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Book Description
THE PHOTOGRAPHIC HOAX OF THE CENTURY GRIFFITHS, Frances and WRIGHT, Elsie The Cottingley Fairies. 5 Photographs, the Complete Set. Edward Gardner, Theosophical Publishing House, c. 1920. 5 photographic prints, individually mounted on brown card tissue guarded, in a brown card folder, preserved in a loose leaf book; each image c. 195 x 145 mm. Print A, Alice and the Fairies, not captioned but with manuscript letter ‘A’ on the top white border; Print B, Iris and the Gnome with printed caption; Print C, Alice and the Leaping Fairy, D, Fairy Offering Posy of Hare-bells to Iris and E, Fairies and Their Sun-bath, not captioned but each with manuscript letters. Together with a 4 page description and introduction to each of the images, with printed signature E.L.G. for Edward L. Gardner. The genesis and history of these images is well known, perhaps the greatest photographic hoax of the twentieth century fooling even Sir Arthur Conan Doyle who wrote two articles for the Strand Magazine. Gardner wrote his own book, Fairies: The Cottingley Photographs and Their Sequel [1945] in which the real names of the girls were used; up to that time they went by the names Alice and Iris to conceal their identities, as here. These photographs, therefore would appear to be early examples, either issued by Gardener to accompany his lecture tours on the subject, where they were offered for sale, or as a publicity press release when they were heavily promoted in 1920 and 1921. I can find no further examples of these precise imprints and no record of the descriptive leaflet.
Author THE PHOTOGRAPHIC HOAX OF THE CENTURY
Date c. 1920.

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