The Twain Doctrine

The midcentury resurgence of interest in Mark Twain’s life and work was fueled by the propaganda operations of both the U.S. and U.S.S.R.

Broken Idol: An Encomium For Hal Bush

Harold K. Bush, known to his friends as Hal, passed away earlier this week after a prolonged and finally unsuccessful recovery from a traumatic brain injury. Hal was a professor at St. Louis University and an acclaimed Twain scholar, probably best known for Mark Twain & The Spiritual Crisis of His Age (2007) and The Letters of Mark Twain & Joseph Hopkins Twichell (2017). His chapter on Twain in Continuing […]

The Fickle Affections of The Elmira Advertiser For Frederick Douglass

How did the editor of a paper that was habitually rude to Frederick Douglass end up with the manuscript of his Emancipation Day speech?

Even If He Weren’t My Friend: Frederick Douglass & Mark Twain

Matt Seybold traces the relationship between Frederick Douglass and Mark Twain, asking whether Twain was in the audience for Douglass’s Emancipation Day speech in Elmira in 1880.

The Apocryphal Twain: “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog.”

The search for the origin of this popular aphorism run through Dwight D. Eisenhower, “Bear” Bryant, and the B&O railroad!?!

The Apocryphal Twain: “America is built on a tilt and everything loose slides to California.” (Plus Things Mark Twain Really Said About California!)

Is Mark Twain really responsible for this aphorism about curiously unhinged Californians?

Death at Christmastime: Mark Twain & The Music of Merciful Release

Mark Twain spent much of the last decade of his life in mourning. Music became the centerpiece of his grieving process. Matt Seybold unwraps Twain’s personal soundtrack to loss and remembrance.