You’ll find this image a lot on the Internet, since everything related to fairies is invariably popular. It is a painting by Sophie Gengembre Anderson, who was born in Paris 1823 to a French father and an English mother, married a British artist in Pennsylvania, and lived in London, New York, Capri, and Cornwall. A unique feature of this painting is that its full title consists of three lines from a poem:

Take the fair face of woman, and gently suspending,
With butterflies, flowers, and jewels attending,
Thus your fairy is made of most beautiful things.

This is supposedly from a poem by Charles Ede, though nobody has ever verified this and the full poem is nowhere to be found on the web. Who was Charles Ede anyway? The only person of this name that you find any information about is the founder of the Folio Society, and he was born long after Sophie Anderson died.

Maybe the Charles Ede in question is identical with the author of The home amid the snow, or, Warm hearts in cold regions: A tale of Arctic life, a book about Greenland first published 1862 and still in print, but that’s just a guess. Some things remain mysterious even in the age of the Internet.

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