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  • Writer's pictureNina Lane

Where They Wrote - Mark Twain

From garden sheds to writing offices, where did famous historical authors like Mark Twain, Virginia Woolf, Emily Dickinson, Roald Dahl, and all our classic favorite writers pen their books?

Let's find out in this first post of our new WHERE THEY WROTE series!

Mark Twain's Billiard Room (photo credit The Mark Twain House & Museum,

Mark Twain, who was known for being exceptionally fond of billiards, wrote in a third-floor room in his home in Hartford, Ct.

Though the room had a fancy desk, Twain used the billiards table to spread out drafts of his manuscripts for editing. During a tour of the house, Gavin Hurley at The Writing Cooperative, learned that Twain was easily distracted and therefore didn't write at the large desk in the center of the room. Instead, he wrote on the smaller, simpler desk facing the wall so that he could avoid "visual temptation" and work more efficiently.

The wooden cubbies along the wall, Hurley writes, held the drafts of Twain's books. When he was tired of working on one book, he would return it to a slot on the shelf and take out another, thereby streamlining both his workflow and his productivity.

Twain's Study credit: The Center for Mark Twain Studies

Twain also wrote in a private octogonal study on his sister's farm in Elmira, NY, that is now located on the Elmira College campus.

He wrote many parts of his most famous novels here, including The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.


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