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The Mark Twain House
& Museum Newsletter
September 2013
From the Executive Director 



"Where shall I pay to the full, my gratitude! for my heart is bursting with it..." -Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1889)



Dear Friends of the Mark Twain House,
September 4th marks my six-month anniversary at the House of Twain, and the word that best summarizes my feelings on this topic is "gratitude." I am grateful to a long list of people: 
  • The 42,000+ visitors who have toured the house so far this year. I overhear your comments and questions and watch your faces light up as you learn about the Clemens family. Thank you for your sincere interest and enthusiasm.
  • Rebecca Floyd and our guides at the visitor center who spend time between tours reading and researching about the Clemens family so they are able to answer questions and share this great American story. They have also singlehandedly raised more than $6,000 for our endowment fund this year.
  • Will Perez and the maintenance crew who work hard to keep the grounds beautiful, the structures in good repair, and the atmosphere welcoming and inviting.
  • The 150 supporters who received our appeal for operating contributions and generously sent donations.
  • Jeff Mainville, Laura Van Dine, and the entire store staff for taking on the project of opening the "Nook Farm Nook" - our new café that gives visitors a place to rest and refresh.
  • Jacques Lamarre and his amazing crew for organizing such unforgettable events as an evening with Stephen King, a performance of the Jill and Julia Show, Tom Sawyer Day, and the ice cream social on the lawn. We know how to have fun at the Twain House!
  • Lynn Gregor and all of the longtime staff members who are a wealth of knowledge when it comes to institutional memory. Everyone has been so generous in sharing the history of operations of the Twain House. 
  • The Trustees who generously share their time, expertise, and financial support. They lead by example.
  • Our friends and colleagues in Hannibal, Elmira, and Berkeley who collaborate with us to preserve the legacy of Mark Twain for the world.
  • My new friends, neighbors and colleagues in Hartford. Everyone has made me feel welcomed, and I'm happy to call Hartford home.
These first six months have been a whirlwind of exploring, discovering, and sharing. The house is crackling with activity, and every day brings new excitement, challenges, and successes. I am privileged to work alongside so many dedicated people who "get it." They understand the importance of Mark Twain's legacy, as do you. We are all part of "Team Twain." And I thank you.

With gratitude,
Cindy Lovell

Tickets on Sale for "Mark My Words," with Sue Grafton, Alice Hoffman, Scott Turow and David Baldacci

Tickets are on sale now for Mark My Words: A Conversation with Sue Grafton, Alice Hoffman and Scott Turow, to be held at the Shubert Theater in New Haven on Wednesday, October 9, at 8:00 p.m.  

Grafton's Kinsey Milhone alphabet mysteries (A is for Alibi was just the start); Hoffman's acclaimed novels, and her unexpected new guide to living; and 
Turow's tales of power and the legal life are so beloved and popular that these authors have a total of nearly 150 million books in print.  All have produced numerous New York Times bestselling titles.

The on-stage conversation will be moderated by another extraordinary figure -- David Baldacci, himself an author of massively popular and complex political thrillers. Tickets are priced priced from $28 to $68, with a VIP ticket for $125 offering a pre-event reception with the authors.  Tickets can be purchased online at; by phone at 888-736-2663 (toll free) or 203-562-5666; or in person at the Shubert Theater Box Office, 247 College Street, New Haven. 
Added bonus!  This evening will be the national book launch of The Autobiography of Mark Twain, Vol. 2. The editor of the autobiography will be in attendance for a book signing.

Mark My Words is supported in part by The Hartford, Foresite Technologies, the Wish You Well Foundation, Hoffman Auto Group, DATTCO, Hartford Steam Boiler, Reid & Riege, Hachette, Putnam Books, Katherine Neville, Algonquin Books, Pullman & Comley, LLC, The Study at Yale Hotel, Greater Hartford Arts Council's United Arts Campaign, the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, Office of the Arts; and RJ Julia Booksellers.
Email Tracy Wu Fastenberg for sponsorship opportunities.


Friday, September 13 at 7:30 p.m. with Special Guest Actor/Writer/Whatever Mellini Kantayya


Our exciting new live storytelling program, hosted by Chion Wolf, allows about ten regular folks to fly without notes or a net as they tell us their own story from their own perspective. Friday the 13th has us thinking about tales of LUCK & SERENDIPITY.


TICKETS: $5 - CHEAP!  Available at the door or by reservation at (860) 280-3130.  



AS YOU LIKE IT by William Shakespeare, performed by the world-renowned tragi-comedians THE CASTLE THEATRE COMPANY of Durham University, UK!

Saturday, September 14, 2:00 p.m.


All the world's a stage in this sparkling comedy from The Bard of Avon!  Political usurpers and jealousies threaten the happiness of those living in the Duchy.  When Orlando, Rosalind, Celia and the court jester Touchstone flee into the Forest of Arden, they encounter the pastoral peasants therein.  What ensues is a cross-dressing comedic romp and a romantic rondelet.


In addition, there will be a 1:45 p.m. performance of A Love Chase--based on Susy Clemens' play--by the Connecticut Ballet Theater.


On the lawn of The Mark Twain House, 351 Farmington Avenue, Hartford!  Bringeth lawn furniture and blankets!


Rain or shine! FREE WILL (Shakespeare) OFFERING ACCEPTED!




September 22 Event at 2:00 p.m. Is The First of Four Sunday Afternoon Tellings of Tales


Tom Lee  Spellbinding stories will be relayed with consummate skill by Master-Storyteller-in-Residence Tom Lee.  September 22 is the first of a series of "Grown-Up Storytime" appearances by the noted storyteller for adults, who has thrilled audiences at the museum in past years.  


The first story is Gilgamesh: Love, Death & Power in Ancient Iraq.  One of the world's oldest stories, Gilgamesh is a thrilling epic in which a reckless king seeks to overpower death and become immortal. In the process, he confronts all that it is to be human. Tom Lee presented this program in the reconstructed throne room of King Ashurnasirpal at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.


This program is not suitable for children; Admission $15; 90 minutes, call 860-280-3130 for tickets.




Friday, September 27, 5:30-9:30 p.m.


Tapping Into Twain

Our biggest party of the year!  It's our salute to a range of fine regional artisanal brews, along with great local cuisine, great music and great companionship.  The Hartford Advocate called this "absolutely, positively, without any doubt whatever, one of the best charitable events Hartford has beheld in quite some time."


Tickets (including a Mark Twain pint glass!) are $50 at door, $45 in advance, $40 for members, and $20 for designated drivers. Call 860-280-3130 soon--it sells out fast!





Nook Farm Book Talk:
The Most Famous Man In America 

On Wednesday, September 4 the Nook Farm Book Talk discusses The Most Famous Man in America by Debby Applegate next door at the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, 77 Forest Street. The book recounts the life of Henry Ward Beecher, the controversial preacher and abolitionist -- massively popular, but tarnished by an adultery scandal -- who was Harriet Beecher Stowe's brother and Mark Twain's friend. The work won Applegate the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Biography. 

A reception at 5:00 p.m. will be followed by the discussion from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. The event is free, but registration is encouraged at 860-522-9258, Ext. 317.

Nook Farm Book Talks receive generous funding from
First Niagara 
The Trouble Begins at 5:30 

Sam in NH Wednesday, September 11 at 5:30pm: "Dublin, New Hampshire: Mark Twain's Hideaway" 
with William Morgan. Twain summered in Dublin, N.H., in the early 1900s. He called it "the one place I have always longed for, but never knew existed in fact until now." Morgan is an eminent architectural historian and the author of Monadnock Summer: The Architectural Legacy of Dublin, New Hampshire. A book sale and signing will follow the event.

"The Trouble Begins at 5:30" receives generous funding from
First Niagara Foundation. It is also supported by
Connecticut Explored magazine, Hot Tomato's restaurant and
The Friends of the Mark Twain House & Museum.


Mark Twain Museum Store Featured Item of the Month
New in the Store: Choose neck or bow!

These beautiful--and clever--100% silk ties are custom-made exclusively for The Mark Twain House. They each sell for $35.50. Plus, the necktie has an optional $9 presentation gift box which matches the print of the tie. Come see the ties in person at the store, or visit the store's website!

Mark Twain said:

Twain at desk

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime."

The Innocents Abroad


Our Fall Exhibit: Mark Twain &War

The Mark Twain House & Museum's major fall exhibition, "An Inglorious Peace or a Dishonorable War: Mark Twain's Views on Conflict," opens Thursday, October 3, with a free public reception at 5:30 p.m., which will include a musical performance by The Manhattan Contemporary Chamber Ensemble of Mark Twain's scathing anti-war piece, The War PrayerFor more details, please visit our website.


This exhibition is generously supported by The Connecticut Humanities Council, The George A. & Grace L. Long Foundation, Bank of America and Alan S. Parker, Trustees,  and Reid and Riege, P.C.
The performance of the Manhattan Contemporary Chamber Ensemble is generously supported by The Saunders Foundation.


MT & Louise Paine  
Welcome to Our New Members! (Since August 1)
'Nothing pleases a child so much as to be a member of something or other. Your rightly-constituted child don't care shucks what it is, either.' -- Letter to the Alta California, May 20, 1867  
Rosalie Albright
Jane K. Allen
Nicholas A. Collins
Jessica Fricker
Thomas Hanes
Mike & Alison Hunt
Daniel Kombert
Kim Virginia Kosakowski
Thomas J. Light
Kamran Malik
Cheryl Neumann
Nancy Ort
Jack & Karen Petersen
Nelson Pomeroy
Kelly D. Pothier
Chris & Melissa Renkert
Bob Ritchey
Asher Schechter
Rod Steier
Emily Valdez
Robert Preston Warren, Jr.
Become a member today!
Thank You 
to Our Donors! 
(Since July 1)
'We framed in our minds the usual resolution of thanks and admiration and gratitude.' -- A Tramp Abroad (1880)
Institutional donors

First Niagara Foundation
Reid and Riege, P.C.
The Travelers Companies, Inc.
United Technologies Corporation

Individual Donors
(Make the most of your donation --be sure to ask your employer about Matching Gifts!) 
Ms. Linda J. Arden
Ms. Nancy Banulski
Ms. Linda Biancalani
Mr. Walter & Mrs. Sharon Bobowski
Mr. Ronald & Mrs. Mary Ellen Brown
Mr. James Bute
Mrs. Lesa Laraia
Mr. William & Mrs. Marjorie Coleman
Mr. John & Mrs. Barbara Curran
Dr. Karen S. Devassy
Mr. Thomas Donahue
Ms. Elizabeth Elia
Dr. Robert L. & Mrs. Susan Fisher
Mr. Seymour & Mrs. Annette Gavens
Mr. Walter & Mrs. Roberta Greenberg
Mr. Michael Grunberg
Dr. Walter L. & Mrs. Dianne M. Harrison
Mr. William & Mrs. Jessica Jakubek
Atty. David R. Jimenez
Mr. Herbert & Mrs. Daphne Klepper
Mr. Alan Kreczko & Ms. Becky Latimer
Mr. Earl McMahon & Ms. Dina Plapler
Mrs. Dana Neves
Dr. K. Patrick & Mrs. Cathy I. Ober
Ms. Debra A. Palermino
Mr. Arthur Palmunen
Ms. Kristin E. Peckrul
Ms. Jeanmarie B. Shea
Mr. David Sherman & Ms. Diana Creamer
Mrs. Jennifer & Mr. Philip Tombaugh
The Zachs Family  
Make your donation today!

The Friends of The Mark Twain House & Museum's annual Holiday House Tour has been opening doors to some of the most beautiful and fascinating dwellings in the region for over 30 years and proceeds from this yearly tradition directly benefit the operations of The Mark Twain House & Museum. 


Sponsorships begin at $100.  Benefits include tickets to the Tour, your company or individual name listing on signage at House Tour sites (December 8, 2013), recognition in our e-newsletter blasts and invites to the exclusive after-party, hosted by the museum's volunteer organization, The Friends of The Mark Twain House & Museum.


Please contact Jeff Mainville at 860.280.3154 or by email

Twain writing  

Our fall Saturday Afternoon Writers' Workshops start in October! The three-hour sessions run from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., and the fee is $40. Come and hone your skills!

October 5: "Telling the Stories that Won't Forgive Silence: Forging Meaning Out of Experience in Fiction" with Okey Ndibe

October 12: "Self-Publishing" with Patrice Fitzgerald

October 19: "Songwriting" with Donna Martin

October 26: "Children's Lit" with Pegi Deitz Shea

For further information, contact Julia Pistell by email


JOIN The Mark Twain House & Museum! 
Enjoy the special insider benefits of membership in The Mark Twain House & Museum. And there's the sheer joy of being part of the legacy of Mark Twain, whose wit and insight remain alive today in 2013 -- exactly 150 years after Sam Clemens took on his famous pen name and entered history. 

Make a DONATION Today!

Your donation to The Mark Twain House & Museum has a major impact on our ability to preserve this beautiful home, provide crucial educational programs for thousands of schoolchildren, offer mind-stimulating and spine-tingling events for adults, and welcome thousands of visitors each year.  
 ...and make your donation count double: Find out if your employer has a Matching Gift program.
Donate online, call 860-280-3112, or send your donation to: The Mark Twain House & Museum, Development Department, 351 Farmington Ave, Hartford, Connecticut 06105.
Join the FRIENDS
The Friends of the Mark Twain House & Museum offer wonderful speaking events, social gatherings, and fun volunteer opportunities. Pony up $30 and you'll get it all, too! 


It's the volunteer organization that has supported the museum for more than 50 years. To join, call Membership Co-Chairs Chuck Paydos, 860-242-4825, or Dee Peters, 860-233-4066. 


The Mark Twain House & Museum has restored the author's Hartford, Connecticut, home, where the author and his family lived from 1874 to 1891. Twain wrote his most important works there, including Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court.  In addition to providing tours of Twain's restored home, a National Historic Landmark, the institution offers activities and educational programs that illuminate Twain's literary legacy and provide information about his life and times. The house and museum at 351 Farmington Ave. are open Monday through Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., and Sunday, noon-5:30 p.m.  For more information, call 860-247-0998 or visit  Programs at the Mark Twain House & Museum are supported by the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, Office of the Arts, and the Greater Hartford Arts Council's United Arts Campaign..