Sir Robert Menzies speaks at the laying of the National Library of Australia’s foundation stone in Canberra on the 31st of March, 1966. The library was opened by Prime Minister John Gorton on the 15th of August, 1968.
30th March 1918: Britain’s King George V, escorted by Lieutenant Colonel Reginald B. Rickman, inspects troops who survived the Battle of Bullecourt the previous year. The photograph was taken in Hermin, France in the final year of the First World War.
Part of the bigger Second Battle of Arras between the German and British Empires, the conflict claimed hundreds of thousands of casualties.
This painting depicts the show being performed in the Ruhleben internment camp west of Berlin in Germany in 1916. British prisoners, interned during the First World War, staged the show from memory.
The painting is by Anglo-Dutch artist Nico Jungmann, who was interned at Ruhleben because he was a naturalised British citizen.
Maria Ann Smith – known as Granny Smith – the creator of the green “Granny Smith” apple, died in the colony of New South Wales, Australia on the 9th of March, 1870.
In 1868 Smith was handed a box of French crab apples from Tasmania at a market in Sydney. After she used them for baking, she discovered a seed in the discarded peels had sprouted in a compost heap. She continued to tend it in its place near a creek.
After her death the property’s new owner marketed the fruit as “Granny Smith”.
Smith married in England, having eight children (who survived early childhood) before emigrating to Australia in 1838.
Princess Alexandra of Denmark, the future Queen of the United Kingdom, is depicted in this painting by Henry Nelson O’Neil arriving in England on the 7th of March, 1863.
The royal couple married three days later, on the 10th.
Fairies exist and these girls have proof!
Elsie and Frances feel sad for adults who simply can’t see the magic in the forests around them. If only they could see what we see. Taking photos is like opening windows . . .
And that’s just what they did.
In 1918, Elsie Wright and her cousin Frances Griffith photographed fairies in their garden, in the small village of Cottingley (Yorkshire). Without expecting it, many people paid attention—including renowned writer and spiritualist Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Although initially reluctant, the famous author convinced a large part of public opinion.
This is the story, narrated by Elsie herself, of the true events.
In the 1910s, two cousins in West Yorkshire, England became famous after releasing photographs of what they claimed to be real fairies. Many people were tricked into believing the girls, including – infamously – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle of Sherlock Holmes fame.
It was decades before one of the women involved admitted that the pictures were faked; the other maintained until her death that while four were fake, the fifth and final one was real.
The fifth picture.
I remember learning about these “fairies” as a child, but the fact they were fake was never in question.
Any author of a children’s book on this topic is going to have to make the decision: do you present facts, or do you go along with the assertion that the fifth image really was of fairies?
Ana Sender has chosen to finish her book with the possibility fairies do, in fact, exist, and that the girls really photographed them.
A smart choice? A silly one? Coming from someone who never believed in Santa, I’m probably not the best one to judge…
Sender’s take on the “Cottingley Fairies” uses childlike illustrations, which will appeal to some readers, while others will prefer something more magical for the subject matter. I’ve noticed a trend in this sort of illustration in recent children’s books.
Unfortunately, my review copy was disastrous. In ebook form, it began halfway through the book, the text didn’t appear until the midway point, and I was glad there wasn’t a lot of it to decipher the order of!
As always, buy books for younger readers in paper form.
Review copy provided by NetGalley.
American photography pioneer Robert Cornelius was born in Philadelphia on the 1st of March, 1809.
Cornelius, born to a Dutch immigrant father and a lamp manufacturer by profession, is credited as having taken the first photographic self-portrait, in 1839. He was required to sit still for more than ten minutes to capture the image.
Today he is sometimes called the inventor of the “selfie”.
Here is his portrait:
British troops entered the commune of Puisieux, Pas-de-Calais, France on the 28th of February, 1917, and proceeded to document the destruction they found.
The photographs were taken by Ernest Brooks, who was the British military’s first official war photographer, and who made a name for himself documenting the First World War.