Teachers & Students
Looking for a fun, informative event for your library, book club or historical society?
The Mark Twain House & Museum can bring you distinctive, entertaining and interactive presentations on Mark Twain’s life, work, interests, and era. If you are looking for a program on literature, history, culture and/or social justice, we can provide a presentation that is sure to delight and educate. Depending on resources and topic, we can also develop new programs specifically for your group. Book your program today by calling our Director of Education at (860) 280-3146.Email James Golden
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: An American Story – $150 plus mileage*
This presentation reaffirms the importance of Mark Twain’s masterpiece by placing it within the context of the larger history of race relations in America, from slavery to the modern Civil Rights Movement. It also demonstrates how the book continues to be a catalyst for positive social change.
Mark Twain in Connecticut – $150 plus mileage*
Although his most famous works were set along the Mississippi River of his childhood, Mark Twain composed those novels while living in the elegant literary community of Nook Farm, a neighborhood of Hartford, Conn. He lived halfway between Boston and New York, in a Hartford of industry, energy, and immigration while celebrating the pre-Civil War South of his youth. This program explores the importance of Connecticut and Hartford to Twain’s life and work, including his famous neighbors, such as novelist Harriet Beecher Stowe, travel writer and journalist Charles Dudley Warner, Civil War hero and senator Joseph Hawley, and female suffrage campaigner Isabella Beecher Hooker.
Mark Twain: America’s Master Storyteller – $75 plus mileage*
This 30-minute program introduces Mark Twain to younger audiences and allows them to actually try to do what Twain did best: make up stories! Just as Twain created nightly bedtime stories for his three daughters using for inspiration the bric-a-brac on the mantel in the library of his home, so too will students be asked to collaboratively improvise a new story based on a selection of Victorian objects that they may have never seen before. The results are certainly creative, but they are also almost always hilarious!
Mark Twain in the Margins – $150 plus mileage*
Mark Twain had a lifelong habit of writing in the margins of the books he read – and it didn’t always matter whether the book actually belonged to him. He commented acerbically on the authors and their work – “by an ass” was a favorite phrase – and made other, longer comments that tell us about the man and his thoughts. His marginalia have been called his “conversation” with the books he was reading, and there are many examples of this in the library collection of The Mark Twain House & Museum.
Mark Twain and Louis Comfort Tiffany – $ 150 plus mileage*
America’s distinctive storyteller hired America’s leading designer for his home. Explore how a writer famous for celebrating the rural South chose to live in an elegant mansion whose walls carried motifs from India, Morocco, Japan, and Iran. This program explores the design and architectural history of the Mark Twain House itself, a mansion famous in its own right, and gives us an unexpected window into the Gilded Age luxury of the family behind the Mark Twain mythos.
From Hannibal to Hartford: The History Behind The Adventures of Tom Sawyer – $150 plus mileage*
How did Samuel Clemens become Mark Twain? How much of his wild Mississippi River boyhood is in the classic novel Tom Sawyer? Published as America emerged from the long shadow of the Civil War and Reconstruction, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is a staple of American childhood for any generation. This program sets the novel in its context, exploring the way Mark Twain’s own childhood shaped the novel, and his life as a new father when writing it, all against the backdrop of the turmoil of an America trying to recover from the harrowing Civil War.
Mark Twain, World Traveler – $150 plus mileage*
17-year-old Samuel Clemens told his mother “I want to move, move, MOVE!”. Travel was a persistent theme of his life, taking him all over the United States and to Europe, Asia, and Africa. Much of his literary impact came through his travel writing. It was travel that broadened the mind of this son of a slaveholder into an anti-racist campaigner, leading him to declare that “Travel is fatal to prejudice.” This program explores Twain’s travel writing, and the role of travel in his life. Through him we will see the transformation of global travel in the age of steam.
Mark Twain and the American Presidents – $200 plus mileage*
Mark Twain’s frank observations about American culture in the Gilded Age often ring true today. Corruption, national identity, the power of big business, and America’s global role were just as contested then as they are now. His funny, insightful observations about the presidents of his day apply readily to the modern presidency.
We will also develop new programs to match your community’s interests.
Are you interested in Twain, or nineteenth-century American history or literature more broadly, but want to learn about something not on the list? Custom programs are potentially available. Depending on the amount of research needed, it may be possible to develop a new program for you. In this case, the fee is based on the amount of time needed.
Book your program today!
To reserve a Mark Twain House & Museum educational program, call Dr. James Golden at (860) 280-3146 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. These programs can be scheduled on a mutually agreeable date and are generally available year-round during the day or early evening.
*mileage is calculated at $0.54 per mile, round trip
Some recent testimonials about Dr. James Golden, Director of Education at The Mark Twain House & Museum:
“Recently the College of Coastal Georgia in Brunswick cosponsored The Big Read: Coastal Georgia Reads Tom Sawyer. The keynote speaker was James Golden, Director of Education at the Mark Twain House in Connecticut. He was absolutely wonderful! He presented many programs throughout the area on Twain, speaking in schools, at libraries, in a theater, and to a literary guild. Each program was different, but James’ energy and enthusiasm stayed consistently high. People were “blown away” by his knowledge and his ability to speak to all ages. He was one of the best Big Read speakers we have had (and we’ve had nine Big Reads). Should I ever be asked to recommend a speaker about Mark Twain, I wouldn’t hesitate to suggest James. He has that rare quality of making learning fun!”
Cary Knapp, Gould Library, College of Coastal College, Brunswick, GA
“Dr. James Golden was a wonderful presenter for our Big Read-Coastal GA Reads The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. His talks were informative and fun; he really knows his Twain! We also had several talks scheduled and I know that more than one person attended more than one talk! Everyone really enjoyed it.”
Heather Heath, Executive Director, Golden Isles Arts and Humanities Association, Brunswick, GA