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Asked about conditions in Heaven he left the question of alcohol open, declared that "any nutrition is of a very light and delicate order" and sex a question of "soul affinity", and thought that golf was probably played. Conceit had something to do with it: in such a case, Holmes's creator must be infallible.

So did wishful thinking. But mostly it had to do with a failure of imagination: the dead hand of Heaven had claimed another victim. What fantasies of Paradise have ever compared with the Inferno's juicy horrors? In the earthbound Holmes, Doyle was free to create his own avenging angel. Faced with the Beyond, his only recourse was to fairies. A kind posterity has shown which it prefers. You can find our Community Guidelines in full here. Want to discuss real-world problems, be involved in the most engaging discussions and hear from the journalists? Start your Independent Premium subscription today.

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The Coming of the Fairies

Voucher Codes. Just Eat. National Trust. Premium Articles. Subscription offers. A correspondence had arisen and all their letters were frank and honest, professing some amazement at the stir which the affair seemed likely to produce. Thus the matter stood after my meeting with Mr.

Gardner, but it was clear that this was not enough. We must get closer to the facts. The negatives were taken round to Kodak, Ltd. An amateur photographer of experience refused to accept them on the ground of the elaborate and Parisian coiffure of the little ladies. Another photographic company, which it would be cruel to name, declared that the background consisted of theatrical properties, and that therefore the picture was a worthless fake.

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I leaned heavily upon Mr. The matter being in this state, Mr. Gardner volunteered to go up at once and report — an expedition which I should have wished to share had it not been for the pressure of work before my approaching departure for Australia. It was early in this year, , that I heard from a friend of photographs of fairies having been successfully taken in the North of England.

I made some inquiries, and these led to prints being sent to me with the names and address of the children who were said to have taken them. The correspondence that followed seemed so innocent and promising that I begged the loan of the actual negatives — and two quarter-plates came by post a few days after. One was a fairly clear one, the other much underexposed.

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The negatives proved to be truly astonishing photographs indeed, for there was no sign of double exposure nor anything other than ordinary straightforward work. Without any explanation I passed the plates over and asked what he thought of them. Wherever did it come from?