Although I generally like Chris Rock as a comedian, one of his jokes has always rubbed me the wrong way. Rock told the joke back in 1999 as part of the Kennedy Center’s program honoring Richard Pryor as the first recipient of its first Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. According to the Chicago Tribune’s account: Chris Rock wondered what would have happened if Mark Twain had ever met Richard Pryor. “(Pryor would) probably say, `I really enjoy your work,’” Read more…


My name is Mac Morrison, I am an undergraduate student at Tulane University. I’ve loved Mark Twain’s books since I was a very small child, and I’d like to gain a deeper understanding of the man and his work. In most academic fields there seem to be a short list of works by modern scholars that are considered canonical within the field,  and I was just wondering if you might be able to recommend some titles that fit that description Read more…


Although Mark Twain’s writing shows a partiality toward masculine experiences and perspectives, critical scholarship in the last 20 years or so has chipped away at the masculine critical bias. The Mark Twain Circle seeks proposals for papers that pursue these gender investigations further, re-interpreting representations of masculinity, femininity, or cross-dressing in the writings of Mark Twain or the influence of gendered social conventions on the life of Samuel Clemens. We welcome research perspectives that highlight the ways in which gender Read more…


EDITOR’S NOTE: The following paper was originally on the program for the 8th International Conferences on the State of Mark Twain Studies, which took place this past August at Elmira College. Unfortunately, Hamada Kassam, a Syrian national who is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor at American University of Sharjah, was unable to present his paper in person, due to Executive Order 13769. While it is little compensation for his presence, we are proud to publish a slightly abridged version of his proposed presentation here. Read more…


The Center for Mark Twain Studies is pleased to present the 2018 Class of Quarry Farm Fellows!  The application for the 2019 Quarry Farm Fellowships can be found by clicking here.   Courtney Bates, University of Findlay Sponsor: Tracy Wuster, University of Texas Austin Courtney Bates is an Assistant Professor of English and Director of the Writing Center at The University of Findlay.  She is currently working on a book project on Twain’s correspondence with his readers, which expands her Read more…


Editor’s Note: CMTS is proud to partner with the Mark Twain Forum, which has long been a leading venue for reviews of new publications in Mark Twain Studies. Visit their extensive archive. Follow the link at the bottom of the page to read the complete review. A portion of Amazon purchases made via links from Mark Twain Forum Book Reviews is donated to the Mark Twain Project.  The Hemingway Files. By H. K. Bush. Blank Slate Press, 2017. Pp. 357. Paperback. $15.95. Read more…


As we usher in the the new year and look back on the previous one, the staff of CMTS try to balance our traditional ways of communicating with you, while also keeping up with the dizzying advances in technology.  We will continue to publish our “Dear Friends” newsletter and make sure to mail it to all those who have graciously supported our mission to promote Mark Twain Studies and preserve Quarry Farm as a scholar’s retreat.  If you ever want to join Read more…


1868 was a pretty important year for Sam Clemens. Over the course of it, he would turn the Quaker City cruise of the preceding year into a lucrative cross-country lecture tour and what would prove to be a bestselling book, The Innocents Abroad (1869). He made an extended stay in Washington, DC, gathering impressions which would form the basis for his first novel, The Gilded Age (1873), as well as several humorous stories and editorials. And he would make his first Read more…


WNPR (Hartford) ran a segment this week about Mark Twain’s “Letter From Santa Claus” featuring an interview with The Mark Twain House‘s Director of Education, James Golden. You can listen to it below: You can read the complete letter in the Mark Twain Project’s digital archive. It is clear that Sam succeeded in instilling Susy (the receiver of Santa’s letter) with the spirit of the season. A few years later, in 1878, as a precocious six-year-old, she wrote a lengthy, bilingual Read more…


The Greatest Showman, a film about one of Mark Twain’s contemporaries and kindred spirits, releases nationwide tomorrow. Twain and P. T. Barnum were, by various accounts, friends, acquaintances, mutual admirers, and rivals. Mark Storey describes Twain as “the only man who challenged Barnum’s position as the leading celebrity of Gilded Age America.” And while Twain clearly felt a certain kinship with Barnum and treated him with cordiality, he also kept him a arm’s length. Barnum’s invitations to more intimate friendship Read more…


Caretaker Steve Webb and his son are the only year-round residents of Quarry Farm. Steve provides us with occasional, not always altogether reliable, updates from the premises. The word and all it carries. My son and I live in the space where Huck and Tom were called into existence. He’s nine and quickly approaching age that the boys were in Mark Twain’s stories. So it only seems appropriate that I’d read the great novels to him here at Quarry Farm. Read more…


While I appreciate a sensational headline as much as anyone, and there are new bombshells arriving with disturbing daily frequency, when a friend sent me one that recently appeared in The Paris Review, “Mark Twain’s Disturbing Passion for Collecting Young Girls,” it felt, with a nod to another great American humorist, Yogi Berra, “like déjà vu all over again.” Samuel Clemens’s late-in-life friendships with prepubescent girls, ten to sixteen, is a well-mined area of Twain scholarship that continues to resurface. Read more…

Mark Twain's Study (Home)
The Mark Twain Archive
Trouble Begins at 8