Title

"Ghostwriters": Spiritualists, Copyright Infringement, and the Right of Publicity

Publication Date

2010

Publication Title

Law and Magic: A Collection of Essays

Document Type

Book Section

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.

Book Editors

Christine A. Corcos

Publisher

Carolina Academic Press

Section Title

"Ghostwriters": Spiritualists, Copyright Infringement, and the Right of Publicity

Link to LSU Law's Library Catalog

Law and Magic: A Collection of Essays