Events & Programs

A Rich Selection of Activities for Young and Old and In Between

Mark Twain loved a good circus, and so do we. So we are proud to present a rich array of events that range from the "Trouble Begins at 5:30" lecture series, to the "Tapping into Twain" Oktoberfest, to the many family activities such as Tom Sawyer Day and the Ice Cream Social, to our spooky Graveyard Shift ghost tours, to our Mark My Words event and other appearances by major authors – and much, much more. So have a look through the year ahead by clicking on the tabs below.

Dec

December


# CLUE Tours of the Mark Twain House

Friday, December 2, 7:00 - 10:00 p.m.

CLUE!

CLUE Murder Mystery Tours will be offered in a special, one-night-only edition at The Mark Twain House & Museum, using the various rooms (secret passageway, conservatory, billiards room, and more) of the Twain house -- and some of the author's favorite literary characters -- as part of the game. 

Who killed that varmint Pap Finn? Was it Tom Sawyer in the Library with the Wrench? Merlin in the Billiard Room with the Knife? The Pauper in the Kitchen with the Rope?

Play our live-action version of the classic board game CLUE in an hour-long tour featuring the famed comedy troupe SEA TEA IMPROV as Twain's beloved characters/suspects. CLUE Tours provide all the murder, mayhem and merriment you expect in a whodunit. Our Clue Tours were featured on an episode of the Travel Channel show "Wackiest Tours!"

Sea Tea Improv is an improv comedy company professionally trained by Hartford Stage Company, ImprovBoston, and the Upright Citizens Brigade in New York that dazzles Hartford and beyond on a regular basis with their witty interpretations of audience suggestions.  They perform short improvised games and long improvised plays at public & private functions, teach classes to students of all ages, and train professionals in the art of communication. They've performed all over Connecticut, New England, and up and down the Eastern Seaboard.

This event is supported by Webster Bank.

Reservations are required, and tours sell out, so please book early.

Tickets are $22; museum members are $17; children 6 to 17 are $15.  

To purchase tickets, please call (860) 247-0998 or click HERE!

# FREE House Tours for Hartford Residents

Saturday, December 3, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Our holiday tradition is back!

Hartford residents are invited to tour the Mark Twain House & Museum for free on Saturday, December 3rd, when the house will be beautifully decorated for the holidays! (Proof of residency required)

Please note that this offer is not in conjunction with our Living History Tours and that the last tour starts at 4:30 p.m.

FREE for Hartford Residents (Proof of residency required)

For more information call 860-247-0998

Sponsored by The Hartford

# 36th Annual Holiday House Tour

Sunday, December 4, 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

The Friends of The Mark Twain House & Museum present the 36th Annual Holiday House Tour!

Mark Twain's home

In addition to The Mark Twain House, which will be decorated for the holidays, five lovely homes will also be featured on the tour decorated for the holidays and featuring live music and floral arrangements. We are pleased to present these area homes and grateful to the owners for opening their doors to all friends of The Mark Twain House. (Scroll below the photos to read full descriptions of each home.) The Twain House will be extra special this year with the opening of the restored Mahogany Suite and Carriage House barn.

John & Kathy Suisman -- 944 Mountain Road, Bloomfield

Kathy and John Suisman


Dave & Diane Kopp -- 164 Balbrae Drive, Bloomfield (The Carriage House)

Diane and David Kopp


Michael & Shari Cantor -- 39 Colony Road, West Hartford

Michael and Shari Cantor


George & Diana Jepsen -- 995 Prospect Ave, West Hartford

Diana and George Jepsen


Emily Bevelaqua & Helder Mira -- 128 North Beacon Street, Hartford

Emily Bevelaqua and Helder Mira

Our sincere thanks to these gracious hosts for welcoming everyone into their homes on this special day.

SPECIAL: As part of this year's Holiday House Tour, the tour of the Mark Twain House will feature the official reopening of the famed Mahogany Suite off the library. Closed for over a decade, we are thrilled to open it again to the public in its Gilded Age grandeur on this special day. Also, the restored portion of Mark Twain's Carriage House will also be open for the first time ever to the public - just for the 36th Annual Holiday House Tour! Don't miss it!

Details about the houses:

John & Kathy Suisman -- 944 Mountain Road, Bloomfield: This lovely home was not long ago a horse stable that was part of the Mead estate in Bloomfield (now Balbrae). It was imaginatively converted into a charming residence in 1996. First going through the wide front doors, originally the entry way for the horses, you are standing in the foyer on a rustic, faux finished checkerboard floor. Glance upward to a display of 19th century quilts from the couple's prized collection which are draped over the railing in the upper hallway. Directly opposite the foyer is a spacious and light filled living room presided over by a grand piano. Turning right in the hallway, you enter the original tack room now a comfortable office and reading room which adjoin the large and airy master bedroom. Both rooms retain the original stable flooring now sanded and highly polished. Retracing your steps past the foyer, you enter an elegant dining room with a blue and white Staffordshire collection on display. The dining room as well as the informal kitchen eating area with a large beautifully refinished table and adjacent family room originally comprised the area where the horse stalls were located. The efficient and well equipped country kitchen displays a lovingly restored hutch and cabinet. Finally, a large screened sunporch off the kitchen and eating area is undoubtedly a wonderful place to enjoy the outdoors in milder weather.

Dave & Diane Kopp -- 164 Balbrae Drive, Bloomfield (The Carriage House): This unusual and fascinating home was the original carriage house behind the Mead mansion at Balbrae and once housed the estate vehicles as well as some of the household staff. Now ingeniously converted into a lovely home, it reflects the owners' unique sense of style and taste. Approaching the building along the mansion driveway, the visitor sees two steeply pitched roofs housing the bulk of the living quarters with the vehicle garage in the center. Upon entering, a richly painted formal dining room is on the right and, proceeding down the hallway, you pass through a unique butler's pantry into a newly redesigned kitchen with a cozy dining nook adjoining. Turning to the left, there is a comfortable reading and TV area. Further along is a large light-filled sunroom which looks north over Auer Farm and towards the Simsbury and Granby hills, stunning all year round but especially in Autumn. Look for the unusual sculpture "Rise" by Dale Rogers positioned in the far patio. Proceeding further down the hallway which connects the two residential wings, you enter the comfortable living room which has now been converted into a veritable Christmas room with a richly trimmed tree and holiday decorations abounding. Note the painting of the Connecticut River in Vermont by James Urbaska. Continuing through the living room, you next turn left and pass through a quiet office and study with framed drawings from Vanity Fair. The entire home exudes a sense of comfort and hospitality.

Michael & Shari Cantor -- 39 Colony Road, West Hartford: Vision and style abound in this comfortable and spacious gray shingle and white brick home designed by Walter Crabtree and built by Phillip White in 1929. West Hartford Mayor Shari Cantor and her husband Michael are the fifth owners and have created a warm environment in which they raised their four boys and entertained their guests. Off the generous foyer, the visitor passes through arched French doors into a stunning formal living room with its graceful fireplace, grand piano and an eclectic art collection. The adjoining dining room features a massive table easily seating twelve and an artistically hand painted ceiling that matches the designs on the wallpaper. Hanging above is a Murano crystal chandelier. An oil painting of West Hartford Center by Frederico completes the room. Next to the dining room, the high tech kitchen features three ovens, a Zero King Refrigerator and dishwashers hidden in cabinets. A small table set in a window seat and a center island seating four as well as a charming butler's pantry add warmth and coziness. Moving on, we pass through "the bar" which does feature a fully stocked mahogany bar and a regulation size pool table all reminiscent of an upscale cocktail lounge. The family room is next with a theater size TV and ample sectional seating conducive to watching all the UConn games. An exercise room and a combination library and music room complete the tour. Truly a unique home expressing the owners' taste and style.

George & Diana Jepsen -- 995 Prospect Ave, West Hartford: Situated across the street from the Governor's residence is the gracious thirty-room Georgian Colonial home of Attorney General George and Diana Jepsen. Built in 1916 for Lewis E. Gordon, the house was designed for entertaining as well as serving as a showcase for the beautiful formal gardens surrounding it. The expansive foyer, referred to as the "lobby" by the family, is filled with interesting quirks reflecting the social mores of an earlier time. With gleaning hardwood floors and woodwork and a dramatic circular staircase, this foyer provides access to all the public rooms through French doors. Upon entering the front door, directly across the foyer, is the charming sunroom. Painted bright yellow with a stone floor and a fountain, the sunroom is vibrant yet warm and cozy. The living room continues the rich, dark woodwork and dentil molding and includes a graceful fireplace, built-in bookcases and an expansive bay window and seat that frame views of a garden. The dining room, which has a charming, open, slightly rustic feel, once was a patio leading to the back gardens. Across the foyer, the comfortable family room is a riot of color created by the unique hand-painted murals of Elizabeth Park that adorn the walls. The large, airy kitchen has been renovated and includes cabinetry, a metal sink and wet-bar from the original butler's pantry, -- opened up to create a more spacious work area. With wood floors, a large metal island and five windows, this room is a classic in keeping with the period of the house.

Emily Bevelaqua & Helder Mira -- 128 North Beacon Street, Hartford: This home is a stellar example of the American Arts and Crafts style of architecture that emphasized a return to a simple homemade style using natural materials and was a reaction to the elaborate Victorian architecture of that period. It was completed in 1909 and the architect was Albert W. Scoville who designed a number of homes in the neighborhood. The house is deceptively large and has five bedrooms, two staircases and a third floor. Entering the front door, you pass through a bright, airy sunporch into a handsome foyer with dark woodwork and an attractive colonial desk. To the right is the living room with massive exposed beams and an attractive fireplace both characteristic of arts and crafts design. Large multiple windows allow plenty of sunlight into the living room and adjoining dining room. Don't miss the canvas ceilings as well as the many unique paintings by Hartford artists. Another unique rare find is the living room poster advertising "Mary of Scotland" from the Hartford Daily Times. Proceeding through the dining room, note the large built in cabinet and simple chandelier additional features - typical of this architectural style. Next is a convenient butler's pantry as well as an accessible kitchen. Notice through the rear windows the lovely enclosed yard filled with perennials and an arbor off to the right. The owners celebrated their wedding here in May!

Tickets: $30 Advance/$35 at the Door

Click HERE to purchase or call 860-280-3130.

# The Trouble Begins at 5:30: Mark Twain: Religion and Irreligion Co-Presented with the Leonard E. Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life, Trinity College, Hartford

Thursday, December 8, Reception at 5:00 p.m.; Lecture at 5:30 p.m.

Mark Twain’s religious beliefs are one of the most controversial topics associated with one of America’s most controversial authors. Atheist? Agnostic? Critic? Christian? Perhaps all of the above, at different times? Twain’s religiosity has fascinated his readership since the publication of Letters from the Earth, over fifty years after his death, brought Twain’s private and distinctly un-Victorian views on religion to light. Four noted scholars will explore different aspects of Mark Twain, religion, and irreligion in the nineteenth century.

Prof. Kerry Driscoll will discuss "Mark Twain and Native American Spirituality."

Dr. Andrew Walsh will discuss "Religion in Mark Twain’s Hartford."

Steve Courtney will discuss "The Friendship Between the Rev. Joseph Twichell and Mark Twain."

The panel will be introduced and chaired by Prof. Mark Silk.

After receiving his Ph.D. in history from Harvard University, Mark Silk edited the Boston Review and spent 10 years as a reporter, editorial writer, and columnist for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. In 1996 he became the founding director of the Leonard E. Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life at Trinity College in Hartford, where he is also Professor of the Study of Religion in Public Life. He is the author of Spiritual Politics: Religion and America Since World War II, Unsecular Media: Making News of Religion in America, and (with Andrew Walsh) One Nation, Divisible: How Regional Religious Differences Shape American Politics. He edits the Center's on-line magazine, Religion in the News, and his column, "Spiritual Politics," is a feature of the Religion News Service, where he is a senior columnist and contributing editor. In 2014 he became chair of the Editorial Advisory Board of the Connecticut Jewish Ledger.

Kerry Driscoll, Professor of English at the University of St Joseph, is the author of the forthcoming book, Mark Twain among the Indians, which examines the writer's attitudes towards, and conflicting representations of, Native Americans. She is the current president of the Mark Twain Circle of America.

Andrew Walsh is managing editor of Religion in the News, associate director of the Leonard E. Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life, and visiting assistant professor of history and religion.  He holds degrees from Trinity College, Yale Divinity School, and Harvard University, where he earned a Ph.D. in the History of American Civilization in 1996.  His academic interests focus on American religious, cultural, and political history during the late 19th and 20th centuries. Walsh also worked for The Hartford Courant for six years, serving as a reporter, bureau chief, and religion writer. His doctoral dissertation is entitled: "For Our City's Welfare: Building a Protestant Establishment in Late Nineteenth Century Hartford." 

Steve Courtney is the author of Joseph Hopkins Twichell: The Life and Times of Mark Twain's Closest Friend (Georgia, 2008) winner of the Connecticut Book Award; 'The Loveliest Home That Ever Was': The Story of the Mark Twain House in Hartford (Dover, 2011); and Mark Twain's Hartford (Arcadia, 2016), among other works. He is co-editor, with Peter Messent and Harold K. Bush, of the forthcoming Mark Twain-Joseph Hopkins Twichell Letters (Georgia). He has been a journalist for forty years, much of that time at The Hartford Courant, and has served as publicist at The Mark Twain House & Museum, where he founded a Twainian lecture series and a writing program. Retired, he still works in the Curatorial Department at the museum.

The Trouble Begins at 5:30 is generously supported by Hot Tomato's Ristorante and Manchester Wine and Liqours.

Free event - reservations are highly suggested. Call (860) 247-0998 or to reserve tickets click here.

Jan

January


# FREE House Tours for Hartford Residents

Monday, January 16, 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Hartford residents are invited to tour the Mark Twain House & Museum for free on Monday, January 16 -- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. For this special occasion, visitors will have the chance to chat with Katy Leary and George Griffin, treasured members of the Clemens family's household staff.

Please note that this offer is not in conjunction with our Living History Tours and that the last tour starts at 4:30 p.m.

FREE for Hartford Residents (Proof of residency required)

For more information call 860-247-0998

Sponsored by The Hartford

# WINTER WRITERS WORKSHOP with HANK HERMAN

Wednesday, January 18, January 18 -February 22 6 to 8 p.m.

WINTER WRITERS WORKSHOP with Hank Herman 

Six-week writing workshop - Wednesdays from 6 to 8 p.m.

January 18 & 25; February 1, 8, 15 & 22

Is your New Year’s Resolution to wrap up that writing project you put on hold when the holidays hit?  Have an idea you’ve been meaning to get started on, but haven’t gotten around to?  Need a little push from a classroom structure to get you going?  Appreciate feedback from other motivated writers, and from a professional instructor?  Here’s your answer!  Whether you’re working on memoir, essay, kids fiction, humor — or anything else — Winter Writers Workshop is perfect for you.

Hank Herman is the author of Accept My Kid, Please! A Dad’s Descent Into College Application Hell, an acclaimed memoir, and Super Hoops, a series of basketball novels for kids.  His award-winning humor column, “The Home Team,” has been running for over 20 years, and is still going strong.  Hank also co-writes the Hearst Newspapers blog “Beagle Man,” alternating posts with his dog, Kemba.  The blog doubles as as a hilarious travelogue when Hank and Kemba hit the road every fall for their great adventure: a one-month-long cross-country road trip!  Hank also leads writing workshops at his alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania, and at Trinity College and Norwalk Community College.

$300; $270 for members of The Mark Twain House & Museum

Registration limited to 8.

To register, click here.

# The MOuTH

Friday, January 20, 7:30 p.m.

the mouth first things first logoFirst Things First

Do you have a story about the first time you did something? Or when you were there to see someone else give something a shot for once? Whatever experience the word “first” makes you think of, come hear & tell stories on the theme “First Things First” at The MOuTH at the Mark Twain House & Museum on Friday, January 20, at 7:30 p.m.!

Here's how to submit your story for consideration:

E-mail HartfordMouth@gmail.com with your name and a short description of what your story is about. No need to give me every detail, just a few sentences that get me curious. Submissions close a week and a day before the event, but the sooner you can e-mail me, the happier I’ll be, and the happier I’ll be… Well, the happier I’ll be.

Your story must be FEWER THAN 10 MINUTES (note - it usually takes longer to tell your story than you think! Tell it a few times to friends, refine it, and time it!). During the event, you'll see Chion in the front row with a fancypants iPad that will count you down. If you go over the time limit, she'll tackle you in front of everybody (IN HER MIND).

***STORIES ARE TOLD WITHOUT NOTES! You just get up there and tell the tale off the top of your head***

***STORIES ARE REAL! Not that we’ll be doing any fact-checking, but this event features TRUE stories***

If you don't get on the list, don't take it personally! It's our loss, and hopefully we can hear from you at a future MOuTH event (see below).

There is also a "Wild Card"! After the fifth speaker finishes, Chion asks volunteers to raise their hands and holler out a number. Those numbers are put into a hat/pocket/bowl/basket/crock pot/human skull, and whoever is chosen has a 5-minute limit to tell their story on that night’s theme before the final speaker goes on.

Does this theme not excite you? Well, I’m always accepting submissions for ALL of our 2017 themes:

March 31 - You Can’t Always Get What You Want

June 9 - Take My Advice

September 8 - Realizing the Obvious: Epiphanies  

November 17 - All In The Family

These events are audio-recorded, and though I’ll ask you to sign a release if you are telling a story, your participation on stage doubles as permission to use the story in any broadcasts that I’m scheming up. If you are a speaker and want to keep your recording private, please let me know before the event is over.

Profanity IS allowed, dammit!

-Have an idea for a theme in the future? Have something on your mind about The MOuTH? Email HartfordMouth@gmail.com.

- Chion Wolf, The MOuTH

Tickets are $12; each storyteller and his or her plus-one get in free. Click here for tickets.

Buy Tickets

# ONE-DAY WRITING WORKSHOP: WRITE YOUR STORY IN YOUR VOICE with SUSANNE DAVIS

Saturday, January 21, Saturday, January 21 9:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.

A ONE-DAY WRITING WORKSHOP: WRITE YOUR STORY IN YOUR VOICE with Susanne Davis

Saturday, January 21, 9:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Whether characters have begun to whisper Hear me.  Tell my story, or your own life has cracked wide open and the only way you can make sense of it is to let the words spill out on the page and order the chaos right before your eyes, this one-day workshop will help you identify the elements of story and shape story in your authentic voice.   

The day will include writing prompts and theory discussion about techniques to create strong voice on the page as author and through techniques of character, plot, dialogue, point of view and setting.  Create a world on the page that makes people hungry to keep turning pages.  This workshop is for both fiction and nonfiction writers.

Who:  Both new and practicing writers.

What: A  one-day writing workshop for fiction and nonfiction.

Where: The Webster Bank Museum Center at The Mark Twain House & Museum

When: Saturday. Jamuary 21, 2017, 9:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Why: Because your story needs to be told.

$60; $54 for members of The Mark Twain House & Museum

Registration limited to 20.

To register, click here.

# Writing in Mark Twain's Library

Thursday, January 26, 6:00-9:00 p.m.

Not a writing class, not a writing workshop, just three hours of uninterrupted writing time in Mark Twain's own library. Join a select handful of fellow scribblers, including a special guest writer, to write, reflect, and plot whatever piece of literature you're working on. The space is quiet, except for the burbling fountain in the nearby conservatory, and infused with Mark Twain's spirit. Don't miss this once-in-a-life opportunity --and bring a friend to sit and share the experience with. Laptops welcome, but make sure you charge up before you come, as we have no power outlets to offer. Pencils only; no pens permitted!

SPACE IS LIMITED! Reserve your spot early!

Cost is $50. Please call (860) 247-0998 or click here.

Feb

February


# Mark My Words An Evening with Gina Barreca

Thursday, February 16, 7:00 p.m.

Mark My Words:

An Evening with Gina Barreca

Author Gina Barreca comes to The Mark Twain House & Museum to talk about "How to be Funnier in 2017: Why Humor Matters" on Thursday, February 16, at 7:00 p.m.

http://media.cmgdigital.com/shared/img/photos/2016/03/24/fc/ca/Regina-Barreca.jpg

Dr. Gina Barreca has appeared on 20/20The Today ShowCNN, the BBCNPR and Oprah to discuss gender, power, politics, and humor. Her earlier books include the bestselling They Used to Call Me Snow White But I Drifted: Women’s Strategic Use of HumorIt’s Not That I’m Bitter, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying About Visible Panty Lines and Conquered the World, and Babes in Boyland: A Personal History of Coeducation in the Ivy League. Of the other six books she’s written or co-written, several have been translated into to other languages–including Chinese, Spanish, Japanese, and German.  Called “smart and funny” by People magazine and “Very, very funny. For a woman,” by Dave Barry, Gina was deemed a “feminist humor maven” by Ms. Magazine. Novelist Wally Lamb said “Barreca’s prose, in equal measures, is hilarious and humane.”

Gina’s weekly columns from The Hartford Courant are now distributed internationally by the Tribune Co. and her work has appeared in most major publications, including The New York TimesThe Independent of LondonThe Chronicle of Higher EducationCosmopolitan, and The Harvard Business Review. She’s Professor of English and Feminist Theory at the University of Connecticut and winner of UConn’s highest award for excellence in teaching. Gina has delivered, often as a repeat guest, keynotes at events organized by The Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, the National Writers Workshop, the Women’s Campaign School at Yale and the National Association of Independent Schools, The Chicago Humanities Festival, Women In Federal Law Enforcement, Chautauqua and The Smithsonian–to name a few.

Her B.A. is from Dartmouth College, where she was the first woman to be named Alumni Scholar, her M.A. is from Cambridge University, where she was a Reynold’s Fellow, and her Ph.D. is from the City University of New York, where she lived close to a good delicatessen. A member of the Friars’ Club and the first female graduate of Dartmouth College invited to have her personal papers requested by the Rauner Special Collections Library, Gina can be found in the Library of Congress or in the make-up aisle of Walgreens. She grew up in Brooklyn and Long Island but now lives with her husband in Storrs, CT. Go figure.

The first 50 registrants will receive a FREE copy of Barreca's most recent book, "If You Lean In, Will Men Just Look Down Your Blouse?": Questions and Thoughts for Loud, Smart Women in Turbulent Times!

Barreca will sign books after her talk.

Tickets are $25; $20 for members of
The Mark Twain House & Museum and Lets Go Arts members.

Buy tickets here!

 

barreca buy tix button

 

Mar

March


# The Trouble Begins at 5:30: Twain as Public Intellectual: Laughs, Limits, and Lessons

Thursday, March 2, 5:00 Reception, 5:30 Lecture

Prof. Benjamin Railton will speak on Mark Twain's role as a public intellectual. This lecture will examine how the public Mark Twain, as both humorist and critic, can be used as a lens through which we can view all aspects of our society, both good and bad.

Ben Railton is Professor of English & American Studies, Fitchburg State University, Fitchburg, Massachusetts. He is the author of several books on American history and literature, including History and Hope in American Literature: Models of Critical Patriotism (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016) and Contesting the Past, Reconstructing the Nation: American Literature and Culture in the Gilded Age, 1876-1893 (University of Alabama Press, 2007).  He also produces a daily American Studies blog (americanstudier.blogspot.com) and is a contributor to sites such as The Huffington Post and We're History.

The Trouble Begins at 5:30 is generously supported by Hot Tomato's Ristorante and Manchester Wine and Liqours.

This event is presented at no cost but reservations are highly suggested. Call (860) 247-0998 or to reserve tickets click here.

# Susy's Birthday Party!

Sunday, March 19, 1 to 2:30 p.m.

Come help Mark Twain’s oldest daughter, Susy Clemens, celebrate her birthday! 

susy's birthday table

Registered guests will attend a special birthday celebration in the Carriage House Barn and meet costumed characters, including Mark Twain, his wife Livy, and their daughter and birthday girl Susy Clemens.  Party activities include Victorian parlor games, crafts, birthday cake, story time, and mini-tours of the Mark Twain House.

Sponsored by The Hartford

Reservations are required, and this event may sell out, so please book early.

Tickets are $5 per person.  This event is geared to elementary school-aged children, grades 3 to 6, and their caregivers.  

To purchase tickets call 860-247-0998 or click HERE!

Apr

April


# The Trouble Begins at 5:30: The Haunted Mark Twain

Thursday, April 6, 5:00 Reception, 5:30 Lecture

In his autobiography, Mark Twain described a childhood filled with adventure and innocent fun--in the daylight hours. In his Autobiography, however, Twain wrote that he "was never quite sane in the night." In her talk, Dr. Ann M. Ryan will explore Twain's fears and the gothic literature that he both consumed and created. 

Ann M. Ryan is O’Connell Professor of the Humanities and Professor of English, LeMoyne College, Syracuse, New York. She is a past President of the Mark Twain Circle of America, a former Editor of the Mark Twain Annual, and co-editor of Cosmopolitan Twain (University of Missouri Press, 2008).

The Trouble Begins at 5:30 is generously supported by Hot Tomato's Ristorante and Manchester Wine and Liqours.

This event is presented at no cost but reservations are highly suggested. Call (860) 247-0998 or to reserve tickets click here.

May

May


# The Trouble Begins at 5:30: The Innocents Abroad: A Virtual Tour

Thursday, May 11, 5:00 Reception, 5:30 Lecture

Kevin Mac Donnell will take the audience on a virtual tour of the Middle East, following the exact route of Mark Twain and his fellow pilgrims on board the steamship Quaker City in 1867. Each stop along the way will be illustratd with original photographs taken by one of the pilgrims (many previously unpublished), excerpts from previously unpublished letters and diaries, and relics gathered by one of the pilgrims that have never been shown before, along with other original artifacts and materials that will bring the historcal experience alive.

Mark Twain’s experiences on the Quaker City Excursion resulted in his second book (and first bestseller) The Innocents Abroad, in 1869. Mac Donnell’s virtual recreation of that excursion is the first attempt to bring this historic event alive outside of print.

Kevin Mac Donnell has built the largest private collection of Mark Twain artifacts in the world.  He has spoken and written extensively about Mark Twain and about his collection, and has consulted on exhibitions related to Twain.  He is also the co-editor of Mark Twain and Youth: Studies in His Life and Writings (Bloomsbury, 2016).

The Trouble Begins at 5:30 is generously supported by Hot Tomato's Ristorante and Manchester Wine and Liqours.

This event is presented at no cost but reservations are highly suggested. Call (860) 247-0998 or to reserve tickets click here.

Jun

June


# The Trouble Begins at 5:30: "My Dear Howells:" The Literary Friendship of Samuel Clemens and William Dean Howells

Thursday, June 8, 5:00 Reception, 5:30 Lecture

The personal and professional relationship of Mark Twain and William Dean Howells was one of the most important in American letters. Howells was a significant literary gatekeeper as editor of the Atlantic Monthly, as well as a major novelist in his own right. Understanding their relationship illuminates the culture, business, and ideas that animated post-Civil War American literature.

Daniel Mrozowski is a Visiting Lecturer in English at Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut. Dr. Mrozowski is the President of the William Dean Howells Society of America, a scholarly organization dedicated to the study of the 19th century editor, author and critic, that sponsors regular panels at the annual American Literature Association convention.  Dr. Mrozowski’s research and writing focuses on 19th century American literature and its intersection with business history.  He is working on a book about the rise of the corporation and its influence on American fiction during the Gilded Age.

The Trouble Begins at 5:30 is generously supported by Hot Tomato's Ristorante and Manchester Wine and Liqours.

This event is presented at no cost but reservations are highly suggested. Call (860) 247-0998 or to reserve tickets click here.

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