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  • Location: Cottingley

The Cottingley Secret

The Cottingley Secret

Why a Booktrail?

1917, 2015:The mystery of the girls who claimed to have found fairies in their garden

  • ISBN: 978-0062690487
  • Genre: Fiction, Folklore, Ghost/supernatural, Inspired by true events

What you need to know before your trail

In 1917 two young girls from Cottingley, Yorkshire, convinced the world that they had done the impossible and photographed fairies in their garden.

But when one of the great novelists of the time, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, becomes convinced of the photographs’ authenticity, the girls become a national sensation, their discovery offering hope to those longing for something to believe in amid a world ravaged by war.

Frances and Elsie will hide their secret for many decades. But Frances longs for the truth to be told.

One hundred years later… Olivia Kavanagh finds an old manuscript in her late grandfather’s bookshop she becomes fascinated by the story  and soon realizes how the fairy girls’ lives intertwine with hers…

Travel Guide


Hazel says:

“Shortly after starting my research into the events in Yorkshire in 1917 and the early 1920s, I stumbled across a book written by Frances Griffiths, one of the girls who took the photographs. I sent an email requesting a copy of the book, not realizing that I was contacting Frances’s daughter, Christine Lynch. It was an unbelievable coincidence. When I first met Christine in Belfast in September 2015, she told me about the book her mother had always wanted to write, to set the record straight about the photographs. Getting to know Christine, I felt a wonderful sense of connection to the young Frances in the famous fairy photographs”

Like the very best fairy tales, the story of the Cottingley fairies endures and changes a little in each retelling. With 2017 marking the centenary of the first two photographs, I am sure a new generation will now discover these iconic images for the first time, and I hope that in writing The Cottingley Secret, I have contributed my own piece of history to this particular fairytale.”

More on the fairy mystery and why the hoax still endures today 

Trail Gallery

Booktrailer Review

Susan: @thebooktrailer

Loved loved loved this book. It’s a about books,bookshops and fairies. The fairies which in 1917 two girls claimed to have seen dancing in the woods. They told their families the fairies existed and that they’d played with them and then the world found out and the rest is history.

These kinds of moments are those I often dream about  – what it would have been like to have lived at a time when such a compelling mystery was being played out? Well, thanks to Hazel Gaynor, I was there, played with those girls and the fairies myself, felt the magic, and smiled. Mixing this in with the present day mystery of a girl finding she’s been left a bookshop (hello was this book written for me?) and then a manuscript which leads her into her own mystery linked to Cottingley….

To say any more is to spoil things as you may know the story or parts of it, but have you ever been part of the story and seen the magic and mystery of the fairies themselves?

This is like stepping through one of those fairy doors and discovering the truth and a wonderful story yourself, bringing those fairies back to life and revelling in the world of magic and belief.

I love this. Gorgeous. Makes your reading mojo twinkle and smile

Booktrail Boarding Pass:  The Cottingley Secret

Destination: Cottingley  Author/Guide: Hazel Gaynor  Departure Time: 1912, 2015

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