Category Archives: The Study

Blog posts for The Study


On Thanksgiving Day, 1868, Olivia Langdon “yielded a conditional consent” to Sam Clemens’s third proposal of marriage. They had know each other for less than a year, having been introduced on the occasion of a Charles Dickens reading in New York City the previous New Year’s Eve. Sam had made himself a fixture in Elmira during the Summer and Fall of 1868, going out of his way to visit the Langdons whenever there was an interruption in his American Vandal lecture tour. 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. I’m looking out the window again. It’s one of the best windows in the house even though it doesn’t have the view of the Chemung River Valley that this place is famous for. It’s high, on the second floor, and looks off in into the forest in the direction of where Mark Twain’s Read more…


There is perhaps no greater testament to Twain’s lasting reputation than the habitual misattribution of miscellaneous wit and wisdom to his name. The circulation of such apocryphal aphorisms was common enough in the 20th century. It has only increased with the popularization of digital media. The most common question addressed to the Center for Mark Twain Studies is some variety of “Did he really say that?” Whenever possible, we track down the original source, as well as attempt to trace Read more…


It’s Halloween, the day when, according to legend, the veil between this world and the spirit realm is at its most delicate. A fitting time to remember Mark Twain’s love for a good ghost story. He was particularly fond of “The Golden Arm”, a folktale that spooked him during childhood visits to his Uncle John Quarles’ farm in the 1840s. He noted decades later in a letter to Joel Chandler Harris that the story was told by “old Uncle Dan’l, Read more…


CMTS has updated its virtual tours of both Quarry Farm and the Langdon/Clemens plot on Woodlawn Cemetery (Elmira, New York).  The virtual tours now include a number of Points of Interests.  These “POI” include images and text that will help viewers explore and learn about both the house where wrote a number of his iconic works and his final resting place. CLICK HERE FOR THE VIRTUAL TOUR OF THE LANGDON/CLEMENS PLOT AT WOODLAWN CEMETERY (On the upper left menu, click 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.  Professor Williams discussed his upcoming book as part of the Fall 2017 “Trouble Begins” Lecture Series. Nathaniel Williams, Read more…


The fall portion of the 2018-2019 The Trouble Begins Lecture Series, presented by the Center for Mark Twain Studies, continues Wednesday, October 24 in the Barn at Quarry Farm. The lecture begins at 7:00 p.m., and is free and open to the public. “Writing from Roots in ‘America’s Hometown’: Flood, a Novel” by Melissa Scholes Young, American University Literature and life often claim you can’t go home again, but what happens if you have to? In this book talk and author reading, 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.  Professor Driscoll has given a number of lectures on the topic of Mark Twain’s response to indigenous populations.  Read more…


Will Vinton, Oscar-winning director and producer of short-stopped animated films passed away on October 4, 2018 at the age of 70.  Here is his obituary in The New York Times.  To The Mark Twain Studies community, Vinton is best known for his work in the Claymation animated movie The Adventures of Mark Twain. At Elmira 2013: The Seventh International Conference on the State of Mark Twain Studies, Mark Dawidziak presented the paper “Feat of Clay: Will Winton’s The Adventures of Mark Twain, Read more…


The Staff of CMTS wishes the Mark Twain House and Museum in Hartford, Connecticut the biggest success with their annual fundraiser.  We encourage you all to participate.  It looks like a fun, fantastic, food-filled event! Food is the focus of Twain’s Feast, the 2018 Mark Twain House & Museum Gala fundraiser, to be held Saturday, November 3 at 6 pm at the Goodwin Hotel in downtown Hartford. The annual event benefitting The Mark Twain House & Museum will highlight delectable preparations from nationally recognized Read more…


Last weekend (October 5-7. 2018) CMTS hosted the 2018 Quarry Farm Weekend Symposium “American Literary History and Economics in the New Gilded Age.” The economic expansion of the U.S. during Mark Twain’s lifetime was unprecedented, in this country or any other. Twain was fascinated by the technological innovations that transformed commerce and industry, the volatile financial markets that strained to keep up with the demands of entrepreneurs and investors, the infamous magnates that accumulated private fortunes unimaginable to previous generations, the Read more…


The fall portion of the 2018 The Trouble Begins Lecture Series, presented by the Center for Mark Twain Studies, begins Wednesday, October 10 in the Barn at Quarry Farm.  The lecture begins at 7:00 p.m., and is free and open to the public. The first lecture “Getting to Know Mark Twain through the Eyes of Grace King, a Southern Woman of Letters” will be presented by Miki Pfeffer, from Nicholls State University. New Orleans writer, Grace King, enjoyed a two-decade friendship with Sam Read more…

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