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james nicoloro <[log in to unmask]>
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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Sat, 7 Jan 2012 13:47:38 -0500
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To All,
I've managed to find a great deal of what I would describe as "circumstantial history" for the life of AB Pain. I've read some of his work outside the "biography". Dwellars In Arcady give's a somewhat fictionalized account of his early life in Redding. But it seems to ring true. They bought the abandoned farmhouse and its 31 acres in his wife Dora's name in the summer of 1905.  Most of the illustrations in the book, were drawn, I believe, from photographs of the property taken by Paine or at his direction. I have found one of the photographs and it's a near perfect match. The illustrations were done by Thomas Fogarty, a well known, long time instructor at the Art Student League in New York.  I believe, they sold the farmhouse in 1917. I know "Markland", the property given to Paine by Twain in June 1907, remained in the family for many years after the sale of the farmhouse. Markland's single original building remains at the core of this now expanded private home. The farmhouse, a traditional saltbox, burned down in the early 70's. I have visited the family grave site (Umpawaug Cemetery, Redding Ct). Paine is there along with his wife and two of his three daughters. Redding was obviously very close to Paine's heart. Before the trees obscured Redding's panoramas, you would have seen part of his farm, about 3/4 of a mile away, and the remains of Stromfield. All from the top of the cemetery, where the family plot is located.  So here are the questions: Did he ever pen anything about his own life, accept within his fiction? Where did his papers find a home? And has anyone done more than a cursory look at his life?

James Nicoloro