Apropos that 1) this should come out on in the centennial of the hoax* and 2) that I should be reading it this year as well (I’ve been on the library wait list for a while and my turn finally came around).
I first learned of the Cottingley Fairies through “Arthur C. Clarke’s Mysterious World”. This book is a delightful speculation about how the hoax came to be and a study of how a seemingly innocuous prank can go wildly out of control.
The two timelines are easy to follow – I admit I preferred the historical one to the present day one, but they intersected nicely. (view spoiler)[The question of fairy reality is left delightfully ambiguous which gives the reader opportunity to let their imagination run wild. (hide spoiler)]
*Frances Griffiths really did maintain to the end that “…there were fairies up there, or there were then. There aren’t now.” (ACCMW [YouTube] 19:17)