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The Mark Twain House & Museum

860-247-0998||www.marktwainhouse.org

May 2021

Trouble Begins at 5:30 – Kevin Mac Donnell: Private Collections Tour

May 19 @ 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
CT United States + Google Map
Free

Twain scholar and collector Kevin Mac Donnell has a collection of over 9,000 Twain-related objects. His book collection includes first editions of Twain’s writings, as well as books owned by Samuel Clemens and his family. Personal photographs and letters documenting the Clemenses’ lives are accompanied by personal artifacts such as a Chippendale desk, silverware, and opera glasses. Kevin’s collection has something to intrigue every Twainiac at heart. Join us on Wednesday, May 19th for Trouble Begins at 5:30, when Kevin will be showing us some highlights of his collection, sharing about how he cares for his collection, and talking about how his collection is used for research. This program is free to attend, though when you register, we hope you’ll consider contributing what you’d call a fair ticket price. We thank you for your attendance whether you’re able to donate or not. REGISTER HERE. Kevin Mac Donnell is a leading Mark Twain scholar and collector of books and memorabilia who lives in Austin, Texas. Mac Donnell co-edited (with Alan Gribben) Mark Twain’s Rubaiyat (1983), contributed articles to the Mark Twain Encyclopedia (1993), co-edited (with R. Kent Rasmussen) Mark Twain and Youth (2016), and has reviewed over 50 books for the Mark Twain Forum. His discovery of the probable source of Mark Twain’s nom de plume went viral on Salon.com and The Huffington Post, and was cited as “research of note” by The Chronicle of Higher Education. He was chosen as a Mark Twain Legacy Scholar by the Mark Twain Journal in 2016. His collection of more than 9,000 Mark Twain items–first editions, archives, manuscripts, and artifacts—is the largest in private hands, and is frequently shared with other scholars and museums.   For more information about the program, call 860-247-0998 or visit marktwainhouse.org/   The Trouble Begins lecture series is presented in part with support from The Center for Mark Twain Studies at Elmira College, Elmira, New York.

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Harper’s Magazine and The Mark Twain House & Museum present LOST IN SUMMERLAND

May 25 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
CT United States + Google Map
Free

Harper’s Magazine and The Mark Twain House & Museum hit the road for a fun evening discussing a book that is Twainian in spirit! Similar to the travel writing where Twain chronicled America’s sights and characters in Life on the Mississippi and Roughing It, Lost in Summerland finds essayist Barrett Swanson crossing the United States to uncover what it means to be an American amid the swirl of our post-truth climate. A trip with his brother to a New York psychic community becomes a rollicking tour through the world of American spiritualism. At a wilderness retreat in Ohio, men seek a cure for toxic masculinity, while in the hinterlands of Wisconsin, antiwar veterans turn to farming when they cannot sustain the heroic myth of service. And when his best friend’s body washes up on the shores of the Mississippi River, he falls into the gullet of true crime discussion boards, exploring the stamina of conspiracy theories along the cankered byways of the Midwest. In this exhilarating debut, Barrett Swanson introduces us to a new reality. At a moment when grand unifying narratives have splintered into competing storylines, these critically acclaimed essays document the many routes by which people are struggling to find stability in the aftermath of our country’s political and economic collapse, sometimes at dire and disillusioning costs. Swanson, a winner of the esteemed Pushcar Prize, will be joined in conversation by Harper’s Deputy Editor  Rachel Poser. FREE program, but donations are gratefully accepted. To register, CLICK HERE! Signed copies of Lost in Summerland: Essays are available for purchase through the Mark Twain Store. Proceeds benefit The Mark Twain House & Museum. Books will ship after the event. We regret that we cannot ship outside of the U.S. at this time. Programs at The Mark Twain House & Museum are made possible in part by support from the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, Office of the Arts, and the Greater Hartford Arts Council’s United Arts Campaign and its Travelers Arts Impact Grant program, with major support from The Travelers Foundation. For more information call 860-247-0998 or visit marktwainhouse.org

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June 2021

WAKE: The Hidden History of Women-Led Slave Revolts

June 2 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
CT United States + Google Map
Free

The Amistad Center for Art & Culture, Harriet Beecher Stowe Center and The Mark Twain House & Museum present WAKE: The Hidden History of Women-Led Slave Revolts Author Dr. Rebecca Hall and Illustrator Hugo Martinez in conversation with Kimberly Kersey Part graphic novel, part memoir, Wake is an imaginative tour-de-force that tells the story of women-led slave revolts and chronicles scholar Rebecca Hall’s efforts to uncover the truth about these women warriors who, until now, have been left out of the historical record. Women warriors planned and led slave revolts on slave ships during the Middle Passage. They fought their enslavers throughout the Americas. And then they were erased from history. Wake tells the story of Dr. Rebecca Hall, a historian, granddaughter of slaves, and a woman haunted by the legacy of slavery. The accepted history of slave revolts has always told her that enslaved women took a back seat. But Rebecca decides to look deeper, and her journey takes her through old court records, slave ship captain’s logs, crumbling correspondence, and even the forensic evidence from the bones of enslaved women from the “negro burying ground” uncovered in Manhattan. She finds women warriors everywhere. Illustrated beautifully in black and white by Hugo Martinez, Wake will take its place alongside classics of the graphic novel genre, like Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis and Art Spiegelman’s Maus. The story of both a personal and national legacy, it is a powerful reminder that while the past is gone, we still live in its wake. This program is free to attend. REGISTER HERE. Copies of Wake are available for purchase through the Mark Twain Store. Proceeds benefit The Mark Twain House & Museum. Books will ship after the event.We regret that we cannot ship outside of the U.S. at this time. Donations are gratefully accepted, with all gifts received shared equally between The Amistad Center for Art & Culture and the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center. Programs at The Mark Twain House & Museum are made possible in part by support from the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, Office of the Arts, and the Greater Hartford Arts Council’s United Arts Campaign and its Travelers Arts Impact Grant program, with major support from The Travelers Foundation. For more information call 860-247-0998 or visit marktwainhouse.org

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BATTLE FOR THE BIG TOP: Les Standiford in conversation with Kathy Maher

June 17 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
CT United States + Google Map
Free

A New York Times bestselling author writes the untold story of three Golden Age titans and the confrontations, cutthroat business strategies, and eccentric personalities that built the Ringling Bros., Barnum & Bailey Circus. Millions have sat under the “big top,” watching as trapeze artists glide and clowns entertain, but few know the captivating stories behind the men who shaped the circus. Battle for the Big Top is the untold story of the battles of the three circus kings–James Bailey, P.T. Barnum, and John Ringling – all vying for control of the vastly profitable and widely influential American Circus. Ultimately, the rivalry of these three men resulted in the creation of an institution that would surpass all intentions and, for 147 years, hold a nation spellbound. Filled with details of their ever-evolving showmanship, business strategies, and personal magnetism, this Ragtime-like narrative will delight and enchant circus-lovers everywhere. Joining Les Standiford (author of The Man Who Invented Christmas) for what is sure to be a high-flying conversation will be Barnum Museum Executive Director Kathy Maher. This program is free to attend, though when you register, we hope you’ll consider contributing what you’d call a fair ticket price. We thank you for your attendance whether you’re able to donate or not. REGISTER HERE. Signed copies of Battle for the Big Top are available for purchase through the Mark Twain Store. Proceeds benefit The Mark Twain House & Museum. Books will be shipped after the event. We regret that we cannot ship outside of the U.S. at this time. This program is presented in partnership with The Barnum Museum.   The Mark My Words series is sponsored by the Wish You Well Foundation.  CT Public-WNPR is the media sponsor for the Mark My Words series. Programs at The Mark Twain House & Museum are made possible in part by support from the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, Office of the Arts, and the Greater Hartford Arts Council’s United Arts Campaign and its Travelers Arts Impact Grant program, with major support from The Travelers Foundation. 

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