The Coming of the Fairies


The Coming of the Fairies

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Introduction by John M. Lynch

Extraordinary World Series

189 pages


October 2006


$15.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859–1930), best known as the author of Sherlock Holmes stories but also a devout spiritualist, was entirely convinced by a set of photographs apparently showing two young girls from Cottingley in Yorkshire playing with a group of tiny, translucent fairies. To demonstrate his unshakeable belief in the spirit world, he published The Coming of the Fairies in 1922. Doyle’s book lays out the story of the photographs, their supposed provenance, and the implications of their existence. This quirky and fascinating book allows us to get inside the mind of an intelligent, highly respected man who happened to believe in fairies.

John M. Lynch’s introduction to this Bison Books edition provides the background to appreciate Doyle’s claims and, without supporting the existence of fairies, to understand why Doyle wanted them to exist. The photographs of the fairies are reproduced in their entirety, with the original captions, offering readers an opportunity to examine Doyle’s and his supporters’ claims to their authenticity.


“The aging Conan Doyle, who was a noted spiritualist, in 1922 wrote this slim volume in which he presented the ‘facts’ of the phenomenon known as the ‘Cottingley photographs,’ which depicted two young girls playing with what appear to be fairies. Though he apparently believed in their authenticity, Sir Arthur lets readers decide for themselves.”—Library Journal

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