Thursday, April 3, 2014

Mark Twain's Octagonal Study

It has fascinated me since I found about it in a PBS special about him, which I have on videotape. It resides now on the campus of Elmira College. I talked about it briefly today, and found a link to send to a colleague, but I decided it was as good as a time as any to post it up here, with a bunch of pictures. Some of them are links to their sources, so click with abandon!

I would love to build this in my back yard!

 During the summer of 1874, Susan presented Twain with a study in the shape of a steam boat pilot’s house.  Twain wrote about the study to his friends Joe and Harmony Twitchell:
 - Susie Crane has built the loveliest study for me you ever saw.  It is octagonal, with a peaked roof, each octagon filled with a spacious window, and it sits perched in complete isolation on top of an elevation that commands leagues of valley and city and retreating ranges of distant hills. It is cozy nest, with just room in it  for a sofa and a table and three or four chairs and when the storms sweep down the remote valley and the lightening flashes above the hills beyond, and the rain beats on the roof over my head, imagine the luxury of it! It stands 500 feet above the valley and 2 ½ miles from it.

This is its original location, it seems.

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