Saturday, March 1, 2014

Mark Twain House Comeback

Carole Goldberg at the Hartford Magazine offers a piece on the Mark Twain's House & Museum in Hartford.

It took a little ice cream, some beer, a lot of visiting authors and a staff eager to try new things in a city that clings to old ways.

And it worked. Over the past five years, the Mark Twain House & Museum in Hartford has built on its foundation as a National Historic Landmark home to become a literary center of innovation and renown, presenting talks by writers as varied as Judy Blume and Stephen King.

Twain, who lived in the house on Farmington Avenue from 1874 to 1891 and wrote "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer," "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" and other classics there, loved to entertain writers and would surely approve.

Authors certainly do. "It very much is holy ground," says David Baldacci, a best-selling writer of thrillers and a member of the board of trustees.

"I first visited the Twain House with my wife and very young daughter ... I wanted a career as a novelist, as Twain had. Now that I've been back many times, the lure and attraction and electricity I feel never lessens," Baldacci says.

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:,0,4563437,full.story

I visited Mark Twain's house some years ago and wrote about it in my old column in the South Philadelphia American.

You can read the column via the below link:


  1. I think it is odd in the ways writers' homes become quasi-religious pilgrimage destinations. As for me, I have always somewhat wanted to visit Flannery O'Connor's Andalusia, but I have resisted doing so because I prefer to use my imagination about such places instead. Do not misunderstand me. I do not disparage the pilgrims. It just isn't for me.

  2. R.T.,

    "Quasi-religious" seems to be a bit of a stretch.

    I find that visiting the houses of certain writers is like visiting a friend's house. They may no longer be home, but one can perhaps sense their character in their former dwellings and belongings.

    I wrote in my column (link above) that I visited Hemingway's home in Key West. I hope that before I die, the Castro boys die, taking communism with them, and I'll also be able to visit Hemingway's home in Cuba.