Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1334805
 


 



'Ghostwriters': Spiritualists, Copyright Infringement, and Rights of Publicity


Christine A. Corcos


Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge - Paul M. Hebert Law Center

January 29, 2009

LAW AND MAGIC: A COLLECTION OF ESSAYS, Christine A. Corcos, ed., Carolina Academic Press, 2009

Abstract:     
In 1917, British-born editor and publisher Mitchell Kennerley (1878-1950) offered for sale Jap Herron, a new novel which he implied was written by the eminent Mark Twain. There was no author's name on the title page, but the frontispiece was a portrait of Mark Twain. This book included an introduction by St. Louis journalist and author Emily Grant Hutchings explaining the odd origins of the novel. Indeed, they were odd - Mark Twain, whose real name was Samuel Clemens, had been dead for six years, and the manuscript of Jap Herron was not some old piece of fiction he had left behind in a desk to be discovered after his demise. In her preface, Mrs. Hutchings claimed that Twain, to whom she referred familiarly as Mark, and whom she had met during his life, had dictated the book, as well as two short stories, to her through a Ouija Board, that is, through spirit communication via a board labeled with the alphabet, and with the assistance of a spirit medium, Mrs. Lola V. Hays.

Keywords: copyright, legal history, Mark Twain, spiritualism

Accepted Paper Series


Not Available For Download

Date posted: January 31, 2009  

Suggested Citation

Corcos, Christine A., 'Ghostwriters': Spiritualists, Copyright Infringement, and Rights of Publicity (January 29, 2009). LAW AND MAGIC: A COLLECTION OF ESSAYS, Christine A. Corcos, ed., Carolina Academic Press, 2009. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1334805

Contact Information

Christine A. Corcos (Contact Author)
Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge - Paul M. Hebert Law Center ( email )
440 Law Center Building
Baton Rouge, LA 70803
United States
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