To Remain Indestructible in a Perishable World

Nicky McHugh describes recent developments in Hartford, Connecticut, at the home of Mark Twain for those seeking a close encounter with America’s literary past.

At the Mark Twain House & Museum the public can experience a taste of the author’s life in the house where he lived from 1874 for nearly twenty years. During this time, Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, wrote eight major works, raised three daughters, entertained famous guests and went on to become America’s best-known author. Today, this National Historic Landmark builds on its literary legacy with a new Museum designed to connect the past to the future.

In 1873, the Clemens family purchased land at ‘Nook Farm’ on Farmington Avenue,  joining neighbour Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of the abolitionist novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin, to establish what became a thriving literary community. The houses of Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-96) and Mark Twain (1835-1910) stand side by side, fine examples of American Victorian architecture and custodians of the reputation of two of America’s most revered literary giants.

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