Cottingley Fairies
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The First Letter

The following year, on the 9th November 1918, Francis wrote a letter to a friend, Johanna Parvin, of Woodstock, Cape Town which brought the fairies to light once more albeit in brief passing. The letter read:


Dear Joe [Johanna],

I hope you are quite well. I wrote a letter before, only I lost it or it got mislaid. Do you play with Elsie and Nora Biddles? I am learning French, Geometry, Cookery and Algebra at school now. Dad came home from France the other week after being there ten months, and we all think the war will be over in a few days. We are going to get our flags to hang upstairs in our bedroom. I am sending two photos, both of me, one of me in a bathing costume in our back yard, Uncle Arthur took that, while the other is me with some fairies up the beck, Elsie took that one. Rosebud is as fat as ever and I have made her some new clothes. How are Teddy and dolly?

On the back of the fairy photo, she wrote:

Elsie and I are very friendly with the beck Fairies. It is funny I never used to see them in Africa. It must be too hot for them there.


In the months following this letter, Francis was reunited with her father when he returned from his post in South Africa and the family left Cottingley in 1918 and moved to Scarborough.

Four years later on 25 November 1922, the letter was re-discovered and later published in the Cape Town Argus in an article called "Cape Town Link In World Controversy"once more re-igniting public curiousity.


"... isn't this the best kind of evidence possible that, two years before Conan Doyle ever started this controversy, Frances Griffiths believed implicitly in the existence of fairies: so implicitly indeed as to discuss them with no more surprise or emphasis than she discusses her dad, her dolls, and the war?"
South African Cape Town Argus


Theosophy, Spiritualism and Other Beliefs

Interest Gathers Pace