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Photo of the Mark Twain House exterior
The Mark Twain House, Hartford, built 1874

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The Mark Twain House
A Local Legacy

Can a house have a heart and soul? Can people love their house even if others think it's odd?

In 1871, writer Mark Twain moved to Hartford, Connecticut, to be closer to his publisher. He rented a home in Nook Farm, a thriving literary community at the western edge of Hartford. In 1873, Twain, whose real name was Samuel Langhorne Clemens, and his family purchased land on Farmington Avenue in Nook Farm and hired a New York City architect to design a house.

As the house was being built, the local newspaper noted that "it is one of the oddest looking buildings in the state ever designed for a dwelling, if not in the whole country."

Twain once said that the house "had a heart, and a soul. ... It was of us, and we were in its confidence and lived in its grace and in the peace of its benediction. We never came from an absence that its face did not light up and speak out its eloquent welcome -- and we could not enter unmoved."

Twain lived and worked in the house from 1874 to 1891. During this time he wrote The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. Do you think his unique house influenced his writing?

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