Trouble Begins in Hartford: Livy Clemens Birthday Celebration

The Mark Twain House & Museum welcomes Barbara Snedecor to the Trouble Begins stage to celebrate her new book: “Gravity: Selected Letters of Olivia Langdon Clemens.” Steve Courtney will be interviewing Barbara on the process of completing her book and on Olivia Clemens.

In this new volume of letters, readers are invited to meet Olivia Louise Langdon Clemens on her own terms, in her own voice—as complementary partner to her world-famous spouse, Mark Twain, and as enduring friend, mother to four children, world traveler, and much more. The frail woman often portrayed by scholars, biographers, and Twain himself is largely absent in these letters. Instead, Olivia (who Twain affectionately referred to as “Gravity” in their early correspondence) emerges as a resilient and energetic nineteenth-century woman, her family’s source and center of stability, and a well of private and public grace in an ever-changing landscape. Mark Twain’s biography recounted in Olivia’s letters offers new insights, and her captivating voice is certain to engage and enlighten readers.

This is a FREE HYBRID event sponsored by CT Humanities and the Center for Mark Twain Studies in Elmira, New York.

In-person attendees are invited to come to the Museum center early (and for FREE) to visit this year’s summer exhibition For Business or Pleasure? Twain’s Summer Sojourns which highlights the Clemens family’s American-based summer vacations. In-person attendee’s are also invited to a special birthday celebration for Olivia Clemens’ from 6:00-6:45pm with cupcakes, a special appearance by “Olivia Clemens” herself, and an opportunity to get your copy of Gravity signed by Barbara.

Virtual attendees will receive a link to watch live via YouTube. (Please note while all can watch, only those with YouTube accounts will be able to participate in the virtual chat.)

Barbara Snedecor served for many years as Director of the Center for Mark Twain Studies at Elmira College. In addition to editing the second edition of Mark Twain in Elmira, she has contributed pieces to the Mark Twain Annual and American Literary Realism.