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Marking Twain in Paris

Paula Harrington of Colby College is writing a blog from Paris about Mark Twain and his attitude toward the French as part of her work as a Fulbright scholar. The blog, called Marking Twain in Paris, is at:
Or you can find it by doing a Google search for “Marking Twain in Paris.” She welcomes comments.

Mark Twain House and Museum Makes the Top Ten!

A press release from Steve Courtney at the Mark Twain House and Museum in Hartford:

National Geographic Names the Mark Twain House

One of the Ten Best Historic Homes in the World


HARTFORD, Conn. — The Mark Twain House in Hartford, Connecticut has been named one of the ten best historic houses in the world in a publication of the National Geographic Society.

The third edition of National Geographic Books’ The Ten Best of Everything, edited by Nathaniel Lande and Andrew Lande, lists the house that Samuel L. Clemens and Olivia Langdon Clemens built, and where the family lived from 1874 to 1891, among such buildings as Leo Tolstoy’s house in Russia, The Churchills’ Blenheim Palace in England, and artist Claude Monet’s home, Giverny, in France. 

The only other American buildings on the list are Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello and George Washington’s Mount Vernon

“We are very glad to have been named to this list of buildings of international importance,” said Patti Philippon, Interim Executive Director of The Mark Twain House & Museum. “It’s a recognition not only of Twain as an author of world stature, as our international guests remind us daily, but also of the iconic nature of ‘The House that Mark Built’ in the history of architecture and design.” 

The Ten Best of Everything notes “the soaring dramatic grand hall” and “the book-filled library, glass conservatory, and billiard room”; lists the important works by Twain written while the Clemenses lived in the house (The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, among many others); and describes the “classic Victorian interiors designed by Louis C. Tiffany, Candace Wheeler, Lockwood DeForest and Samuel Coleman.” It quotes Twain himself: “It is a home & the word never had so much meaning before.” 

The ten houses, in a list that is not ranked internally, are: 

— Mount Vernon, George Washington’s home near Alexandria, Virginia

— Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s home near Charlottesville,,Virginia

— Blenheim, the ancestral home of the Churchill family in Woodstock, United Kingdom

— Giverny, Claude Monet’s home in Vernon, France

— The Anne Frank House, Amsterdam, Netherlands

— Yasnaya Polyana, Leo Tolstoy’s home in Tula Region, Russia

— The Mark Twain House, Hartford, Connecticut

— Finca Vigia, Ernest Hemingway’s home in San Francisco de Paula, Cuba

— Villa Almerico Capra (“La Rotonda”) in Vicenza, Italy. This is not the home of a famous person but the creation of one. Designed in 1566 by Andrea Palladio, it started a whole school of neoclassical architecture, and inspired Jefferson’s Monticello among many other works.

— Thoor Ballylee, the poet William Butler Yeats’ home in Gort, Ireland 

Information on The Ten Best of Everything can be seen at:  

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 during the years he lived 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 and Wednesday through Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; and Sunday, noon-5:30 p.m. The Museum is closed Tuesdays January through March. For more information, call 860-247-0998 or visit


Programs at The Mark Twain House & Museum are made possible in part by support from the Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism and the Greater Hartford Arts Council.  


Huck Finn Anniversary

On February 18, 1885, Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was officially published in the United States. It sold 42,000 copies in the first month (because of subscription publishing, most of these were pre-orders). That little book has been causing trouble ever since!

Happy Birthday Mark Twain!

One hundred fifty years ago today, on February 3, 1863, Samuel Clemens for the first time signed an article with the pen name “Mark Twain.” Little did he know…