A clever hoax conjured by two girls will launch a series of lectures at Tolson Museum in Huddersfield.
In 1917 cousins Elsie Wright, 16, and Frances Griffiths, nine, took photographs which appeared to show fairies playing at the bottom of their garden in Cottingley near Bingley.
The five pictures fooled writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle into believing they were genuine.
It was only in the early 1980s that the women admitted they had faked the pictures with cardboard cut-outs. However, Frances maintained the final photograph was genuine.
A lecture entitled: ‘Are there fairies at the bottom of the garden?’ will be given by Dr Merrick Burrow, head of English at Huddersfield University, on Thursday October 9.
Two other lectures, also organised by the museum’s friends group and the university’s English department, are planned.
The second lecture, on Thursday 16 October, will look at ‘Marriage in the 17th Century’ when Dr Jessica Malay, senior lecturer at the university, will focus on the Woodsome Panels, which are on display at Tolson Museum, and the case of Mistress Mary Hampson.
The panels idealise the marriage of John and Dorothy Kay as a partnership of equals while the case of Mistress Mary Hampson which reveals an institution in which vulnerable women were subject to violent betrayal and abandonment.
The final lecture, on Thursday November 13, will see Dr David Rudrum pose the question ‘What is a War Poem?’
His lecture will look at the First World War poems of Siegfrid and Sassoon.
The lectures, which all run between 6pm and 7.30pm, are free but places must be booked with the museum on 01484 223830.