Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Mystery, Adam & Eve, Ghosts Highlight Month at Mark Twain House

Dr. Kerry Driscoll, right, the distinguished Mark Twain scholar and English professor at the University of St. Joseph in West Hartford, has made a study of Twain's 1895 visit to New Zealand its influence on the author's wildly contradictory attitudes toward Native Americans. 

In the course of her research she made some surprising discoveries in the Mark Twain House & Museum collections -- including the true story of a jade pendant from the jewelry box of Olivia Langdon Clemens, the author's wife.

On Wednesday, Feb. 13, Driscoll will speak at The Mark Twain House & Museum on "Mark Twain, the Maori, and the Mystery of Livy's Jade Pendant." Using Twain's letters and unpublished notebooks, she will reconstruct the hidden story of those five weeks in New Zealand. 

The free talk is part of The Mark Twain House & Museum's popular monthly series, "The Trouble Begins at 5:30." The evening starts in the Museum Center at 5:00 with a reception with wine, coffee and hors d'oeuvres, then convenes to the Lincoln Financial Auditorium at 5:30 for the lecture.
 Scot Haney, Kara Sundlun 
In a special event, the Mark Twain House & Museum will present The Diaries of Adam and Eve in a reading by Kara Sundlun and Scot Haney, hosts of TV's Better Connecticut." The event will take place on Valentine's Day, Feb. 14 at 7 pm. The hourlong program will followed by a champagne-and-chocolate reception in the museum's Hal Holbrook Hall. Tickets benefit The Mark Twain House & Museum and the Channel 3 Kids' Camp. $45 ($40 for Mark Twain House & Museum members): 860-280-3130.

Continued reports of ghostly apparitions, mysterious bangs, cigar smoke and other unexplained phenomena have led The Mark Twain House & Museum to reprise its popular Graveyard Shift Ghost Tours for a very limited two-day run on Feb. 22 and 23.

The Mark Twain House has been featured twice by Syfy Channel's popular Ghost Hunters (most recently in its 2012 Holiday Special) and once by Ghost Hunters Academy, and is soon to be featured on the Biography Channel's My Ghost Story.  Tour times are limited: 6, 7, 8 and 9 pm by reservation only. 860-280-3130.

Tickets are $20 for adults 17 and up; $16 for members of The Mark Twain House & Museum; and $13 for children 16 and under. Tours are not recommended for children under 10. 

The house and museum at 351 Farmington Ave. are open Monday through Saturday, 9:30 am to 5:30 pm and Sunday, noon to 5:30 pm: 860-247-0998;

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

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