The Trouble Begins

The Mark Twain House & Museum began its The Trouble Begins lecture series in 2010. The title of the lecture series comes from a handbill advertising Mark Twain’s October 2, 1866, lecture presented at Maguire’s Academy of Music in San Francisco which stated “Doors open at 7 o’clock. The Trouble to begin at 8 o’clock.”

The Trouble Begins lecture series is held each spring and fall with free presentations featuring distinguished scholars who discuss elements of the life, work, and era of Mark Twain and use them to explore wider themes in the humanities and both historical and current issues.

From 2010-19 the Mark Twain House welcomed 64 scholars to our Lincoln Financial Auditorium stage. In 2020, thanks to a CT Humanities grant, The Trouble Begins series pivoted to a virtual program. Today, The Trouble Begins uses in-person, virtual, and hybrid formats to keep these presentations accessible to all and allow Twainiacs from all over the world to come together – whether in-person or virtually – to discuss all things Twain, share their passions, and have a bit of fun.

 Since 1985, the Center for Mark Twain Studies has hosted its own The Trouble Begins at Eight lecture series. You can access their lecture archive here.
Click Here to submit YOUR proposal to become a Trouble Begins Speaker!

Thank you to our 2024 Trouble Begins Sponsors

Kathleen and David Jimenez.

The pasta receptions for in-person lectures are also supported by

John Muller on Fredrick Douglass

Calling all Twainiacs and Douglassonians!

Known throughout the country and the world as two of the most recognized Americans of the 19th century, Mark Twain and Frederick Douglass shared numerous associations and friendships across generations and geography.

Join us in welcoming Paul Schiller to the Trouble Begins stage as he presents a lecture on William Gillette & Gillette Castle IN-PERSON & LIVESTREAMING on Tuesday, April 23rd

Get Your Tickets HERE

A Celebration of George Griffin with Kevin MacDonnell IN-PERSON & LIVESTREAMING on Tuesday, May 14th

Details coming soon!

Join us in welcoming Jason Silverman to the Trouble Begins stage as he presents his lecture on Mark Twain and Abraham Lincoln VIRTUALLY on Thursday, June 20th

Get Your Tickets HERE

(Click on any title to be taken to the YouTube recording.)

Since its inception in 2010 The Trouble Begins lecture series has received support from The Center for Mark Twain Studies, Connecticut Humanities, and Webster Bank.

Click here to add your support for The Trouble Begins series