precursors

Cottingley fairies (Elsie Wright + Frances Griffiths)

Beginning in 1917, two English girls, Elsie Wright (1901-88) and Frances Griffiths (1907-86), made a series of five photographs that purported to show them with real fairies. Although suspected as fakes from the outset, the controversy over their status continued for decades.

Cottingley fairy photo

Psalmanazar, George

George Psalmanazar (?1679-1763) was a French adventurer who told many different tales about himself in the course of a wide variety of impersonations: Irish pilgrim, Japanese convert, beggar, soldier, chaplain. He is best know for claiming to be the first Formosan ever to visit Europe, a story supported by his 1704 book An Historical and Geographical Description of Formosa, an Island subject to the Emperor of Japan. Two years later he confessed to his fabrications and spent the rest of his long life as  writer and editor.

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