Spring “Trouble Begins” Lecture Series Begins May 5

The spring portion of the 2020-2021 The Trouble Begins Lecture Series presented by the Center for Mark Twain Studies begins Wednesday, May 5, with “Mark Twain’s Roadshow: Travels, Travails, and the Inspirations of a Literary Giant,” presented by Laura DeMarco.  The lecture is free and will be available to the public on marktwainstudies.org.

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts,” Mark Twain wrote in 1869. Few writers saw more of America, or the world, than Twain — a Southerner, Westerner, miner, river boat pilot and international traveler who died a Yankee. In her book Mark Twain’s America Then and Now, Laura DeMarco traces Samuel Clemens’ life journey through 69 major locales that shaped the great writer. His biography is told chronologically against the backdrop of the places where he lived and worked and visited. It begins in a one-room cabin in rural Missouri and ends in a sprawling mansion in Connecticut. In her talk, Laura will bring these sites and other lesser known stops on Clemens travels alive by pairing historic images with modern day viewpoints of the same location from the same angle and perspective – revealing how many of the sights important to Twain are with us today, and how his legacy continues to influence so much of American culture.

DeMarco is a writer, historian and lecturer in Cleveland, Ohio. She is the author of the books Lost ClevelandCleveland Then and Now and Mark Twain’s America Then and Now (Pavilion Books). Her newest book, Lost Civil War: The Disappearing Legacy of America’s Greatest Conflict (Pavilion/Rizzoli) will be released in June 2021. DeMarco spent 20 years at the Cleveland Plain Dealer daily newspaper, and has written for a wide range of national publications. She is a frequent commenter on Cleveland television stations. She specializes in history, lost landmarks and literature. She also writes about historical preservation, architecture, art, film, and travel. She lectures at museums, schools, colleges and historical societies on these topics and more. She has a degree in English literature and art history from John Carroll University.  DeMarco was honored by Cleveland City Council for “outstanding commitment, dedication and significant contributions as an Arts and Culture reporter for The Plain Dealer specializing in local history and lost landmarks.”

About The Trouble Begins Lecture Series – In 1984, the Elmira College Center for Mark Twain Studies initiated a lecture series, The Trouble Begins at Eight lecture series.  The title came from the handbill advertising Mark Twain’s October 2, 1866 lecture presented at Maguire’s Academy of Music in San Francisco. The first lectures were presented in 1985. By invitation, Mark Twain scholars present lectures in the fall and spring of each year, in the Barn at Quarry Farm or at Peterson Chapel in Cowles Hall on Elmira College’s campus. All lectures are free and open to the public. 

About Elmira College – Founded in 1855, Elmira College is a private, residential, liberal arts college offering 35-plus majors, an honors program, 17 academic societies, and 18 Division III varsity teams.  Located in the Southern Finger Lakes Region of New York, Elmira’s undergraduate and graduate student population hails from more than 20 states and nine countries.  Elmira is a Phi Beta Kappa College and has been ranked a top college, nationally, for student internships. The College is also home to the Center for Mark Twain Studies, one of four historically significant Twain heritage sites in the U.S., which attracts Twain scholars and educators from around the world for research on the famous literary icon. Proud of its history and tradition, the College is committed to the ideals of community service, and intellectual and individual growth.