Spirit photograph of Arthur Conan Doyle taken by the ‘spirit photographer’ Ada Deane in 1922, the same year in which Conan Doyle’s The Coming of the Fairies was published via The Public Domain Review

In the winter of 1920, readers of the popular British magazine the Strand found a curious headline on the cover of their Christmas issues. “FAIRIES PHOTOGRAPHED,” it said. “AN EPOCH-MAKING EVENT DESCRIBED BY A. CONAN DOYLE.” The Strand’s readership was well acquainted with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; most of his wildly popular Sherlock Holmes stories had appeared for the first time in its pages. The great man’s claim that fairies –real fairies – had been photographed in the north of England by two young girls wa

Source: Sir Arthur and the Fairies | The Public Domain Review

The first fairy photograph, featured in Conan Doyle’s The Coming of the Fairies (1922) Via The Public Domain Review

The fairy pictures seem to me to be obvious fakes, but perhaps when photography was young this was not quite so obvious. Maybe in those days people we more willing to accept the veracity of photographs than they are today when we all know how easy it is to manipulate a photograph. Although he doesn’t seem to have been a very active photographer himself, Doyle had 13 articles on photography published by the British Journal of Photography. He also wrote a book called “The Case for Spirit Photography”.

And now to the real reason for this post. I’m feeling quite pleased with myself at the moment. Of course I’ve seen Sherlock Holmes movies and the various TV series. And I have a vague memory of having to read some Holmes in High School (as I recall I didn’t enjoy it much at the time). I can’t remember ever reading Sherlock Holmes just for the fun of it. So I’ve just worked myself through the complete Sherlock Holmes: 4 novels and 56 short stories. Phew!! For the most part I enjoyed the experience even though some of the stories were fairly ordinary.

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