Friday, May 24, 2013

What's Coming Up at the Mark Twain House?

The Mark Twain House -- The Clemens family on the porch, 1885. Credit: The Mark Twain House & Museum
Wednesday, June 5
A freed slave returns to Virginia at the onset of the Civil War to  spy on the Confederates in The Secrets of Mary Bowser, and the author of this combination of historical fact and ingenious speculation. Lois Leveen, will be on hand at a special 7 pm (note different time) edition of the Nook Farm Book Talks to tell all about it. The event is free, but registration is encouraged at or 860-522-9258, Ext. 317.

Saturday, June 8
Annual family-friendly Tom Sawyer Day -- this time with a medieval twist as "Tom Sawyer Day in King Arthur's Court." 10 am to 4 pm. The free event will include crafts and fun activities, magic with Joe Barney, a bouncy castle, medieval wildlife courtesy of the Connecticut Children's Museum, and even more magic with Daniel Greenwolf. Music will include troubadors such as Amy Gallatin and Stillwaters, The Donna Martin Duo, and the Horizon Blue Quartet. Discount tours of the Mark Twain House will be available at $10 for adults and seniors and $5 for children. And to top off the feudal splendor, Tom Sawyer and Becky Thatcher themselves will be visiting, courtesy of time travel, all the way from Hannibal, Missouri. Magical History Tour, as free buses transport visitors to another big celebration that day -- the Juneteenth Family Day at the Wadsworth Atheneum, run by the Amistad Center for Art and Culture. And our neighbor, the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, celebrates Stowe's 202nd birthday with horse-drawn carriage rides, Abraham Lincoln, Henry Ward Beecher and Harriet herself.

Sunday, June 9
Freelancer and wordsmith Theresa Sullivan Barger will lead a Sunday Afternoon Writers' Workshop at The Mark Twain House & Museum on "The Freelancer's Life." The session, part of the museum's Writing at the Mark Twain House program, will run from 1 to 4 pm. Tuition is $40; call 860-280-3130 to register. The session is limited to 18. so early registration is encouraged. Workshops are open to all level of experience.

Wednesday, June 12
A fresh look at the way Twain is remembered through his homes as scholar Hilary Iris Lowe speaks on "Mark Twain's Homes & Literary Tourism."  Lowe is the author of the book of the same name, which untangles the complicated ways that Samuel L. Clemens's homes, now mainly museums, have come to tell the stories that they do. Her lecture is part of the museum's series "The Trouble Begins at 5:30," which is free and preceded by a wine-and-hors d'oeuvres reception at 5 pm. A booksigning will follow the event.

The house and museum at 351 Farmington Ave. are open Monday through Saturday, 9:30 am to 5:30 pm and Sunday, noonto 5:30 pm. For more information, call 860-247-0998 or visit

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

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