreferenced[edit]

Much of this page is very interesting, especially if true. Various websites have different accounts of which girl said which photograph was faked.Not all of these can be true, and the info here may have come from one of those, not a published source. Likely much of the article is accurate and verifiable, but being that this is a subject of folklore, which is chimeral by nature, much of this article is likely contrary to authoratative published sources on such facts as the condition of the originals, etcetera. 66.41.66.213 18:36, 11 September 2006 (UTC)


The confession by both of the women[edit]

You can find the full confession of both of the girls (now deceased) on youtube. Type "Fadas de Cottingley - Confissão" for the search criteria.

Wtf should the story of a couple of English girls in Cottingsley be found under some dubious Spanish or Mexican spiel? If you want to be suspicious, here is the place to start. It is exactly that kind of malicious slander of the spirit that has led to the current Euro probs there, and there will be more to come. Faeries are not all just "Here's a bunch of faerie flowers." When they are slandered (as not existing) they can do all sorts of things you MIGHT NOT LIKE VERY MUCH. So watch what you say, or you might find your doormat missing, and then a lot worse! Myles325a (talk) 09:43, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
" Wtf should the story of a couple of English girls in Cottingsley be found under some dubious Spanish or Mexican spiel?" >> It should not. The search criterion is a text in PORTUGUESE, not Spanish, and certainly not by a Mexican. SrAtoz (talk) 05:43, 15 July 2012 (UTC)

Wording[edit]

Please see my comment at Talk:Fairy#Wording, which applies to this article, as well as the other. - dcljr (talk) 17:40, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

hint of a POV tone?[edit]

As others above have noted, this article reads as though the authors actually believe (or want) the photos to be real. This is not the place for that kind of fantastic bunk. --A Good Anon 05:48, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

I have to agree with this. The article tries to make alot of excuses for the fact this was a hoax. It isn't written trying to explain why it was believed, it's written like it should actually still be believed, which is rediculous. [Monday, 2007-01-15 T 23:53 UTC] —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 75.132.156.26 (talk) 00:09, 16 January 2007 (UTC).

Well, I guess that's better than alleging that the claims are "ridiculous" which some have done...Myles325a (talk) 09:45, 5 April 2012 (UTC)

Magazine articles[edit]

The Unexplained magazine articles referenced in the article can be found in the book Incredible Phenomena - (editor: Peter Brookesmith ISBN 0-85613-623-9), pp124-140 (article authors Joe Cooper and Fred Gettings). —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Totnesmartin (talkcontribs) 22:58, 2 January 2007 (UTC).

All of them? I was just going to say that some ISBNs are needed, but if that's true, that solves that. --InShaneee 03:57, 3 January 2007 (UTC)


The Coming of the Fairies[edit]

My school library actually has a copy of this book, so I have some time, I'll check it out and try to expand that section of the article. Zagalejo 20:28, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

Re Doyle: The Unexplained mag articles say that Doyle defended the photographs for family reasons - his father was in a psychiatric hospital for claiming to see fairies, so Doyle perhaps felt that by proving fairies to be real he could get him released. But, of course, we need some evidence of this. Totnesmartin 23:14, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
Hmmm, that's interesting. I'll look into that. I'm still on winter break, so I haven't been to my school library yet, but I hope to make some substantial contributions to this article soon. Zagalejo 19:35, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
Uh, yeah, I'm still here. I'm kind of sidetracked with other projects right now, so it might be a while before I actually get started on this. Just wanted to let people know... Zagalejo 16:14, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
I am presuming that by now, some 5 years later, Zagalejo is no longer a school kid and cannot now use or borrow from his "school library". As he never said which school that was, I suppose that we shall never know what that book really said, more's the pity. Myles325a (talk) 09:49, 5 April 2012 (UTC)

References added[edit]

  • added some References if anyone wanted to use them in the article (:O) -Nima Baghaei talk · cont · email 18:34, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

Issues[edit]

This article has some significant problems, some of the language is very inappropriate an almost seems as it if was copied from an external source. There was a lot of "what it really a hoax?" type stuff, which it inappropriate for a wikipedia article and reads like a tabloid. It seems to have a lot of original research much of which is uncited, which further implies that it may be copied from other sources. I've trimmed off a lot of the poor language but the article is still stuck with some of it and needs a re-write in my opinion SGGH speak! 10:19, 13 June 2007 (UTC)

Furthermore, as per MoS, wikilinking every day words like grammar school and cousin is unnecessary. I've culled a lot of the original research but there is undoubtedly a lot left. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia not a sensationalist magazine article. SGGH speak! 10:31, 13 June 2007 (UTC)

Obvious Copyvio[edit]

Please see this version: [3] and note the "Captions" section, where it mentions pictures that were never in the article. Also notice the mention of "page 65". This was obviously a cut and paste job that should have been immediately reverted but wasn't. I recommend taking the article back to [4] which is just before the first edit of the plagiarizer: [5]

P.S. And seriously, any time you see someone add a huge amount of text all at once...just revert it. 99.9 percent of the time, someone is cut and pasting from non GFDL-compatible content. 70.20.175.189 05:03, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

Most reproduced?[edit]

"Her photograph with the dancing fairies has been described as the most reproduced photo in history..."

I've heard the exact same claim made about the raising of the American flag on Iwo Jima. What's the source for claiming this is? Was the claim supported at a time, but not any more? Or is the claim just a subjective guess (precise figures are probably nearly impossible to track, but one can make an estimate based on how often the photo is seen). If a notable source claims this, that should be cited... and if more sources disagree than agree on this assertion, than it should be presented as a minority view. 75.70.123.215 (talk) 11:21, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

I would imagine that the 1969 photos of Neil Young on the moon's surface would have been circulated far more than the dancing fairies. Also, I imagine that the photo of Marilyn Monroe getting a stream of hot air straight up the jacksie and laughing fit to wet her frilly white undies (if she was wearing them) has also now been seen so many times as an icon, a photo and statue, that even cinema buffs like me are sick to death of it. Give me dancing fairies anytime. Myles325a (talk) 09:55, 5 April 2012 (UTC)

British Journal of Photography[edit]

"In 1978, it was found some of the fairies resemble drawings in the 1914 book Princess Mary's Gift Book" - I recollect a series of articles in the BJP about these photographs, around this time, by their technical expert, Geoffrey Crawley. I wouldn't dare to trust my memory after so many years, but they were thorough, detailed and unbiased. Concluded they were obviously paper cutouts and identified the source. Could someone look up this sort of thing? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 80.42.174.155 (talk) 00:10, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

Move proposed[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: page moved. Malleus Fatuorum 23:55, 21 April 2010 (UTC)



Cottingley fairiesCottingley Fairies — It's a proper noun, and what they're called in the literature. Malleus Fatuorum 23:20, 21 April 2010 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

comments[edit]

Good stuff. "As an enthusiastic and committed Spiritualist, Conan Doyle hoped that if the photographs convinced people of the existence of fairies, then they might more readily accept the truth of other psychic phenomena" - I had to read it twice to check who "they might" referred to - the fairies, the photographs, or the people. There's nothing grammatically wrong with it but it might benefit from being simplified.

Is the house they lived in at the time still there? A photograph might be nice. I do love the cynicism of some of the writers - "For the true explanation of these fairy photographs what is wanted is not a knowledge of occult phenomena but a knowledge of children" - imagine how useless some here would feel when faced with such pointed insults as that :) Parrot of Doom 09:01, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

The house is the end terrace, number 31, here Parrot of Doom 09:20, 26 April 2010 (UTC)
The house is obviously a rather unremarkable end of terrace, but I've found a photograph on geograph of the beck where Fances and Elsie said they saw the fairies; I'll add that. Malleus Fatuorum 11:37, 26 April 2010 (UTC)
The clip from the Antiques Roadshow is on YouTube here - there is also a clip of the confession by the two sisters. There is a picture of the beck taken by one of the daughters on the AR clip but there don't seem to be any buildings at the place where she took the photo - it looks a much better place for fairies than the one from geograph:) I remember seeing a TV programme some years ago about this and, if I remember correctly, the reason why it was exposed as a fake was because a reporter found the original glass plate negatives and realised they had been enhanced before publication. He said that where the fairies appeared in the photos the plates had been rubbed so that the fairies appeared to glow slightly and looked more "etherial". He confronted one of the sisters about this and that was when she confessed. Richerman (talk) 20:16, 26 April 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, I'll have a look at that later. It was Geoffrey Crawley who pointed out the photographic plates – or copies of them – had been enhanced, in the early 1980s, but the women had confessed to Joe Cooper before Crawley's 10-part series was printed in the British Journal of Photography. There was never any suspicion that the girls had produced enhanced versions of the glass plates, that was done quite openly by Edward Gardner, so he could have better quality prints to show and sell at his Theosophical Society lectures. In fact, Crawley never met or interviewed either Frances or Elsie, much less confront them. I honestly think that Frances and Elsie just got fed up with being mithered about the photographs after all those years. Malleus Fatuorum 21:14, 26 April 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, I didn't mean the girls had enhanced the pictures - he said it had been done by a professional for publication. Obviously my memory of the other bit is faulty. One of the daughters says in the AR clip that her mother confessed to her after she was told that her cousin had confessed to her own son. There's an interesting article online here that looks well researched. BTW is it OK to have external links to YouTube? - there were a number of interesting films about the 1996 Manchester bombing as well Richerman (talk) 22:12, 26 April 2010 (UTC)
I think there's a copyright issue with linking to YouTube, but I'm no expert. I'm missing just one piece of the puzzle now I think; why it was that that Elsie claimed she'd taken the fifth photograph and it was a fake just like all the rest, but Frances died believing that she'd taken it, and that it was authentic. I believe that Crawley's opinion was that the plate had been double exposed, so in fact both girls had taken the shot, but at different times. Can't find a reliable source for this though, and I'm very reluctant to fork out for a reprint of Crawley's 10-part series. Malleus Fatuorum 22:29, 26 April 2010 (UTC)
Have you seen the letter from Elsie to Crawley here? It looks like my memory wasn't totally wrong :) Richerman (talk) 22:50, 26 April 2010 (UTC)
That's a fascinating letter, presumably the first page of the one mentioned here. Crawley sold his collection of Cottingley Fairy stuff to the National Media Museum in Bradford, where the letter presumably still is now. Anyone got any good connections at the museum? Malleus Fatuorum 23:02, 26 April 2010 (UTC)
According to this website "this last seeming controversy was quickly given a logical explaination by none other than Geoffrey Crawley. In a letter to the Times on April 9, 1983". If someone has access to to The Times archive they may be able to find it. Richerman (talk) 23:08, 26 April 2010 (UTC)
We all have access to The Times archive here in God's own country, so long as we belong to a public library. Thanks for the pointer. I'll have a look. Malleus Fatuorum 23:13, 26 April 2010 (UTC)
I hadn't realised that - I'll have to dig out that library card :) Richerman (talk) 23:16, 26 April 2010 (UTC)
Yep, it's definitely there - I can see the preview. How do you get access with a library card? - they only tell you about the payment options on the website. Richerman (talk) 23:26, 26 April 2010 (UTC)
I guess it depends on your library. With Manchester libraries, for instance, you stick "MAN" in front of your library card number. Malleus Fatuorum 23:37, 26 April 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for pointing me towards The Times archive Richerman, that's rounded the story off nicely I think. My work here is done. I only turned up to do enough to justify losing the ugly tags. Malleus Fatuorum 01:15, 27 April 2010 (UTC)
Excellent stuff, a fine bit of detective work on your part Holmes - glad to be of some small assistance. Richerman (talk) aka Dr. Watson 01:28, 27 April 2010 (UTC)

FA nomination[edit]

Hi ya'll i was just looking through this article and it looks really could does any one think it be FA material? Just asking as Drive-by noms are not my thing.... Weaponbb7 (talk) 01:24, 28 April 2010 (UTC)

I would agree with you that it's a suitable candidate and I've no doubt it would soon end up as a front page article, but the nominator needs to do a lot of work to jump through all the hoops at the FA review. The person who got it up to this standard is Malleus (see above) who has a lot of experience of FA reviews but he said a couple of days ago that he wasn't willing to put this one forward at the moment, so unless he changes his mind or someone else decides to do it I don't think it's likely to happen anytime soon. Richerman (talk) 20:25, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
I don't mind someone else putting it forwards at FAC, but I don't have the enthusiasm for it myself right now. Malleus Fatuorum 23:41, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
Oh bugger it. In for a penny, in for a pound. Malleus Fatuorum 20:20, 29 April 2010 (UTC)

Include Doyle's book (1922) as an External link?[edit]

Would it be good to put Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Coming of Fairies as an External link? I know Malleus has used the reprint (2006) as a source, but I am talking about the original 1922 copy. There are some opinions above that people believe the photos because the images were "over/under-exposed" and hence give an ethereal impression, rather than the "sharp, distinct" paper-like cutouts in later reprints. Well... the 1922 book certainly show the photos to be of the same (or near) quality as those used in this article, and since the book was published in 1922, Doyle certainly saw those photos as we see them. Anyhow, the books also has photos of Garnder, the girls, other locations, and a purported fairy photograph from Canada. I think these, plus Doyle's text, could prove to be good additional reading material to readers that could not be in the article (because of length concern or otherwise). Agreed? Jappalang (talk) 14:27, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

I'd certainly have no objection to that, seems like a reasonable idea to me. Malleus Fatuorum 14:46, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Okay, I added the link.[6] Jappalang (talk) 22:41, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

Ontological conundrum[edit]

Fairies do not exist. The Cottingley fairies do not exist, and never have existed. That, surely, is the whole point of the eventual confession. How can that which does not exist "appear in a series of five photographs"? (Opening sentence of the article)

Suggest The Cottingley Fairies were images that featured in a series of five photographs taken by... Kevin McE (talk) 20:16, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

That sounds a bit tortured to me. I think the lead is perfectly correct, whether or not you believe that fairies exist, have ever existed, or whatever you believe the Cottingley Fairies to have been: they "appear in a series of five photographs taken by Elsie Wright and Frances Griffiths" whatever they are. Who are we to make judgements about what does or does not exist? Our job is merely to report the facts in as neutral a way as possible. In fact, Frances died believing that the fifth photograph of the fairies was genuine. I may think that's unlikely, you may think that's unlikely, but it's not our place to judge. Malleus Fatuorum 20:50, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
I note that Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom states that it contains a unicorn. It doesn't get into a lot of detail about how the unicorn is a mythical beast. And with this fairies article, I claim the OP has it wrong. Fairies do exist. They're made of cardboard. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 02:27, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
Have to agree silly complaint. They do exist in the photos. The fact that like all fairies, they aren't really some sort of mystical beigns doesn't change that and are instead as BB said, cardboard cutouts now long destroyed doesn't change that. And this discussions is a great example of why any complaints about article content should defer to the article and its talk page even if it also occurs on the main page. Nil Einne (talk) 04:30, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
Exactly, You can prove that something does exist but not that it doesn't exist. Frances maintained "I saw these fairies building up in the grasses and just aimed the camera and took a photograph". How are you going to prove that she wasn't telling the truth? Richerman (talk) 09:04, 6 February 2011 (UTC)

Am I the only one clearly seeing cardboard fairies?[edit]

Ive seen the pictures for the first time in a book years ago, and the one thing that keeps baffling me is not the fairies, but how someone could take this pictures for real. All photos (except for double exposed No. 5) have definitely a comic look, the fairies look pretty much like cartoon characters pasted into the picture, just like roger rabbit and similar movies. You definitely would expect different shadows on the fairies if dolls had been used instead of paper cutouts. So, am I the only one in the whole world with eyes good enough not to take the pictures for real in the first place? Or is it that people back then were not that much used to photography and cartoons (first cartoons like Gertie the Dinosaure were already made at that time) to see it? --89.15.228.146 (talk) 00:19, 3 February 2011 (UTC)

If you read the article you'll see that many at the time, perhaps even most, were unconvinced, including Ilford and Sir Oliver Lodge, who were both quite certain that the photographs had been faked. But you have to bear in mind the Spiritualist and Theosophical movements that were so popular at the time. As the girls said later in their lives, some people just wanted to believe. Malleus Fatuorum 00:49, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
There are countless cases of the public being duped by apparent "evidence" that turned out to be fake, but it filled a "need" so it was believed by some or many. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 02:23, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
These are well-done fakes, but it does seem odd that anyone was fooled by them. One key element of the argument was that two young girls wouldn't be clever enough to fake something like this using such advanced technology, which sounds like an absurd argument today. These were in fact ingenious young ladies who knew how to operate the cameras of their day. Timothy Horrigan (talk) 03:06, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
We can only report what the sources say, and they were different times. It's quite clear that Elsie's father thought right from the start that the girls had faked the photographs in some way, he just didn't know how they'd done it. Malleus Fatuorum 03:17, 3 February 2011 (UTC)

name usage[edit]

As per Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style_(biographies)#Subsequent_uses_of_names, "After the initial mention of any name, the person should be referred to by surname only." Therefore, in this article, where it says Elsie it should say Wright, and where it says Frances it should say Griffiths. The choice to use first names here may have been made because for part of the story, Wright and Griffiths are not yet adults. Nevertheless, this is an encyclopedia entry, and surnames need to be used. Are there any objections to making this change? Kingturtle = (talk) 02:12, 3 February 2011 (UTC)

Yes. In the literature Frances and Elsie are invariably described as such, and of course they married and their surnames changed. Malleus Fatuorum 02:14, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
Added to which "Wright" could be Elsie, her mother, or her father. There is no rule that surnames "need to be used" in encyclopedia entries. Malleus Fatuorum 02:18, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
In a case like this, calling them by their first names seems like the best approach. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 02:24, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
I find it quite disturbing that we have sysops and bureaucrats making daft suggestions like this one. Maybe some of them ought to try writing something themselves. Malleus Fatuorum 02:26, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
Must be a slow day at the old ANI corral. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 02:28, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
That'll be the day! Malleus Fatuorum 02:29, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
The way family members are distinguished is to provide a relative's complete name for the first mention; then for further mentions, use only the relative's given name. Kingturtle = (talk) 02:35, 3 February 2011 (UTC) P.S. I am sorry you are disturbed. There is nothing daft about my suggestion. Make valid points to support your position. Kingturtle = (talk) 02:35, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
As a reader, I would have to say that the first names, in this case, make the article flow the best. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 02:39, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
I will respond to any sensible suggestions you have to make Kingturtle, but so far I haven't seen one. Malleus Fatuorum 02:49, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
Your initial answer was sufficient. Why you had to add more later is beyond me. Yes, I am a bureaucrat. But I am also an editor. Kingturtle = (talk) 02:58, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
There appears to be a great deal that is beyond you Kingturtle, so why not restrict yourself to those things which are not beyond you? Malleus Fatuorum 03:26, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
Agree with BB - I've been following this article since Malleus expanded it and took it to FAC. The names have never bothered me - in fact they should be presented this way. Referring to two children by surnames is absurd. Truthkeeper88 (talk) 13:28, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
Me too - the overall tone of the article and subject matter lends itself to the first name usage described. Casliber (talk · contribs) 13:44, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
Second BB as per Casliber. Throughout the literature, the girls are referred to by their first names. Strict adherence to the bureaucratic principle of last names would mean riding the regulations too far and would not be an improvement. Granted, this is an encyclopedia and therefore requires an appropriate linguistic register (which the article presently satisfies); but it is not to be made into an official police report, either. Trigaranus (talk) 13:51, 3 February 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Just as a matter of interest the MoS also goes on to say:

Family members with the same surname
  • To disambiguate between family members with the same surname, use given names or complete names to refer to relatives upon first mention. For subsequent uses, refer to relatives by given name for clarity and brevity. When referring to the person who is the subject of the article, use just the surname unless the reference is part of a list of family members or if use of the surname alone will be confusing.

In that sense the editor bringing up MOS (sic:lol) was wrong. He should have suggested "both" or just applied logic and let it stand as it was - after the first sentence with both names I would not expect have to keep reading their surnames all the time. I am pretty sure that Malleus is aware of the guidelines on naming. Chaosdruid (talk) 16:30, 3 February 2011 (UTC)

Third BB per the above (but don't call me "Ben"). Ben MacDui 17:29, 3 February 2011 (UTC)

  • Another support for sticking to using the children's given names. Calling them by their surnames when all the sources use their given names, and anyone who knows the story will most likely be more familiar with their given names, and the MOS supports the use of given names in some circumstances (and even if it didn't, it's a set of guidelines, not law, and common sense consensus takes precedence), would just be bureaucracy for the sake of it. -- Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 18:53, 3 February 2011 (UTC)

Arthur Conan Doyle called Conan Doyle throughout the article[edit]

Arthur Conan Doyle is referred to asConan Doyle in several places. Why would he be called by his middle and last name? Shouldn't it be just Doyle? Dream Focus 15:05, 3 February 2011 (UTC)

At a guess, that's probably how he was referred to in the sources used for the article, but as I'm not the primary editor, that's just a guess. Ealdgyth - Talk 15:09, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
"Conan Doyle" is the most common usage - see for example our own article. Nikkimaria (talk) 15:10, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
From that article: "Although he is now referred to as "Conan Doyle", the origin of this compound surname (if that is how he meant it to be understood) is uncertain". It does sound like Conan Doyle himself used it as a compound surname, even if technically it wasn't. -- Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 18:58, 3 February 2011 (UTC)

In other news..[edit]

.. I love this article! I hope I said so when it was on FAC. [Checks. ] Yup, I expressed my true feelings. Bishonen | talk 15:13, 3 February 2011 (UTC).

I hadn't been aware of it, but I love it too. I read as many of "today's featured articles" as possible, but this one is special. I spent at least an hour reading whatever I could find and view online. Elsie and Frances are my new heroines. Such an inspiring topic, such a good article. Thanks for the magical moment. ---Sluzzelin talk 22:36, 3 February 2011 (UTC)

THE FAIRY RING, OR ELSIE AND FRANCES FOOL THE WORLD is a new book from Candlewick. Check it out! Fireflea55 (talk) 20:23, 21 March 2012 (UTC)

Princess Mary's Gift Book[edit]

May I just add that Princess Mary's Gift Book was not by Claude Shepperson. The book, which has no author, consists of some twenty short stories, not specifically aimed at children, of which the fifteenth is "A spell for a fairy" by Alfred Noyes (pages 101-104) with drawings and one painting (facing page 92) by Claude A. Shepperson. The book was sold for two shillings and sixpence in aid of the Queen's "Work for Women" Fund. AnthonyCamp (talk) 16:16, 3 February 2011 (UTC).

I've never seen the book, but all the sources I've seen claim that its author was Claude Shepperson, whether he's credited in the text or not. Do you have a source saying that the book has no author? If it has no author then how did it come into existence? Spontaneous generation? Are you saying that Shepperson was in reality the editor? Malleus Fatuorum 17:11, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
Might this help matters? A cursory search for "Claude" reveals that he was the artist for several of the book's paintings, but not necessarily its author. Parrot of Doom 17:31, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
I'm a bit hesitant to go against what the sources I used say, but it maybe warrants a deeper investigation. Malleus Fatuorum 17:34, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
That's a great find btw PoD. The illustration on page 104 has definite similarities to the fairies in the first photograph, but it's obvious that Elsie did a lot more than just cut the fairies out of a book. Malleus Fatuorum 17:43, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
Archive.org is a fantastic resource. If you like I can grab an image or two for commons, if the licence thingy works out? Parrot of Doom 17:46, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
I think the image on page 104 could be good to include, as there's a definite similarity there to the images in the first photograph especially. How to link this in without tripping over OR though ... Malleus Fatuorum 17:54, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
No need to mention similarities that aren't already covered in the article. Place them side by side and let people judge for themselves I say. Parrot of Doom 17:57, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
Hmmm, that's probably the way to go. Just include the image without drawing any conclusions and let the reader decide. Malleus Fatuorum 18:02, 3 February 2011 (UTC)

On another note.... wouldn't someone who owned Princess Mary's Gift Book who then saw these photographs recognize the illustrations? Especially if it was a "popular children's book"... Brutannica (talk) 17:45, 3 February 2011 (UTC)

If you compare the images in the book to those in the photographs you'll see that they aren't straightforward copies. It looks like Elsie simply based her own paintings on Shepperson's; she was by all accounts quite a talented artist. Malleus Fatuorum 17:52, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
Cottingley fairies illustration.jpg

Done Parrot of Doom 18:03, 3 February 2011 (UTC)

Excellent, thanks. When I climb down off the ceiling later this evening I'll give some serious thought as to where best to include it, and with what caption, given the discussion above about the real authorship of the book. Malleus Fatuorum 18:05, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
For me, page 93's illustration is the most telling. You can guess instantly where the girls might have got the idea from. Parrot of Doom 18:11, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
With hindsight it's all very obvious, isn't it. The image on page 93 certainly looks like it gave the girls some ideas about the composition of their photographs. It's the strikingly similar attitudes of some of the dancers in the image you uploaded to the first photograph that I find most telling though. Malleus Fatuorum 18:17, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
Having looked at the book again I can say that Claude Shepperson only did the drawings and one painting for this one story. He was not involved in the remainder of the book, published by Hodder & Stoughton for The National Relief Fund, and their editorial staff presumably put the book together. The drawings and paintings were all specially done for the book (probably without charge) then exhibited at the Leicester Galleries and the originals sold in aid of the Queen's "Work For Women" Fund. The book is in the same format as "The Queen's Gift Book" published by the same firm in aid of Queen Mary's Convalescent Auxiliary Hospitals for Soldiers and Sailors who have lost their Limbs in the War". The latter interestingly contains a story "The Soot Fairies" by Beatrice Harraden (illustrated by Arthur Rackham) which starts with a little girl saying, "I don't believe one bit in these stupid fairies, and I'm tired of fairy boks". AnthonyCamp (talk) 10:14, 4 February 2011 (UTC).
  • Does this montage make the comparison more obvious? - Gobeirne (talk) 19:42, 4 February 2011 (UTC)
Comparison of Cottingley Fairies and illustrations from the Princess Mary Gift Book
  • That's a pretty convincing piece of forensic evidence Gobeirne, and I like the way you've laid it out in the article. My only slight reservation is that someone might accuse us of "original research", but what the Hell. :-) Malleus Fatuorum 21:22, 4 February 2011 (UTC)

Lady Cottington's Pressed Fairy Book[edit]

If anyone's interested in adding an "In Popular Culture" sort of section, then this parody is worth a look:

- Gobeirne (talk) 18:25, 3 February 2011 (UTC)

If anyone adds an "In popular culture" section they'll have me to deal with. Malleus Fatuorum 19:11, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
This article is very nice as it is and doesn't really need a trivia section. Probably adding the images the PoD found in the above section would be a nice, but trivia? Not necessary. Truthkeeper88 (talk) 19:24, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
Have there been any other works inspired by this one, aside from the Terry Jones item? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 20:21, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
There are the two films mentioned in the text already, but to say either was "inspired" by the Cottingley Fairies would probably be overstating the case. There are a few other books in the Lady Cottington series.[7], and I probably wouldn't object if a sentence was added about the series. The premise behind them is that the fairy pictures were actually taken by Lady Cottington, not by Frances and Elsie, and that she began to capture the fairies, keeping them in the leaves of a book just as you'd keep pressed flowers. Malleus Fatuorum 20:38, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I recall that. A couple of sentences (or one) about the Jones book and the TV show should be sufficient. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 20:47, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
I think when I considered this before I didn't succeed in finding a reliable source stating that the books were inspired by the story of the Cottingley Fairies, but I may be misremembering. If anyone can come up with such a reliable source I'll not object to the addition of a sentence or two. Malleus Fatuorum 22:16, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
Reliable source is here in french article. Book : Alice K. Turner, Snake's Hands: The Fiction of John Crowley, Wildside Press LLC, 2003. You can read it online here. My Google book is in french but this book is in english. --Tsaag Valren (talk) 23:38, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
OK, thanks, I'll take a look at that. Malleus Fatuorum 00:14, 4 February 2011 (UTC)
... and done. Malleus Fatuorum 00:34, 4 February 2011 (UTC)
You're welcome. I can give you some reliable french sources too, but my english is just too bad for me to translate it. --Tsaag Valren (talk) 21:47, 6 February 2011 (UTC)

Wow[edit]

How stupid were people back then — Preceding unsigned comment added by NexCarnifex (talkcontribs) 22:44, 3 February 2011 (UTC)

Compared with now? :) ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 00:10, 4 February 2011 (UTC)
To be honest that's a pretty naive comment. People obviously weren't any more stupid then - just not as well informed. Unlike you they hadn't seen lots of television programmes explaining how things worked and there was a popular belief that "the camera doesn't lie". Richerman (talk) 00:15, 5 February 2011 (UTC)

Other sources from fr.wikipédia[edit]

  • Jean-Pierre Croquet, « Conan Doyle et les fées de Cottingley » on Fées, elfes, dragons & autres créatures des royaumes de féerie, Hoëbeke, Paris, November 2002 (ISBN 2-84230-159-5), p. 152-153 (I have this book)
  • Pierre Dubois (ill. Roland and Claudine Sabatier), fr:La Grande Encyclopédie des fées (Great encyclopedia of Faeries in english, I have this one too)
  • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Sylvie Marion, Les fées sont parmi nous, J.-C. Lattès, le Grand livre du mois, 1997, 212 p. (ISBN 9782702809846) (First french translation for The Coming of the Fairies, with commentaires... commentaries ..? additionnal informations)
  • Henri Broch, Au cœur de l'extra-ordinaire, book-e-book, Bordeaux (zététique), 2005, 390 p. (ISBN 9782915312096)
  • Clément Chéroux, Le troisième œil: la photographie et l'occulte, Gallimard, Bordeaux (zététique), 2004, 287 p. (ISBN 9782070117918)
  • Paul-Éric Blanrue, « Les fées de Cottingley : Conan Doyle contre Sherlock Holmes », Cercle zététique, 1998.

Zététique is the french for the skeptical movement in the U.S.(The James Randi foundation for exemple). Fée is the french for fairies. Thanks --Tsaag Valren (talk) 21:58, 6 February 2011 (UTC)

Very interesting, thanks for that. I have to say though that your English is probably better than my French. ;-) Malleus Fatuorum 22:01, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. All french students must learn english at school (british english and not american english for me), I understand when I read it but to write it is much more... difficult !
Other sources not quoted here :
  • Katharine Mary Briggs, The fairies in tradition and literature, Routledge classics, 2002, 324 p. (ISBN 9780415286015). Online version here
  • Donald E. Simanek, « Arthur Conan Doyle, Spiritualism, and Fairies » with a good bibliography, Simanek is quoted for his work about Cottingley fairies in another book.
  • Tom Huntington, « The Man who Believed in Fairies » in Smithsonian (Canada), vol. 6, septembre 1997, p. 105-114
  • James Randi, Flim-flam ! Psychics, ESP, unicorns, and other delusions, Prometheus Books, 1982, 342 p. (ISBN 9780879751982) - I think i's important to quote this one.
  • Robert Scheaffer, « Do Fairies Exist ? », in The Zetetic, 1977, p. 45-52
  • « Fairy photos », in New Scientist, no 79, 3 août 1978, p. 1115
  • Perhaps a good translator could translate from this one fr:Fées de Cottingley ? --Tsaag Valren (talk) 23:43, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
It used to be the case that all English students had to learn at least one foreign language; French and German were mandatory at my school, but I always found French much easier. Malleus Fatuorum 00:11, 7 February 2011 (UTC)
It's first time I hear that french is easy ! Sorry for no answer since 10 days, I was busy. I have studied Cottingley fairies for a "conference" (don't know if it's the good english for) about it. There's a specialist of fairy folklore, Pierre Dubois (author), who helped me himself. I know it's a featured article here, but can I help for improve it in any way ? --Tsaag Valren (talk) 20:25, 17 February 2011 (UTC)

On accepting that the images were genuine[edit]

"Public reaction was mixed; some accepted that the images were genuine, but others believed they had been faked", said the lead, before I micro-messed with it. I think there was something dodgy about the wording there. It sounds as if the goddess Wikipedia declares that the images were genuine. A statement somebody else is said to "accept" is, according to the speaker, true. Isn't it? Especially when contrasted with what others merely "believe". I hesitated to change something that's been sitting prominently in the lead a whole year without, apparently, worrying anybody (it was added by Malleus, without the "that", on 23 April 2010.[8]). But I did anyway. :-) Now it says "some accepted the images as genuine". That seems to be without the undesired implication that those "some" were right. Bishonen | talk 09:31, 9 April 2011 (UTC).

Alright. I suppose nobody was particularly bothered by the wording as it stood. Trigaranus (talk) 13:04, 9 April 2011 (UTC)

Attitude of Francis and Elsie[edit]

This source states that they "admitted that the first four pictures were fakes but claimed the fifth was authentic" but the article indicates that they countenanced the photographs authenticity. Should this be added? Ankh.Morpork 18:58, 28 June 2012 (UTC)

Nothing to add, as that Telegraph snippet isn't entirely accurate. As this article makes clear, Frances and Elsie disagreed about the authenticity of the fifth photograph, while agreeing that the first four were fakes. Malleus Fatuorum 19:15, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
Apologies, did not initially read the article with due thoroughness. Would be interested on your take of this source which suggests a complete recantation by the cousins. Ankh.Morpork 21:29, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
I don't think it suggests a "complete recantation", simply that their stories evolved over time. It's pretty clear that Elsie and Frances agreed on all but the fifth and final photograph, which to end of her life Frances believed to be authentic but Elsie did not, a discrepancy plausibly accounted for by Crawley's theory of an unintentional double exposure. Malleus Fatuorum 22:52, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
Did you read p.114; see the last two paragraphs that I consider intimates a complete recantation. However, I agree that most other sources report Elsie's continued contention of authenticity and that this source might be little 'overenthusiastic' in its provision of "True Tales of Cults, Crackpots, Cranks, Cretins, Crooks, Creeps, Con Artists, and Charlatans" (which seems like a reasonable Wiki description). Also, a nitpick: "plausibly accounted", I don't think so! Ankh.Morpork 23:03, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
You've confused Elsie and Frances; Elsie maintained that all five of the photographs were fake, Frances that the first four were fakes but the fifth was authentic. In fact, in the episode of the Antiques Roadshow referenced in the article Frances' daughter expressed the same opinion, based on what her mother had told her. There's absolutely no credible doubt that Frances believed the fifth photograph to be genuine right up until her death, and that the discrepancy between Elsie's and Frances' contentions were the result of an accidental double exposure. I think this is all explained more than adequately in the present article. Malleus Fatuorum 01:41, 29 June 2012 (UTC)

Image of Gardner at Commons[edit]

Does this image deserve to be added: File:EdwardLGardner.jpg ? (obviously in the absence, so far, of the Elsie and Francis). But we don't have Conan Doyle, so perhaps not. Martinevans123 (talk) 21:10, 22 July 2012 (UTC)

I don't think so really, do you? Malleus Fatuorum 21:25, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
Am not convinced myself. It was more to make up for a lack of any article for him - but then if he doesn't have an article, I guess he's not generally notable. I suppose the link to Commons is sufficient, although he was a major player in the story. I was worried that the image might, in some way, "de-value" the existing ones of "your actual fairies". Open to other views. Martinevans123 (talk) 21:46, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
I hadn't noticed that Gardner didn't have an article, but he probably deserves one. If nobody else does, I may start one myself if I can find enough material. Malleus Fatuorum 21:54, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
Take a look at the Czech and French wiki articles, where this image is currently used. Wow, very different to this one. I am most impressed by the French one! Martinevans123 (talk) 21:58, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
I'm not at all impressed by the French version. For starters, the choice of opening image is ridiculous, this isn't the beck where Elsie and Francis played, and wtf is this doing in there? Looks like a sloppy piece of work to me. Malleus Fatuorum 22:41, 22 July 2012 (UTC)

Haha, awww, bless. And I had thought of linking gnome too. It's obvious I am easily impressed with pretty pictures. But yes, it's perhaps more like a picture-book than a scholarly article. Les Francaises seem to have a more romantic view of the "créatures du petit peuple" than do we! I was nevertheless interested to see that they had used images of Gardner, Conan Doyle AND even Lodge. But some factual inaccuracies certanly - you'll have to brush up on your French expletives, MF. (On second thoughts, perhaps not). Martinevans123 (talk) 07:34, 23 July 2012 (UTC)

Don't you worry. I've got almost as many French expletives as I do English. ;-) Malleus Fatuorum 14:24, 23 July 2012 (UTC)

A Escape[edit]

My opinion is that these two girls were troubled through the war. They needed a escape from reality and with this being said I would bet they suffered some anxiety, this was a destresser.

Sincerely, Julie Sullaway — Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.223.127.68 (talk) 13:50, 31 January 2013 (UTC)

Another influence by Cottingley Fairies[edit]

There's an episode of Torchwood, a BBC spin-off of Doctor Who, that makes a big nod to the Cottingley Fairies. "Small Worlds (Torchwood)" involves the Torchwood team battling malevolent fairies who do not follow linear time. The fairies just want to find a "chosen one" to become one of them. If supporting players and extras have to die for them to meet their goal, then so be it. Their object was the child, Jasmine. Ultimately, the fairies won the battle and were able to abduct her, but said that they wouldn't harm her, that she'd live forever. The last scene shows Gwen, a Torchwood team member, putting away the investigative materials for that case when her amazed attention was drawn to the Cottingley Fairies photograph #1. The face of the far right fairy, the one who faces the viewer, was....Jasmine's. The episode's really not as hokey as it sounds. Hey, I like Torchwood! Wordreader (talk) 05:09, 3 February 2013 (UTC)

Cottingley Fairies in popular culture[edit]

Why can't we list the times the fairies have been referred to in books, tv, film, etc.? Paul Austin (talk) 11:57, 14 January 2014 (UTC)

The final paragraph of the Subsequent history section says all that needs to be said. Eric Corbett 12:52, 14 January 2014 (UTC)

Revert noted & Doyle change[edit]

Thank you, Eric Corbett, for your reversion. I was looking into doing just that when I saw that you beat me to it.

I am going on to alter the surname of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle from "Conan Doyle" to "Doyle". Although the Doyle article discusses the confusion in name usage, the article itself uses plain "Doyle" when referring to him. This is for the sake of consistency across WP. Thank you, 24.47.173.120 (talk) 18:16, 7 February 2014 (UTC)