Finally, we cannot forget a lesser known novel, but perhaps the best literary work written by a ghost (with the possible exception of Nicole Ritchie’s “Priceless”). I am, of course, referring to “Mortimer or the Corny Tulip”, written by Alice Countess of Thoreau to mark the 10th anniversary of her death as the result of a hunting accident (a hunter mistook her for a deer because of the antlers). In this first-person narrative, Countess Alice gets even with her adulterous husband Count Mortimer by portraying him as a fool who ignores where babies come from despite the graphic explanations of his wife and the long trail of children he has been leaving behind because of his continuous infidelities. (The count abandons his mistresses one after the other “as soon as they learn to play rummy”.) When the count finally attends a childbirth, he suddenly understands the rationale behind all the paternity lawsuits in which he is involved, and hangs himself from a poplar. However, he doesn’t become a ghost but a gnome.


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