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"'Fairy Sunbath Elves Etc', August 1920."

"Griffiths, Frances"

4 0 c m
actual image size: 25cm x 32cm


"A photograph of fairies and elves, taken by Frances Griffiths (1907-1986). Sprites from the fairy kingdom pose amongst the grasses by Cottingley Beck, West Yorkshire. This is the only photograph over which Frances and Elsie, in later life, disagreed. Until she died, Frances insisted that the photograph was genuine. Elsie, however, in a letter to Geoffrey Crawley written in 1983, revealed that all five photographs were faked. The story of the Cottingley Fairies began as a practical joke in Cottingley, near Bradford, West Yorkshire in 1917. The photographs of the 'Beck Fairies', as the girls called them, went on to become one of the most famous examples of image manipulation in photography."

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© Glenn Hill / National Science & Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library

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