Mark Twain and Harriet Beecher Stowe question

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Mark Twain and Harriet Beecher Stowe question

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Redigerat: apr 16, 2008, 10:07am

Here is something I have longed wondered.

Mark Twain is a Missouri author who lived in Connecticut for a while. Harriet Beecher Stowe is a Connecticut author who lived almost her whole life in New England.

So why isn't it Stowe's life and legacy that Nutmeggers love? Why is Stowe so much in the shadow of Twain here?

Edited to add the word almost.

apr 23, 2008, 8:06am

Because she's a woman, most likely.

Also, possibly because she's famous for just one book, while Twain is famous for dozens.

apr 23, 2008, 10:43am

Mark Twin did live in CT for over half his life, and almost all of his books were published when he lived there.

But I think it's probably generally because Twain wrote so much more. Everyone has heard of Uncle Tom's Cabin, but I would guess that many fewer people have read it than have read Tom Sawyer or Huck Finn.

apr 23, 2008, 12:52pm

It's also possible that Twain is a better artist.

Redigerat: apr 23, 2008, 3:16pm

#2 - LOL. I wonder if there might be some truth to that though.

#3 - For the record, Twain did NOT live more than half his life in Connecticut. He lived in CT for about 20 years. (More than half his life would be 38 years.) And I did double check this just to make sure I had my facts straight.

Missouri (born and lived 22 years, not all consecutively)
New York (where he's buried and lived about 12 years; not all consecutively)
He also lived in PA, LA, NV, CA, HI for various time periods.
He lived outside the U.S. for 9 years.

Thanks for all the responses. That definitely goes a long way to clearing this mystery up for me.

apr 23, 2008, 3:11pm

#3 - On an unrelated topic, how are you liking the Midwest? I know you said you were moving a while ago.

apr 23, 2008, 4:16pm

5, 6: I definitely don't know a lot about Twain, so I will admit that I checked Wikipedia very quickly for the dates. He moved his family to Hartford in 1871 and died in Redding in 1910, so while it doesn't account for his travels outside the country that would be 39 years in CT--there is no note of his living in other states during that time but obviously this is only Wikipedia. (I don't actually care for Twain myself, so Missouri can have him if they want him!)

The Midwest is really a mixed bag for me. I am happy enough here for now but I don't think it will ever feel like home. I miss New England's slightly more rugged individualism and hate giving even the littlest financial support to Chicago's machine politics. But I do like the city in general, so maybe after a few years I will become a populist myself (doubtful). ;)

apr 24, 2008, 8:19am

#7 - That's wikipedia for you. Twain left CT in 1890 and returned shortly before his death in 1910. He came back kind of on a fluke as I remember and nothing went well when he was living in Redding.
But I wasn't proposing a MO/CT battle for Twain. I was just interested in the Twain vs. Stowe feeling. Most states gravitate most strongly to historical figures that were born in that state, so it's unusual in that way.

Even though I'm from the Midwest, I've never been to Chicago (the New York City of the Midwest). But I've heard it's a bit atypical of the rest of the region.
Funny that the main thing I've had a hard time adjusting to here is the "rugged individualism" as you describe it. After eight years I'm beginning to see some value in it (for some things), but I'll never be able to really understand it. I guess we're very much a product of our environments.

maj 5, 2008, 6:08pm

Twain was a bit more prolific and certainly more entertaining. His short stories crack me up.