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The Fairy Ring

I'm preparing for an exhibition of manipulated photography (Faking It: Manipulated Photography before Photoshop, opening February 13 at the National Gallery) and thought that the famous Cottingley fairies might fit that description. As it turns out, those photographs were staged for the camera rather than manipulated after being taken--but I'm happy to have read The Fairy Ring, or Elsie and Frances Fool the World by Mary Losure (Candlewick, 2012) nonetheless. It's a lovely little book (note the period-appropriate font on the cover) that not only reveals how the fairy photographs were made, but puts them in context for those of us who find it hard to believe that anyone, let alone Arthur Conan Doyle, could have been fooled by them at all.

Reader Comments (5)

ooh... now, let me get my brain into to gear because there's a book I think you should check out to go with this... ahh fiddlesticks, google ins't helping. It's presented as a non fiction book about a man who photographs fairies at an archaeological dig in the UK... I read a review on Gathering Books, but now can't find it (I also got the book out of the library and really enjoyed it, but the title is eluding me....) grrr

January 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterZoe

The brilliant Myra from Gathering books got back to me on twitter - it is: The mystery of the fool and the vanisher by david and ruth ellwand. Hope you can get a copy.

January 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterZoe

This looks like a nonfiction book my fiction loving students might enjoy. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

January 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJeanette W. Stickel

Thank you, Zoe (and Myra)! Our library doesn't hold The Mystery of the Fool and the Vanisher, but it was bargain priced at Amazon so I went ahead and ordered a copy. Will share some thoughts as soon as it arrives!

And I do hope your students enjoy The Fairy Ring, Jeanette! It reads almost like fiction. Maybe some of them have seen the movie based on the Cottingley fairies, too (Fairy Tale: A True Story).

January 21, 2013 | Registered CommenterAnamaria

Let me know what you think of it Anamaria - I'll be really interested to hear your thoughts!

January 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterZoe

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