Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Mark Twain Celebrates 100th Anniversary of Author's Death

“I came in with Halley's Comet in 1835,” Mark Twain wrote in 1909. “It is coming again next year, and I expect to go out with it. The Almighty has said, no doubt: ‘Now here are these two unaccountable freaks; they came in together, they must go out together.’”

And with this uncanny prediction, Samuel L. Clemens, a.k.a. Mark Twain, indeed died in the year of that rare occurrence on April 21, 1910. One hundred years later, The Mark Twain House & Museum and The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc., will recognize Twain’s role as one of our nation’s foremost literary icons, his incredible legacy as a witty and insightful social commentator, and his ongoing influence on American culture with a 2010 Centennial Celebration of unique events throughout the year. Twain wrote such American classics as "Adventures of Huck Finn," "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer," 'The Prince and the Pauper,' and 'A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court,' among others, while living in Hartford.

The nearly 30 other events include an Adventures of Huckleberry Finn anniversary musical celebration (Feb. 18); the world premiere of a a new adaptation of "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" at Hartford Stage (April 1); participation in The Big Read, a collaboration with the Hartford Public Library (April though June); a Clemens Lecture by author Wally Lamb (April 7), a Victorian séance with a special cake created by Charm City Bakery (as seen on Food Networks’s Ace of Cakes) (April 21); a Tom Sawyer Day at the museum (June 12) and much more.

Visit the Mark Twain House & Museum website, http://www.marktwainhouse.org/, for updates. Unless otherwise specified, call 860-280-3130 for tickets.

Here's what is happening this month:

The House That Mark Built: The Architecture of The Mark Twain House
The Mark Twain House & Museum
Through March 22

Learn more about the Gothic home where Twain wrote some of his most famous works, including Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. The exhibition offers a look at Mark Twain’s home’s bricks, mortars and gadgetry – and even provides a place for kids to try their hand at some building of their own. Visitors will get a chance to see some of the original building materials used by the builders, including the elaborate exterior wood carvings, slate from the roof, and samples of the brick.

The exhibition is sponsored by United Technologies Corp. The Edward C. and Ann T. Roberts Foundation is the sponsor of the museum’s 2010 exhibitions. The Hartford is the Museum’s Centennial Sponsor. Open during regular museum hours. Exhibit included with admission.

Inaugural Meeting of The Nook Farm Book Club
Thursday, Feb. 4
5 to 6:30 pm
The Mark Twain House & Museum

The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center and The Mark Twain House & Museum are partnering on a book club to consider all things Twain and Stowe and the topics that had the Nook Farm neighborhood buzzing during their era: politics, social issues, humor, adventure, romance and literature. Meetings will be held the first Thursday of each month. The inaugural book selection is Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Supported in part by a grant from the Connecticut Humanities Council.

Saturday, Feb. 13
Exhibition Opening at The Mark Twain House & Museum
through January 2011

Legacy will examine the enduring and evolving legacy of Mark Twain and his work. It will explore how Twain’s persona, and the public’s perception of him and his works, has both changed and remained constant over the years. Visitors will be encouraged to record their own thoughts about Mark Twain and his current relevance in guest books that will become part of the museum’s archives. Sponsored by The Edward C. and Ann T. Roberts Foundation and the George A. & Grace L. Long Foundation, Bank of America and Mr. Alan Parker, Co-Trustees.
Open during regular museum hours. Exhibit included with admission

Long Distance Romance: The Love Lettersof Sam and Olivia Clemens
Saturday, Feb. 13
7:30 pm.
The Mark Twain House & Museum

Twain and his bride, Livy, had a lifelong love affair, raised several children, and even worked together editing his famous novels. Hear their passionate story through their love letters as interpreted by longtime Mark Twain portrayer John Pogson and actress Lisa Steier. The event will include a champagne and chocolate reception. Tickets are $35 ($30 for members) and can be purchased by phone at 860-280-3130.

125th Anniversary Celebration of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Featuring The Ebony Hillbillies
Thursday, February 18
7:30 pm.
The Mark Twain House & Museum

Millions of children have read it for the adventures, millions of adults have read it for the laugh-out-loud humor and critical social commentary about an important time in race relations. Celebrate the 125th anniversary of "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" with an evening of music featuring The Ebony Hillbillies, one of America’s premier all-black string bands. The HartBeat Ensemble, a local theater troupe, will perform passages from the book.
Tickets are $32 ($27 for members) and can be purchased by calling 860-280-3130.

Free Hartford Day
Saturday, Feb. 20
9:30 am to 5:30 pm.
The Mark Twain House & Museum

In honor of the author’s deep affection for Hartford, and as part of The Mark Twain House & Museum’s 2010 Centennial Celebration, residents of the city have a rare chance to visit at no charge the house where the great author lived. Free Hartford Day is made possible through the generosity of the museum’s Centennial Sponsor, The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. The Hartford, which is celebrating is Bicentennial this year, is making the gesture as a gift to the people of Hartford.

1 comment:

Gene said...

Thanks for the great list of activities celebrating Mark Twain this year. I'm adding your blog to the http://twaintoday.com/ website so that Twain fans can find out more about these events.

Gene aka Twaintoday

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

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