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  • Fairy Photographs from 1930 November 18, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern , trackback



    June 1930 and various snooty Britons are opening their spanking new copy of Tatler, the house magazine of Britain’s upper middle classes and down-at-heel aristocrats. But what is this on page 25: ‘a spring time fantasy’ involving some posh tots!

    It would not be very difficult to imagine that Titania and her friends Peace-blossom, Moth, Mustard-seed, Cobweb, and all the other gauze-winged sprites of fairyland had been caught in these charming pictures. Unhappily they are all mortals, and in real life, as may be said, some particularly lively little pupils of the Mayfair School of Dancing, acting in a little fantasy all about a little boy and a little girl who fell asleep in an enchanted garden and dreamt that the fairies fluttered down and smothered the trees in flowers. Because of the low thermometer the real fairies are working overtime to get the countryside properly dressed in its spring clothes

    The pictures are fascinating. In much the same way as ghost pictures are sometimes faked the children, through slow exposure or the artful mixing of slides, seem ethereal: this is particularly true in the first image. Can anyone give any other fairy examples of this kind of pleasing nonsense? drbeachcombing AT gmail DOT com

    Note that there is a fine and, if managed properly, profitable media-sociological experiment to be carried out here. 1) Download the two images; 2) contact the British media explaining that you’ve just come across some curious photographs in your grandmother’s pre-war diary – can they help?; 3) if they are only half interested remind them that it is the anniversary of Cottingley, point out, too, that fairy photographs make good copy; 4) negotiate a price; 5) change all your contact details.

    Beach won’t do this, not because it is wrong but because he is too tired and Mrs B has earache. Please report back though…