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Mark Twain

 

On our way home from a long weekend in Newburyport, Maine, where we saw a terrific new play written by a terrific new friend at the Firehouse Theater, my husband and I stopped at Mark Twain’s house in Hartford where he lived from 1874 to 1891 with his wife, Olivia, and their 3 daughters.   





Twain’s New York City house at 14 West 10th Street, 6 blocks from my apartment, is on my walks several times a week. I make sure of that.  I often stop and and look in.  His Buffalo house at 472 Delaware Avenue  was where the restaurant, The Cloister was many years later.  I had a few Buffalo friends confirm that.


My father kept LETTERS FROM THE EARTH on his night table and often read sections  to himself and to me.


We talked and laughed about Mark Twain.


Twain’s magnificent Hartford house has much of his original furniture. We were not allowed to touch anything other than the banisters, or take pictures, but I felt  there with him, his family, and servants  upon walking through the front door, into the living room, then to the  library,  dining room,  kitchen and upstairs bedrooms including his mother-in-law’s, the girls’ schoolroom/playroom (they were homeschooled for a while), and finally to Twain’s work room which was dominated by his enormous pool table. 


 Behind it was a small desk on which he wrote grand books. 

 



Frederic March starred as Mark Twain in the 1944  movie about him. At the end as Halley’s Comet appears, Twain, on his deathbed in the presence of Clara, his only surviving daughter says his  famous line, “the reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.


A little boy on one side of the bed jumps off and runs out the window. A little boy on the other side does, too.  Then Mark Twain gets out of bed and walks outside between them-- Tom Sawyer, and Huckleberry Finn—to eternity.




 

4 Comments


Guest
May 22

Nice piece, Nancy. I was at the Twain House a few years ago so a good memory for me. Also of The Cloisters. Celebrated a few special events there. Sending hugs. Cousin Susan

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Julie Gaines
Julie Gaines
May 22

I’m watching the movie tonight! Thank you for that beautiful little MT piece❤️

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Guest
May 22

The Cloister restaurant used to be one of our favorites, especially knowing that it had been a home of Mark Twain. So sad that it’s no longer there (in any form). I wonder if there’s a plaque or sign or something? Might have to go take a look! Thanks for prompting this lovely memory. Touring the homes of famous people (especially writers) is always fascinating.

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Guest
May 22

A great day at the home of my second favorite writer. Twain must be thrilled that he can say that Nancy came to visit his house.

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