Mark Twain Lecture Series at Quarry Farm: “‘At the Farm’: Reliving Mark Twain’s 1884 Summer at Quarry Farm”
- The Barn at Quarry Farm
- 131 Crane Road
- Elmira, NY 14901
- November 7, 2018 to November 7, 2018
- Free and open to the public
As he did for many summers, Mark Twain packed up his family (including dogs and cats, and in this case, a bicycle) and left Hartford for an extended stay at Elmira’s Quarry Farm. Part of my current work-in-progress, a micro-biography of Twain in the year 1884, my presentation will let audiences relive his and his family’s experience that summer. Even though Twain wrote his friend Joe Twichell near the end of the stay that he had not accomplished anything of value during the summer, he actually had an interesting and productive summer: he read proof of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and made some important revisions; he began a sequel even before he published his novel, Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn Among the Indians; he became fully engaged in national politics during the presidential campaign; and he sat for the bust Karl Gerhardt made (twice) at Quarry Farm for the frontispiece of Huck Finn. Just as importantly, he engaged with his family, writing a short but charming personal memoir, “At the Farm,” with humorous and heartwarming anecdotes about his daughters. Living with Mark Twain day-by-day for this summer brings him and his family back to life and gives us a window into life at Quarry Farm, a place central to his work and his life.
Presented by John Bird, Emeritus Professor of English at Winthrop University. John is the author of Mark Twain and Metaphor, as well as a number of articles on Mark Twain. He is a past president of the Mark Twain Circle of America.