Saturday, November 16, 2013

Courtney's Book Focuses on Ghosts of Mark Twain House

The Mark Twain House and Museum announces the publication of an exciting new book, "We Shall Have Them with Us Always": The Ghosts of the Mark Twain House, written by Twain historian Steve Courtney and now on sale at the Mark Twain Museum Store.

And a celebration of the book's publication will be held 7 pm Wednesday, Dec. 11 in the Mark Twain House Museum Center. Courtney will discuss his book, and various members of the Mark Twain House and Museum staff who have experienced unexplained happenings in the Mark Twain House will be present to relay their stories. The results of a recent investigation of the house by Blue Moon Paranormal Investigations will also be announced.

A book sale and signing will follow.

Samuel L. Clemens--Mark Twain--and his family lived in an elegant Gothic home in Hartford for seventeen years, 1874-1891. It was his most productive time--The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and many other works flowed from his pen -- and his family life was the happiest it would ever be.

In recent years, there have been accounts of presences in the house - a woman in white, odd noises, even a whiff of cigar smoke (Clemens smoked 20 to 40 a day). Television shows such as Ghost Hunters have paid a visit.

Other doubt the alleged phenomena -- our age, like Twain's, being an era of credulity and hype -- and Twain himself wrote of his youth, "In these days it seems incredible that people believed in ghosts so short a time ago." But he loved ghost tales and sampled seances.

In "We Shall Have Them with Us Always": The Ghosts of the Mark Twain House, Courtney recounts tales of hauntings and investigations -- and the tale of the iconic American author's own interest in the occult and spiritualism.

Courtney was the Publicist and Publications Editor at The Mark Twain House and Museum from 2009 to 2013, and is the author of several books, including "The Loveliest Home That Ever Was": The Story of the Mark Twain House in Hartford (Dover Publications, 2011); Joseph Hopkins Twichell, Mark Twain's Closest Friend (University of Georgia Press, 2008); and The Civil War Letters of Joseph Hopkins Twichell: A Chaplain's Story (co-edited with Peter Messent, University of Georgia Press, 2006).

"We Shall Have Them with Us Always": The Ghosts of the Mark Twain House is published by The Paige Compositor Press, The Mark Twain House and Museum's new imprint. It retails for $14.95 and is available at the Mark Twain House Museum Store or via this link.

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Lauren Yarger with playwright Alfred Uhry at the Mark Twain House. Photo: Jacques Lamarre)

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