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Spending a Rainy Day With Hartford’s Influential Literature

Hartford, CT The Mark Twain House and MuseumAfter a cool early spring, the weather is finally warming up. While the days are lovely, early-summer rains have begun to take over the afternoons and evenings, which makes it hard to find something to do.

With the worst of the pandemic lockdowns long behind us, it’s time to make up for lost time and enjoy the city around us once again—but where to go when the weather sends us right back inside?

We’ve all had some time for introspection and the opportunity to learn about social issues over the last few years. Here’s two recommendations to enrich your mind and awareness, inside, while learning the American history that you can only find in Hartford.

The Mark Twain House and Museum

This National Historic Landmark was the home of one of the United State’s greatest authors. Now converted into a museum, this 25-room house is the location where Mark Twain (real name Samuel Clemens) wrote some of his best works.

  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
  • The Prince and the Pauper
  • 'A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court

Were all penned here.

This beautifully-preserved example of picturesque gothic architecture hosts a beautiful glass conservatory, an impressive grand hall, and a grand library where Twain wrote some of the most important works of American literature which shape American thoughts about culture, class, and race relations to this day.

The museum offers visitors and fans the chance to learn about his life, his family, his home, and his legacy. With theater, auditorium, gallery, and rotating exhibition hall, there’s plenty to see and do—with a cafe in the same building to refuel after you finish reading.

Harriet Beecher Stowe Center

Hartford is home to not one, but two of the most important anti-slavery authors.

Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin, a novel of such reach that it “helped lay the groundwork for the Civil War.”

Stowe’s foundational protest novel continues to be celebrated in the same house where she lived and worked. In the twenty-first century, the Stowe Center offers tours designed to engage visitors with her history, and programs to inspire audiences to action toward modern social justice.

The Center highlights Stowe’s, and Hartford’s, place in history which continues to be relevant to Americans all over today.