The Pros and Cons of Working in Mark Twain's Personal Library

It's now open to the public. But there's no wifi.

By Diane Rommel

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12 January 2017

Mark Twain's private library — part of the rather spectacular Victorian home in Hartford, Connecticut, designed largely by his wife, Olivia — is now available as a sort of co-working space for writers willing to pony up $50 per session to soak in the atmosphere. Twain (nè Sam Clemons) later said some of his happiest years were spent in the house, where he wrote his master works: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

Ready to go? There are some cons to consider: 

  • No wifi, meaning that writers will be deprived of their favorite distraction (writing indignant political posts on Facebook) 
  • No pens, meaning that writers will be deprived of their second-favorite distraction (calculating on back of envelopes how big their advance would have to be to cancel out personal debt)
  • Three-hour time limit, meaning that writers will be deprived of their third-favorite distraction (staring out windows instead of doing work) 
  • Few electrical outlets, meaning that writers will be deprived of their fourth-favorite distraction (complaining about all the idiots in the café who commandeered the outlets)
  • And no beverages, depriving writers of the alcohol they need to survive. 


  • Being in a lovely environment while writing the best American novel since Huck Finn.

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