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Fairies photographed by Elsie Wright and Frances Griffiths at Cottingley Glen West Yorkshire July 1917.

Cottingley fairies. Cottingley Glen West Yorkshire July 1917.

Cottingley fairies. Cottingley Glen West Yorkshire July 1917.

Cottingley fairies. Cottingley Glen West Yorkshire July 1917.

Cottingley fairies. Cottingley Glen West Yorkshire July 1917.

 

June 30 - First letter from Arthur Conan Doyle to Elsie Wright
Both this and the next are written on stationary imprinted "THE ATHENAEUM, PALL MALL, SW1." That address has been stroked out, and "Windlesham Crowborough" has been written in.

Thanks to a tip from Ian Miller, we learn that the Athenæum is a gentleman's club for the "intellectually elite," still in existence in Pall Mall today.
June 30


Dear Miss Elsie Wright
I have seen the wonderful pictures of the fairies which you and your cousin Frances have taken, and I have not been so interested for a long time. I will send you tomorrow one of my little books for I am sure you are not too old to enjoy adventures.  I am going to Australia soon, but I only wish before I go that I could get to Bradford and have half an hours chat with you, for I should like to hear all about it.

With best wishes
Yours sincerely
Arthur Conan Doyle
Mr Gardner told me about it.

 

    

 

June 30 Letter from Arthur Conan Doyle to Arthur Wright


Dear Mr. Wright I have seen the very interesting photos which your little girl took. They are certainly amazing. I was writing a little article for the Strand upon the evidence for the existence of fairies, so that I was very much interested. I should naturally like to use the photos, along with other material, in my article but would not of course do so without your knowledge and permission. It would be in the Xmas number.  I suggest that no name be mentioned, so that neither you nor your daughter be annoyed in any way.

That the use be reserved for the Strand only until Xmas.  After that it reverts of course to you.

 That either £5 be paid to you by the Strand for the temporary use, or that if you do not care to take money, you could be on the free list of the magazine for five years.
The articles appear in America in connection with the Strand publication. I would, if you agree, try to get you another £5 from that side. If this is all agreeable to you, I or my friend Mr Gardner would try to run up & have half an hours chat with the girls
Yours sincerely
A Conan Doyle
 


July 12 Reply to Conan Doyle
Mr. Wright responded. This text is taken from the book, "The Coming of the Fairies," by Conan Doyle:
31 Main Street, Cottingley, Bingley
July 12, 1920
Dear Sir,
I hope you will forgive us for not answering your letter sooner and thanking you for the beautiful book you so kindly sent to Elsie. She is delighted with it. I can assure you we do appreciate the honour you have done her. The book came last Saturday morning an hour after we had left for the seaside for our holidays, so we did not receive it until last night. We received a letter from Mr. Gardner at the same time, and he proposes coming to see us at the end of July. Would it be too long to wait until then, when we could explain what we know about it?
Yours very gratefully,
Arthur Wright.

Note: In this letter, Mr. Wright appears to be very willing to meet with Sir Arthur, and expresses no doubt about the authenticity of the fairy photos. Perhaps, at this period on his new acquaintanceship with the famous author, Wright was willing to "go along" with the girls' "little joke," an attitude that is in sharp contrast with his later misgivings on the matter.

 

On July 14th, Conan Doyle sent this letter to Mr. Wright, obviously following up on Mr. Wright's response.
(Written on stationery headed, "Windlesham, Crowborough, Sussex. Telegrams: Crowborough. Nat. Tel. No 77.")


Dear Mr. Wright Dear Mr. Wright
Yes, I will do perfectly well when Mr. Gardner goes north.  I am deeply interested because I happened to be writing an article on the subject.  I only hope that in the meanwhile Miss Elsie will have a try for another one.  That would indeed silence the doubters.
Yours sincerely
Arthur Conan Doyle

 

 

 

On August 3, Sir Arthur writes again to Mr. Wright.
(Written on stationery of the Rougemont Hotel Exeter, that address has been stroked out and replaced by "Windlesham Crowborough.")


Dear Mr Wright
I saw Mr. Gardner today and everything is now in perfect order. I hope to get a small wedding dowry for Elsie from the fairies. Also for the little girl. I go to Australia next week but my agent is in touch with Mr G. and you will hear from the latter.
Meanwhile I have altered all names and places. We can always let the cat out of the bag, but when he is out you cant put him back. I dont want you all to be worried by curiosity hunters. I can foresee Charabanc 100 a day if the press gets hold of it. We propose therefore to only publish the 3 year old photos which wont be so easily recognised. Which wont be so easily recognized. If your neighbors know about it you would be wise to tell them to be cautious
With best wishes
A Conan Doyle
 

In this last letter, the word "Charabanc" refers to a sight-seeing bus with benches, a commonly-seen vehicle in England of that day. In all the letters, the few minor irregularities punctuation are exactly as in the originals. In other words the letters are written for this web site and where they were copied from they are FAKES. whether the script is correct I do not know we only have James Randi's word for it.

Source James Randi Educational Foundation.

Please remember that many of these researchers in the past, if they could not prove that the Medium was fraudulent they would put it around that they thought they were. It is that word thought that makes all the difference. Yes, there were some tricksters BUT NOT as many as the Christian and religious community would like to make out. Look at the finding of the Church of England and their findings that was hushed up. BUT there again some genuine Mediums did cheat when their energies waned.

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