Category Archives: The Study

Blog posts for The Study


As we near the end of fall term, the days get shorter, the mornings get colder, and students, teachers, and parents alike get increasingly agitated. Under such conditions, the problems of our schools, real and imagined, are magnified and exaggerated. November is a ripe season for anti-intellectualism and dozens of Tweeters turn every day to one of the most enduring apocryphal aphorisms of America’s leading iconoclast: I have never let my schooling interfere with my education. – Mark Twain #quote 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.  Flood: A Novel. Melissa Scholes Young. Center Street/Hachette Book Group, 2017. Pp. 321. Hardcover $26.00. Read more…


EDITOR”S NOTE: What follows is a revised version of a talk delivered by Dr. Reigstad at the 8th Quadrennial Conference on the State of Mark Twain Studies. It draws upon materials from both the CMTS archives and the Chemung County Historical Society.  Mark Twain officially joined the Langdon family and became associated with its vast coal enterprises when he became engaged to Olivia on February 4, 1869. Three weeks later Twain found himself hanging out in New York City with Read more…


A recent issue of NCTE’s English Journal includes a Special Section on “Teaching Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” The editors open the section by acknowledging it “may offend some readers” and predict “There will be backlash. So be it.” In the spirit of embracing the debate, the journal has made the essays in this section free to access and download. I encourage you to do so. In the central essay of the Special Section, to which all the others respond, Peter Smagorinsky’s argument rests on the production Read more…


A new documentary, Mark Twain’s Journey to Jerusalem: Dreamland, airs tonight on PBS. Narrated by Martin Sheen, the award-winning film features insights from Twain scholars around the world. According to the filmmakers, Mark Twain’s Journey to Jerusalem will retrace “Twain’s footsteps using actual details from his letters and journals. The film tells a little-known story of Mark Twain as a young reporter, embarking on a maiden voyage over the Atlantic and across the Holy Land. His final destination – the ancient city Read more…


Claude Hope and Johnny Bright to SLC, 14 April 1882, (UCLC 41249) Reproduced with permission. Further reproduction without express written permission is prohibited.

Mark Twain liked to imagine moments of speaking from beyond the grave. Perhaps the most well-known example is in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer as Huck, Joe, and Tom—but mostly Tom—enjoy the melancholic, sweet, and ridiculous gratification of hearing their own funeral sermon from the gallery of the community church. Twain imagined his own postmortem moments, too. Below he interrupted an 1880 letter to Joseph Twitchell to address those he thought would be peeking through his mail: Well, we are Read more…


On Wednesday, October 4, The Trouble Begins Lecture Series presented by the Center for Mark Twain Studies is going to the dogs (and cats). The first lecture, which begins at 7:00 p.m. in Cowles Hall at Elmira College, focuses on Twain’s portrayal of animal voices and early interest in animal rights. The lecture titled, “‘That heart-breaking bitch’: Aileen Mavourneen & the Transatlantic Anti-Vivisection Movement” will be presented by Emily E. VanDette, associate professor of English with the State University of New York at Fredonia. Read more…


The Center for Mark Twain Studies is sponsoring two competitions: The 25th Annual Mark Twain Writing Contest & The 2nd Annual “Portraying Mark Twain” Art Competition. Both contests are open to all Elmira College students.  The Mark Twain Writing Contest solicits excellent student writing related to Mark Twain, his life, works, and times. Academic essays and creative writing are both strongly encouraged. All submissions should be typed, double-spaced, and formatted according to MLA style. A submission length of 1000-1500 words is Read more…


As a follow-up to a post I wrote earlier this year on Mark Twain’s friendship with Frederick Douglass (who is from Maryland’s Eastern Shore, where I live), I wanted to share the following excerpt from Chris Polk’s article in the Sunday edition of my local paper, The Star Democrat: It was a day for Talbot County’s native son. Frederick Douglass, the legendary former slave, abolitionist author, statesman and more has a day named for him every year in his native Read more…


With the upcoming premier of Star Trek: Discovery (CBS) on September 24, we thought it might be fun to look back at Mark Twain’s first appearance in the Star Trek universe. Since the original Star Trek aired in 1966, the series and its spinoffs have attempted to align themselves with high literature. Even as the women wore campy costumes and the series boasted primitive special effects, the series grounded itself in references to important authors from William Shakespeare to John Read more…


The fall portion of the 2017-2018 The Trouble Begins Lecture Series presented by the Center for Mark Twain Studies features four lectures, with the first event set for Wednesday, October 4 in Cowles Hall at Elmira College.  All four lectures begin at 7:00 p.m., and are free and open to the public. In 1985, the Elmira College Center for Mark Twain Studies inaugurated The Trouble Begins lecture series. The title comes from a handbill advertising Mark Twain’s October 2, 1866 lecture presented at Maguire’s Academy of Music in San Read more…


For more than sixty years Hal Holbrook did a thing that Samuel Clemens did for only about thirty: he took Mark Twain to the stage. I suppose the transformation was more profound on Holbrook’s part than on Clemens’s because, you could argue, in many ways Clemens was Mark Twain and Holbrook absolutely wasn’t. But without getting all ontological here, maybe we can agree that Holbrook and Clemens shared in this moment or process of transformation an intimacy with Mark Twain Read more…

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