Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, best known as the creator of Sherlock Holmes but also a devout spiritualist, was entirely convinced by a set of photographs seemingly showing two young girls playing with a group of tiny, translucent fairies.

To demonstrate his unshakable belief in the spirit world, the celebrated writer published, in 1922, The 'Coming of the Fairies'. It recounts the story of the photos, their supposed provenance, and the startling implications of their existence.

One of the great hoaxes of all time, the Cottingley Fairy photographs are proof of mankind s willingness to believe. Conan Doyle s book, reprinted here with the original photographs, offers a unique insight into the mind of an intelligent, highly respected figure, who just happened to believe in fairies.