Mark Twain’s ghost

Here’s a fun one: How Mark Twain’s ghost almost set off the copyright battle of the century

Early rumors of his death may have been grossly exaggerated, but eventually death did come for Mark Twain. For most authors, that moment—that is, the moment of death—is a natural time to stop writing. But in 1917, seven years after Twain’s demise, reports emerged that he had dictated a new novel, via Ouija board, to a receptive medium.

…Just after Hutchings and her publisher got the book to market, Twain’s estate and his publisher sued to stop it, kicking off one of the more unusual intellectual property cases of the 20th century.

Click through if you’re interested. I’ll just note that the Twain estate made a clever argument and the so-called medium decided pulling the book was the wiser course. The title was Jap Herron, and the paper edition is quite rare today and worth a pretty penny, so if you’ve got a copy, keep that in mind.

The ebook is easily available, it turns out, if you happen to want to look at it.

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