Mark Twain, Quotes, and Giveaway

Thank you!

Last week I co-hosted IWSG. What a wild and fun ride. I want to thank everyone for stopping by and extra thanks to all of you who signed up for my mailing list. In case you missed last week’s post, you can find it here.

Mark Twain’s House

One of my favorite activities and a great source of inspiration is visiting author’s homes. Several years ago I had the privilege of touring Mark Twain’s home in Hartford, Connecticut. I had been by it before, but wasn’t able to go inside since I had my dog. Miles and I think he should be allowed everywhere, however not everyone agrees. Seriously, who can say no to this face?

Laughing Miles

Anyway, I arranged to visit Twain’s house sans Miles. Was it worth it? Absolutely, but please don’t tell Miles.

I have always been a huge fan of Twain so I was quite curious to see the place where Samuel Clemens (Twain’s real name) worked on some of his most impressive works including The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Prince and The Pauper and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.

The outside of the house looks impressive.  Construction on the house began in August of 1873 and the family settled there in September of 1874.  The architect was Edward Tuckerman Potter and the structure is an example of Victorian Gothic Revival architecture.   The brickwork, the eaves and the gables makes the exterior look quite busy and at times it feels overwhelming to take in all the detail.

From the outside the house looks massive but it isn’t until I toured the house did I realize just how large.  It has 25 rooms, including seven bedrooms, seven bathrooms, an impressive grand hall, a large library, a glass conservatory, and a billiard room.  Sam worked in the billiard room and according to our tour guide he kept stuff on the pool table so he wouldn’t stop writing and play pool.  Apparently he was easily distracted and if the pool table was well kept and ready to play he would put down his pen.  In an effort to focus he kept odds and ends on the table so it would be an effort to clean the table to play pool.  Unfortunately no photographs are permitted inside the house.  However, if you are in the area I would suggest this tour!

The family resided in the house until 1891 when financial woes forced the family to live in Europe.  After they returned to America the family did not return to Hartford due to the death of their beloved daughter Susy in 1896.  Mrs. Clemens could not bear to live in the house with so many memories of her late daughter.  They sold the house in 1903.

Favorite Mark Twain Quotes:

“If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.”

“Classic’ – a book which people praise and don’t read.”

“Never put off till tomorrow what may be done day after tomorrow just as well.”

“Books are for people who wish they were somewhere else.”

“Sanity and happiness are an impossible combination.”

“Name the greatest of all inventors. Accident.”

TBMs giveaway 2

TBM’s Monthly E-Book Giveaway

Don’t forget to enter this month’s e-book giveaway. One winner will receive copies of five wonderful books by super cool authors.

Oct Covers

Here’s the Rafflecopter link and here’s the giveaway announcement post.

Do you have a favorite Mark Twain quote? I’d love to hear it.

About TBM

TB Markinson is an American who's recently returned to the US after a seven-year stint in the UK and Ireland. When she isn't writing, she's traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs in New England, or reading. Not necessarily in that order. Her novels have hit Amazon bestseller lists for lesbian fiction and lesbian romance. She cohosts the Lesbians Who Write Podcast ( with Clare Lydon. TB also runs I Heart Lesfic (, a place for authors and fans of lesfic to come together to celebrate lesbian fiction.
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27 Responses to Mark Twain, Quotes, and Giveaway

  1. Pat Hatt says:

    That is sure quite the house, wow. How rude not to let the pup in the first time haha

  2. kindlemom1 says:

    That is a gorgeous house! I would really love to visit it as well!

  3. Stunning house! I’d live there. Shame they didn’t get to stay there for more than a few years.

  4. cleemckenzie says:

    What an exciting visit. Just looking at that house makes me want to go inside. Sorry about Miles, but I’m sure you left him in good hands. And he had time to read. Maybe some of Twain’s work?

  5. I love the pic of Miles! I would never say no to him.
    I visited the Twain house when I was a kid and was really too young to appreciate it. I’d love to go again now and take more time to explore.

  6. What a house! I’d love to visit. I’ve never visited a classic author’s house before.

  7. That house is enormous! (I sure wouldn’t want to have to clean all those bathrooms!) How nest that you were able to visit it and see the place where Twain actually did some of his writing.

    I like a LOT of his quotes, but how about this one? “I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest bit of inconvenience from it.”

  8. UGH! That should be, “How NEAT that you were able…”

  9. Sounds like a great experience. Don’t worry I won’t tell Miles. 😉

  10. How intriguing to find out that Mark Twain didn’t have his own writing office but worked in the billiard room! His quotes always have a funny twist to them, don’t they? One I have remembered is: “Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.”

  11. Poor Miles :(. How could anyone refuse that face? Anyway, I really love those quotes, and I really need to re-read some Twain :).

  12. pattisj says:

    It’s good to see Miles again. 🙂

  13. Aw, what a pretty house. Not as pretty as Miles, of course 🙂 I love visiting artists’/writers’ etc. homes…

  14. Sherry Ellis says:

    I would have never imagined Twain living in such an extravagant house. Gorgeous place, though!

  15. I’ve always loved the look of that house! I’ve always wanted to tour it. I believe it’s haunted–it was on an episode of Ghost Hunters, I think. And somehow I think Twain would have approved of your doggie as a visitor!


  16. Elise Fallson says:

    What a fantastic house, I would have loved to visit it too, and those quotes are great!

  17. Wow, how cool that you got to see Mark Twain’s house! The outside of it alone looks so, so impressive. Really loving those quotes, too! The one about sanity and happiness really rings true for me, LOL.

    And aw, Miles is so precious. I wouldn’t be able to say no to that face, for sure!

  18. Ooh! Now I really want to go see it. Of course my first thought was, “Gosh, he was spoiled.” Can’t help it. How many writers end up living in a mansion? 😉

  19. mpax1 says:

    Sounds like Sam would be hanging out on social media if he had internet 🙂 I get being distracted. And I couldn’t say no to Miles.

  20. The Guat says:

    Duuuuuuuude those are some nice pics! I’ve never been…a must see destination for all writers I imagine. Miles and I will have to go another time 🙂 I bet you were definitely inspired after leaving that place! Thanks for the post and quotes. I like the one about truth and accidents. Good to hear from you buddy 🙂

  21. I went to the Mark Twain House when I was in elementary school. I haven’t been back since, but this post has made me curious. It isn’t too far away- so I will definitely be taking a trip. Love the quotes!

  22. Love those quotes. I’d love to see the house. I got to look in the windows of the Margaret Mitchell house. I got there after closing and only had one day in Atlanta 😦

    A guy brought his dog on the tour of Monticello this summer. The tour guide kept looking at him like he was the anti-Christ. I must admit, the dog made me nervous too. He was sniffing chair legs pretty hard…

  23. I love Mark Twain’s quotes! How awesome you got to visit the house, it looks spectacular!

  24. lexacain says:

    What an awesome house! Thanks so much for showing it. I loved the quotes and this one really made me laugh: “Never put off till tomorrow what may be done day after tomorrow just as well.” LOL! I wish I could be such a procrastinator, but I always feel too guilty.

  25. Pingback: Harriet Beecher Stowe, Plan Bea, Giveaway | Making My Mark

  26. My favorite Mark Twain quote: “The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.”

  27. I’m a big Mark Twain fan but have concentrated on his earlier period out West (like Twain, I spent a period of time in my younger years in Virginia City NV). I’ve been to Hannibal and to places he lived in New York, but never to Connecticut… In August, I reviewed this book: “Mark Twain and Orion Clemens: Brothers, Partners and Strangers.” I also see that you were at the Stowe house and I have an autographed copy of Nancy Koester’s book, “Harriet Beecher Stowe: A Spiritual Life” in my tbr pile.

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