Saturday, 29 December 2012

A 21st Century Fairy Tale

 
Claudia by Sophie Anderson 
Four photographs taken in 1917 during the dying days of WWI of the Cottingley fairies. They were taken besides Cottingley beck (stream) near Bradford. I am sure that most of you have come across these photographs, which many believed to be real until as recently as 20 years ago. The girls who took them, cousins Elsie Wright and Frances Griffiths, then old ladies, admitted that they were a hoax.  
However, do you believe in fairy tales? - trust me, when I say that they can and do happen.
Once upon a time one of my dear friends had a lovely daughter, a sweet natured girl with black hair and almond eyes.  She became a teacher, and married her young love with whom she had two children - a girl and then a boy. Sadly the marriage faltered and failed.
Life was very hard for her, paying the mortgage on her cottage, raising two children alone, and going out to work each day. My friend and her husband were loving, caring, grandparents, and did all they could to help ease the burden on their daughter's shoulders.
One day she met a kind prince, he was charming, attentive, and a wonderful substitute father to her now growing children. They became a solid little family group, enjoying each others company, raising lambs and chickens on the land that he owned and generally leading a happy good life.
Little did my friend's daughter know that her knight in shining armour was also heir to a very large fortune.
Out of the blue she is soon to be whisked away to a country estate that he has purchased. 
A large area in the Highlands of Scotland with shooting and fishing, their nearest neighbour, a Duke. A fine mansion house in a mature wooded setting, a walled garden, a productive farm, several houses and cottages. I have seen the photos and it is stunning.
illustration by John Bauer - Swedish illustrator and painter - 1882/1918
So you see, if you believe in fairy tales, they can happen, and like all good fairy tales I really do hope that this story has a very long and happy ending.
images via wikipedia

60 comments:

  1. Ι do not believe exactly in fairytale but I believe that in life is not all hard and failed! If there are love, patience and good mood, many issues can be corrected.So lucky this girl !
    Olympia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Olympia - this felt like a fairy tale when I was told, particularly knowing how she had struggled on her own, but always kept a cheery smile and outlook. I wish the family well.

      Delete
  2. A smile on my face :) Beautifully told, Rosemary. Such a charming gift for your readers during these last days of 2012. Thank you for sharing!
    xo
    Loi

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Loi - you have made my day. Delighted that you enjoyed my little fairy story, although true. It just seemed the right moment for a good news story as we go into 2013.

      Delete
  3. Claudia by Sophie Anderson, what a beautiful painting !!!! I had never heard of the Cottingley fairies -hard to believe people took those photos for real! but yes, I do believe in faily tales and your friend's daughter was a very lucky girl. May she live happily with her prince!
    I wish you a very happy new year, Rosemary, full of joy and good health for you and your family.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Marie-Anne - the painting by Sophie Anderson is lovely, the butterflies in Claudia's hair are mesmerising. She painted many lovely pictures of young girls and was on the fringe of the Pre-Raphalite group of painters. It is hard to believe that people thought the photos were real, but I believe there was more innocence in the world then.
      Hope the New Year is good to you and your family.

      Delete
  4. What a wonderful tale to end 2012. May they have a long and happy life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Susan - I thought that it was a happy, good news story to take us into 2013.

      Delete
  5. Ah those lovely fairy photos! I have seen them before, and they are so very clever, and wonderful photography for the time. Of course I believed in fairies until I was about 9 :)
    I love the fairy tale, and indeed send good wishes to the happy couple for their future life in lovely Scotland.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Every little girl loves a fairy when they are growing up. Mine were the flower fairies which I wrote about last year. A happy story to end 2012, but nevertheless a true one.

      Delete
  6. really nice pictures! :)

    I would appreciate it, if you visit me too! :)
    http://fantasyfashioned.blogspot.de/

    - happy new year ♥

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your visit and pleased that you enjoyed seeing the fairy pictures.

      Delete
  7. I have lost myself in your first photo, it is absolutely magical, and the kind of painting I would have stared at for hours when I was a child. Thank you for telling us this tale with a happy ending, goodness knows we don't hear enough of them these days.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree Rosemary, the painting is delicious - Sophie Anderson was an early 20th century painter, and did many charming paintings of young girls. The time seemed appropriate for a good news story as we leave 2012 and enter 2013.

      Delete
  8. The saying goes: all good things come to those who wait..lovely photos.

    Happy New Year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A small, but true story to take us in to 2013. Glad you enjoyed the photos.

      Delete
  9. What a beautiful painting! I remember feeling rather upset (though I was NOT a child) when it was announced the photos were fakes! And what a lovely story - trust they will live happily ever after.
    x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The painting is lovely, I particularly like the butterflies in Claudia's hair. I sincerely hope that everything works out find for the little family and that they settle happily in Scotland.

      Delete
  10. Hello Rosemary, A wonderful story about your friends. I am sure that she considers her children and new husband/partner the real source of her current happiness, and the estate more as the icing on the cake.

    Incidentally, I have to run counter to your other readers and admit that the girl with the butterflies creeps me out--I would definitely not want that many insects of any stripe landing on me. (There was a scene like that in a movie, where a lady was admiring butterflies, but then was frighteningly engulfed by them.)

    Thanks also for the revisit to the Cottingley fairies. I think that the fairy controversy makes people lose sight of their charm and quality as photographs, brilliantly posed, framed and lit.

    Have a very happy new year.
    --Road to Parnassus

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Jim - this is a perfect example of how we all like and admire completely different things. True, in reality, I would not like butterflies in my hair, but find the painting charming.
      The Cottingley fairies were very cleverly photographed when you considered that the girls were aged 10 and 16 years old, and had never owned a camera. The one used belonged to the father of Elsie, the 10 year old.
      Hope you have a happy New Year and look forward to our exchanges in 2013.

      Delete
  11. Wasn't the story of the Cottingley fairies on TV a few months ago? I seem to remember watching it. So glad things worked out for your friend after all she went through.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Paula - I know that the daughter and granddaughter of one of the hoax girls appeared on the Antique Roadshow in 2009 with the photographs and a camera given to the girls by Conan Doyle. The antique expert Paul Atterbury spoke to them at great length about it. Perhaps you saw that. I remember that the items were valued at £25,000 - £30,000.

      Delete
  12. There is only myself and my sister, who is 10 years older than me. My mother always told me, that she had hard times putting me to bed. As a small child I slept with my sister.. and sometimes she was not always there. Mum would lie next to me and tell me stories. At the bottom of our garden, was a big tree.. and at night many times the tree would light up.. and my sweet mum would say " look darling, its the fairies"..its time for them to visit their family and friends and clean their houses.
    I was brought up in fairyland. Many years later of course.. i found out they were glow worms.. but deep down, I still believe they were the fairies of the night. I still do. My grandaughters used to love my stories of the fairies.. we often went off to the land of the fairy queen. I hope they will carry it on.
    Your friend's daughter found her prince.. how absolutely wonderful.. A true fairy tale if there ever was one.
    I wish them years of luck sprinkled with fairy dust.
    lovely to read. Thank you Rosemary.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you enjoyed reading my true fairy tale. I seem to recall you saying that you were Irish Val - nobody knows as much about the wee folk as the Irish!!!
      I was excited to learn the story of my friend's daughter. Alas, my friend never knew about it. Her mother, my dear friend, was the one who died last August.

      Delete
  13. Rosemary, I think it's no coincidence that many cultures tell folk tales about fairies. Maybe Elsie and Frances double bluffed the world and the fairies were real. So pleased for your friend's daughter, we all deserve some happiness.

    Happy New Year

    jean x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I have been thinking about that too. Mind you not all of the fairy folk tales are sweet and kind, thinking of fauns and elves and kelpies for example. I suppose that is why the Narnia series is so popular, and Cicely Mary Barker's Flower Fairies.
      Apparently Frances's daughter still maintains that one of the fairy photos was not a hoax but real, but that is another story.

      Delete
  14. Oh Rosemary, so inspiring to read this beautiful story on a sunny Sunday morning. I love it. The story goes with my New Year 's Mantra that " miracles do happen." This story gives hope. I will remember this story for sure. Thank you for sharing. Enjoy and have a safe trip this week. Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Pam - what a lovely thing to say, and so pleased that you enjoyed it. I could never have envisaged that this story would turn out the way it has. So yes, miracles can and do happen.

      Delete
  15. The first picture is just amazing with perfect colours.

    Greetings,
    Filip

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sophie Anderson's paintings of little girls are really beautiful, and this one reminded me of how I think Titania the Queen of the fairies should look with her long golden hair.

      Delete
  16. Dear Rosemary, i've been touched by the story of the daughter of your friend,and yes i believe in fairies and elves and the Irelands lepricons!!Maybe i'm romantic,or i feel like a little child believing in them!And i say that pictures are real!I have seen pictures like them before!Great post!!I wish you a very happy new year,full of joy and good health for you and your family!!
    Dimi..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No harm in being a romantic Dimi - it is a touching little story, and really not just a fairy tale but a romantic fairy tale. My dear friend died last August, so she never knew the ending to the story about her daughter which is rather sad.

      Delete
  17. This really is a fairy tale and I'm sure it'll have a happy ending as it should. Never stop believing I'd say... I just read your comment on the previous comment by accident. I'm sure your friend is happily smiling from up there and I'm pretty sure she knows....
    Once again, there's two sides to everything....
    Bye,
    Marian

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Marian - a very difficult year for my friend and her family, especially with her loosing her fight against cancer. It will be quite difficult for her daughter making a completely new life in Scotland, but also filled with lots of excitement.

      Delete
  18. Dear Rosemary Most of the fairy tales are true, in the meaning that they can tell us thruths about ourselves,and about life. I love your story about your friend! And wish that they will live happily ever after. I often make belive that my old teddy, sitting day in and day out in our country house, have a real life when we are not there. I always give him a schotch, or an aquavit to comfort himself with when we are not there, and I am almost sure that some of it has been drunk when we come back. I love to visit "landet som icke är", the country that is not there..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I enjoyed learning about your teddybear guarding your country house, and how you leave him a drink of scotch or aquavit. I am sure that it takes good care of the house whilst you are away, and maybe he even lets a few little trolls come in to get warm and share his drink.

      Delete
  19. I believe in 'happily ever after' and fairy tales. I loved this one, and like you, wish the couple years and years of happinces.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you - so glad that you enjoyed reading it. Sometimes the gap between Christmas and New Year needs a bit of a magical lift and I felt that this true story hit the right note.

      Delete
  20. That is a beautifully romantic true story. May they be happy and blessed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a lovely tale of romance following on from adversity, and I agree, may they have many happy years ahead of them.

      Delete
  21. Que 2013 seja um ano cheio de alegrias, harmonia, solidariedade e muuuuito amor.
    Carinhoso abraço.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Desejando-lhe tudo de melhor para um ano novo muito feliz.

      Delete
  22. It fair restores your faith in folklore, Rosemary. Wonderful tale. And how incredibly excited the children must be!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lots of excitement ahead fro them Kate. My eldest son returns from Norway this summer back to Scotland so I anticipate calling in to see them.

      Delete
  23. Oh, this is just wonderful, Rosemary! Such a magical tale and ending in Scotland, sigh!

    Wishing you a very beautiful, happy and healthy New Year!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Georgianna - I thought that it was delightful when I heard about it from her father. Every good wish to you and yours for 2013.

      Delete
  24. A beautiful story, I love stories with happy endings.
    Sarah x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too Sarah - much better to have a happy story with a bit of romance thrown in.

      Delete
  25. Dear Rosemary,

    I can see by all the comments that your enchanting story resonates with many people. We want to believe in magic — even if it is only the magic that we create in our own lives — and we want to believe, and hope, that good things happen to good people. I wish your friend's family much happiness always, which is what I wish for you, H and your own family. May 2013 bring you all the best! Mark

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Mark - what a really lovely message for us take forward into 2013. Both H and I thank you warmly, and hope that the coming year is a good and happy time for you. I have really enjoyed your postings and look forward to many more.

      Delete
  26. And where better for fairy tales to come true than the glorious Highlands. Rosemary. I hope that your friend's daughter and her Prince Charming live happily ever after.

    A very happy New Year to you and H.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Perpetua - you may remember that her mother, my friend died last summer, and she did not know the end of the story about her daughter. My eldest son will be returning to Scotland from Norway this coming summer, so I hope to call in and see them on their wonderful estate when I visit my son and his family after they have returned.

      Delete
  27. Happy New Year my dearest friend ! I wish to you and your family love , happiness , joy and the first of all health ! You know that your are always in my thoughts !
    Olympia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wishing all the very best for you and your family Olympia in the coming year. I have loved getting to know you through your blog and look forward to connecting with you again in the new year♥

      Delete
  28. I loved reading your 'fairy story' along with the beautiful photos of Scotland (I presume).
    Your blog has been so interesting to read this past year and I look forward to more lovely posts in the future.
    Hope this year brings good health and happy times to you and your family.
    Betty

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Betty, and yes, the photos are Scotland. I have enjoyed your blog especially seeing the wonderful flowers during our winter season.
      Happy New Year to you and yours.

      Delete
  29. Replies
    1. So pleased that you enjoyed this magical but true story.

      Delete
  30. I believe in fairytails Rosemary. In worse times they bring you hope.
    Have a wonderful evening.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Marijke - there are always little bits of magic around if we just look and see.

      Delete

❖PLEASE NOTE❖ Comments made by those who hide their identity will be deleted

“You can't stay in your corner of the forest waiting for others to come to you - you have to go to them sometimes”
― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh