Sir Arthur and the Fairies © wood engraving (ed. 40) image: 7 x 5 in. $100.00 (go to "Hi There" for purchase information)
When I read that the creator of Sherlock Holmes believed in fairies, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle made his way onto my list of the oddballs of history! Doyle defended and supported the two little cousins Francis Griffiths and Elsie Wright of Cottingly in Yorkshire, after they photographed each other in the woods with little paper doll fairies. They claimed they had met and befriended fairies and had recorded these encounters with their camera. His support helped spread the belief that the photos were true. Doyle also believed in spiritualism and actively supported the Fox sisters, one of whom later admitted their spiritual procedure was a hoax. Doyle and the magician, Houdini, who made it a point to publicly expose spiritualism as fraudulent, came to a parting of the ways when Doyle made the claim that Houdini had supernatural powers.

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