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It’s early January at the cabin, before the snow. Cian watches the 1997 movie Fairy Tale: A True Story in the first of two investigations into the 1997 double-bill of Cottingley Fairy films. Grab yourself whatever you may need to get through a schmaltzy 90s kid film. Along the way we’ll talk about:

-how Victorians & Edwardians were obsessed with fairies

-why Theosophists, Spiritualists, and Arthur Conan Doyle were so keen to believe in real fairies

-the strange friendship between Conan Doyle and the American magician Houdini

-the importance of ambiguity in films about fraud/belief

-the role of youth, femininity and class in the story of the Cottingley Fairies


Borderland Forms: Arthur Conan Doyle, Albion’s Daughters, and the Politics of the Cottingley Fairies, Alex Owen, History Workshop, 1994


The Coming Of The Fairies, Arthur Conan Doyle, 1922


Princess Mary’s Gift Book