Cottingley Fairies
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The Families

The Wright Family

Arthur Wright

Stunned at how such a brilliant mind like Doyle's could be fooled by "by our Elsie, and her at the bottom of the class!" He always believed that the photos were fake and asked the girls why there was paper in the first photo.
After the appearance of fairies on the second photo he stopped the girls from using the camera again, especially when they refused to admit they were playing a joke.

Till his passing in 1926, he was fearful that the whole family were to be exposed as frauds. He prevented Elsie from taking money for the photos but a war bond of 100 was given to her by Doyle.

Polly Wright

Had spiritual beliefs and followed Theosophy after experiencing astral projection and past life recollection. However, she refused to believe the girls were telling the truth until one evening at the Bradford Theosophical Society the topic of fairies brought about her disclosure of the pictures

Elsie Wright, 16 years old

A keen artist who had been attending Bradford Art College since she was 13 also found work in a photographic lab and a greeting card factory during the war. In the darkroom her job was to create composite photos of fallen soldiers with pictures of loved ones and during this time she had the opportunity to work with plate cameras.
Later emigrated to America to escape the media attention but was dismayed to find that even in Maine, the tales of the Cottingley fairies were well known.

After marrying an engineer, Elsie emigrated again, this time to India where she was an army driver during the war. She returned to England after the 1947 declaration of independence and soon the media tracked her down and her privacy was lost again.

The Griffiths Family

Sergeant Major Edwin Griffiths

Stationed in South Africa during the war, he remained at his post after his wife and daughter temporarily moved to Cottingley. In 1918 he arrived back in England and the reunited family moved from Cottingley to Scarborough, North Yorkshire.

Annie Griffiths (nee Wright)

Enjoyed a high life in South Africa with servants and lavish trips.

Frances Griffiths, 10 years old

Arrived from South Africa with her mother to live with her cousin in Cottingley. Her photograph with the dancing fairies has been described as the most reproduced photo in history and is instantly recognised by people across the world.
Throughout her life she toyed with the media, not letting out the truth until she was an elderly lady.

However, although she admitted to have faked the pictures, she adamantly declared that she did see fairies and she did play with them at the Beck.


The Investigators