Blog

Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes will perform “Mark Twain’s Music Box”

By 1878 Sam Clemens had accomplished substantial wealth and fame and was living comfortably with his wife Livy and their family near Hartford, Connecticut.  Yet something important was missing.  A wide gap persisted between his personal cultural development and that of his upscale neighbors and social circles in the Hartford area.  Sam and Livy resolved to fix this gap by extended travel and cultural study in Western Europe.  Beginning in […]

2018: The Year In Review

There are big changes coming to MarkTwainStudies.org in the early months of 2019, but for now we look back on 2018, which was another busy year at the Center for Mark Twain Studies. Here are a few of our most popular posts. January 150 Years Ago Mark Twain Celebrated New Years Eve By Debating How Drunk He Had Been During The Preceding Year & Listening To Charles Dickens Read David […]

2019 Mark Twain Writing Contest & Portraying Mark Twain Art Competition Open To Elmira College Students

The Center for Mark Twain Studies is sponsoring two competitions: The 26th Annual Mark Twain Writing Contest & The 3rd 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 […]

Dispatches from Quarry Farm: The First Snow

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 first snow of the year brings a crystalline stillness to the world. Quarry Farm pauses in muted silence. The trees, newly naked stick figures fresh from the fall blaze of amber and gold, are highlighted in the angelic white from above and […]

New Documentary focuses on Twain’s Time in Buffalo

For over three decades I poked around in the area of Twain’s connection to my hometown, Buffalo, NY. I spent countless hours in the Grosvenor Room of the Central Library in downtown Buffalo flipping through pages of the over one hundred volumes of the Local History and Local Biographies scrapbooks, taking notes from pasted newspaper clippings that contained relevant information. I read and cross-referenced entries in Buffalo City Directories of […]

Thanksgiving Steeple-Jumping: The Sesquicentennial of Mark Twain’s “Conditional” Engagement

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 […]