Discovering Mark Twain

Discovering Mark Twain



Mark Twain is considered amongst many America scholars as the greatest writer America has ever produced. The Financial Times named him the father of American literature with his works having inspired authors and scholars across the world, and his literature defined a time in American’s history. In this article we will look at two places a literary fan can visit to learn more about the great author.

Mark Twain was born as Samuel Clemens in 1835 in Florida, Missouri before moving to his childhood home in Hannibal on the banks of the Mississippi River. When he was 11 his father died and Twain went to work at a local newspaper as a printer’s apprentice. During his life listed Twain as a riverboat pilot, journalist, lecturer, entrepreneur and inventor. During his time as a journalist he started using his pen name Mark Twain. In 1871 he moved to Hartford with his family. After years of writing and traveling Mark Twain died in 1910.

There are two places travelers can visit to learn much more about this great author. The first is The Mark Twain House and Museum in Hartford, CT. This is where Mark Twain lived between the years of 1874 and 1891 and is where he wrote his most famous works including The Adventures of Tom Sawyer  and Huckleberry Finn. The museum offers living history tours where actors playing members of Twain’s family and staff explain the history of the great author. The museum also holds several notably editions of his writings published during his lifetime.



Mark Twain’s childhood home in Hannibal, Missouri has several attractions on offer to literary lovers. These include a Mark Twain cave tour, which takes visitors around the famous caves from his stories and a riverboat tour up the Mississippi. Hannibal also has a museum in the childhood home of Mark Twain detailing his journey from Samuel Clemens to arguably America’s first celebrity Mark Twain. Displayed in the museum are many of Mark Twain’s personal belongings including his famous white jacket. Twain would only be photographed wearing a white jacket and the one at the museum is believed to be the only one left in existence.

Travel Tips

The nearest airport to The Mark Twain Museum and Home is Bradley International. According to the Mark Twain House website the airport is within ten minutes of the airport via car, and they recommend the airport’s hotel as a great place to stay. Flights arrive from all major US cities.

The nearest passenger plane airport to Hannibal is the City of Quincy Regional Airport. This airport only connects directly to St Louis International Airport Missouri. Quincy Airport is 27 miles from the Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum by car.

The quickest way to travel to these sites is by domestic airlines and to then rent a car at the airport. You can book a car in advance online. However, be aware that not all domestic flights are as cheap as they seem. It’s important to always read the fine print especially when it comes to budget domestic flights. When booking cheap flights, airport car parking specialists Parking4Less advise travellers in their blog post ‘Beware of the Cheap Flights Extra Costs’ that they should be wary of taxations like credit card fees and baggage allowances. With a bit of research you won’t have any surprises when you arrive at the check-in counter.

People travel for many reasons. For fans of literature experiencing the place where their heroes lived and created their masterpieces is one of the most exciting journeys they can make. If you are a fan of the great author we hope this article has inspired you to learn more about him and follow in his footsteps.


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