Monday, July 23, 2012

The Fairy Ring or Elise and Frances Fool the World by Mary Losure

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The Fairy Ring
or Elise and Frances Fool the World
by Mary Losure
184 pages
Library
Historical Non-Fiction
2012

Book Jacket Summary
The enchanting true story of a girl who saw fairies, and another with a gift for art, who concocted a story to stay out of trouble and ended up fooling the world.

Frances was nine when she first saw the fairies. They were tiny men, dressed all in green. Nobody but Frances saw them, so her cousin Elsie painted paper fairies and took photographs of them "dancing" around Frances to make the grown-ups stop teasing. The girls promised each other they would never, ever tell that the photos weren't real. But how were Frances and Elsie supposed to know that their photographs would fall into the hands of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle? And who would have dreamed that the man who created the famous detective Sherlock Holmes believed ardently in fairies
- and wanted very much to see one? Mary Losure presents this enthralling true story as a fanciful narrative featuring the original Cottingley fairy photos and previously unpublished drawings and images from the family's archives. A delight for everyone with a fondness for fairies, and for anyone who has ever started something that spun out of control.

My Thoughts
An interesting look into the true story of how two girls fooled the world with their pictures of "real" fairies. Although it is a non-fiction book it does read like a novel because it is told through their experiences. Losure made each girl come alive and their personalities came through. I had always wondered about the true story behind the hoax and how Arthur Conan Doyle became involved with the experience.
Frances was a young girl who saw fairies in the area around her cousins waterfall but was teased by her older relatives. Elise came up with the idea to draw fairies and take pictures with them to make everyone believe that they really existed. Frances and Elise never meant for people to be fooled but they also did nothing to stop it once it became a national issue. They could not believe that the man who invented Sherlock Holmes would want fairies to exist and be fooled by their pictures.   
I would recommend this one to anyone who likes hoaxes or non-fiction accounts. The book comes with the pictures the girls took and although you can now tell that they are not real, it is not impossible to believe that someone could mistake them in the past. I really liked this book and want to read more about it in the books below.

Book Pairings
The Coming of Fairies by Arthur Conan Doyle
The Case of the Cottingley Fairies by Joe Cooper
Lady Cottington's Pressed Fairy Book by Terry Jones

 

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