Need Some Summer Reading? Here Are The Most Popular Essays From Our First Four Years.

Some of our friends from C19: The Society of Nineteenth-Century Americanists and the Mark Twain Forum asked their members to recommend accessible, non-academic essays. As this is a genre we have specialized in since our launch in 2016, we thought we would seize the occasion to highlight some of the most popular Twain-centered essays published on the site.

For the purposes of this exercise, we excluded our popular digital resources and multimedia content, as well as the “Apocryphal Twain” series (which isn’t really about Twain, after all) and shorter “this day in Twain history” pieces. All the links that follow are to essays which have substantive narrative and/or critical components. Here, in reverse chronological order, are the 25 most popular essays on

“Black Lives Matter at Quarry Farm” by Larry Howe (June 2020)

“Life, In Purgatory (A Twainiac Quarantine Diary)” by Matt Seybold (April 2020)

“Getting Innocent” by Hilton Obenzinger (February 2020)

“Elmira Girls Marries Hannibal Boy (And The Rest Is Literary History)” by Susan K. Harris (January 2020)

“A Tale of Today: Mark Twain on Impeachment” by John Muller (January 2020)

“Finding the Lost Diary of Mark Twain’s Granddaughter, Nina Gabrilowitsch” by Alan Rankin (October 2019)

“Mark Twain, MAD Magazine, & Old Crow Whiskey” by Barbara Schmidt (July 2020)

“Put The Reader Through Hell: In Memory of Toni Morrison, Twain Scholar” by Matt Seybold (August 2019)

“Mark Twain’s Portfolio: Hell-Hound Rogers, Anaconda Copper, & The Spider Aristocracy of Finance” by Matt Seybold (June 2019)

“The Mugwump Bump: Mark Twain, Independent Politics, & The Election of 1884” by Dwayne Eutsey (June 2019)

“Mark Twain’s Portfolio: Existential Hedging & The United Fruit Company” by Matt Seybold (May 2019)

“150 Years of Mark Twain in Elmira: Dickens Holidays, The Gospel of Revolt, & The Quarry Farm Style” by Matt Seybold (September 2018)

“The Calculated Incivility of Anson Burlingame, The Only Congressman Mark Twain Could Tolerate” by Matt Seybold (July 2018)

“Building a Model of Huck & Jim’s Raft” by Peter G. Beidler (April 2018)

“When Will We Listen?: Mark Twain Through The Lenses of Generation Z” by Jocelyn Chadwick (March 2018)

“A Disturbing Passion?: Mark Twain & The Angelfish” by Laura Skandera-Trombley (December 2017)

“Dispatches From Quarry Farm: Huck! Speak Up. We Need You.” by Steve Webb (December 2017)

“Mark Twain Expected Us To Read His Fan Mail” by Courtney Bates (October 2017)

“The Android & The Icon: Mark Twain’s Appearance on Star Trek: The Next Generation by Kaine Ezell (September 2017)

“The Shocking Truth About Mark Twain’s Fascination With Electricity” by Jennifer L. Lieberman (August 2017)

“Dreaming India The Marvelous & Mark Twain’s Mysterious Stranger” by Dwayne Eutsey (April 2017)

“Mark Twain, Suffragette Ally & Overprotective Father” by Susan K. Harris (April 2017)

“Never In A Hurry To Believe: The Theology of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Dwayne Eutsey (March 2017)

“Mark Twain in Damascus: A Quest for Immortality?” by Hamada Kassam (February 2017)

“Mark Twain, Gore Vidal, & The Nadirs of U.S. Electoral History” by Matt Seybold (November 2016)