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James Randi Educational Foundation

Lecture Series

The Case of the Cottingley Fairies

Aug 3 letter from Conan Doyle On August 3, Sir Arthur writes to Mr. Wright again.

(Written on stationery of the Rougemont Hotel Exeter, that address has been stroked out and replaced by "Windlesham Crowborough.")

Dear Mr Wright

I saw Mr. Gardner today and everything is now in perfect order. I hope to get a small wedding dowry for Elsie from the fairies. Also for the little girl. I go to Australia next week but my agent is in touch with Mr G. and you will hear from the latter.

Meanwhile I have altered all names and places. We can always let the cat out of the bag, but when he is out you cant put him back. I dont want you all to be worried by curiosity hunters. I can foresee 100 charabancs a day if the press gets hold of it. We propose therefore to only publish the 3 year old photos which wont be so easily recognised. If your neighbors know about it you would be wise to tell them to be cautious

With best wishes

A Conan Doyle


In this last letter, the word "charabancs" refers to a sight-seeing bus with benches, a commonly-seen vehicle in England of that day. In all the letters, the few minor punctuation irregularities are exactly as in the originals.

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Cottingly Photos
Photo 1
Photo 2
Photo 3
Photo 4
Photo 5

Cottingly Extras
June 30 to Elsie Wright
June 30 to Arthur Wright
July 12 Reply to Conan Doyle
July 14 to Arthur Wright
August 3 to Arthur Wright

Cottingly Extras
Read Randi's review of the movie Fairy Tale.

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