In a time where people wore fine clothes & still had manners, when children had real childhoods & played with gay abandon, maids were still to be found in the scullery & the nursery & something was stirring in the imaginations of the creative & the open-hearted all across the world. In the space of a few short decades, 1860 to 1895 some truly remarkable people were to make their timely arrival upon the scene. Beatrix Potter was to sketch a dear little rabbit, name him Peter & send him on garden adventures. Mary Cicely Barker was to demonstrate to us so tenderly the beauty of the fairies that inhabit all plants & flowers in this remarkable world of ours.While her friend Margaret Tarrant was to gift us with some of the sweetest pictures of children, fairies, angels, animals & Jesus that I have ever seen.
J M Barrie was to imagine a nursery that would touch the heart of every child for decades to come, where fairy beasts were waiting out the window for every naughty child & Tinkerbell was ever ready to carry them off on nightly adventures.Albert Einstein announced that "imagination was more important than knowledge"...
and our own Katherine Mansfield was beginning to add her troubled voice to the grand writings of the time. I am ashamed to say that I had not read Katherine's works until I was introduced to the first paragraph of her short story "The Garden Party" by dear Stephanie at Millefeuille only a few months back. I'm sure that you'd love it too. Here it is:
"And after all the weather was ideal. They could not have had a more perfect day for a garden-party if they had ordered it. Windless, warm, the sky without a cloud. Only the blue was veiled with a haze of light gold, as it is sometimes in early summer. The gardener had been up since dawn, mowing the lawns and sweeping them, until the grass and the dark flat rosettes where the daisy plants had been seemed to shine. As for the roses, you could not help feeling they understood that roses are the only flowers that impress people at garden-parties; the only flowers that everybody is certain of knowing. Hundreds, yes, literally hundreds, had come out in a single night; the green bushes bowed down as though they had been visited by archangels."
It was in just such a fertile cerebral climate that two young cousins Elsie & Frances were about to enchant the world with the notion that they indeed played with fairies at the bottom of their Cottingley garden & they had taken photos to prove it.
Elsie & Frances carrying the fairy house down to the burn for the fairies.
I do hope that if you haven't seen it & you watch it that you love it just as much as I did!
Below is the 5th & last photo taken of the Cottingley fairies by the girls entitled " Fairies & Their Sun-bath" & is the one that Frances insisted to the end was genuine : )