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Kent_Rasmussen <[log in to unmask]>
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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 23 Jan 2012 01:06:46 -0500
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I somehow missed the campaign to save the Dollis Hill house, and that makes
the house's demolition doubly sad for me. The house had a historical
importance that far transcended Mark Twain's brief residence in it, so it
seems surprising that Londoners would allow it to be demolished. However, it
apparently sustained such severe fire damage during the 1990s that its
restoration would have been prohibitively expensive.

What makes me especially sad about the house's destruction is that I never
visited it, although I easily could have during the early 1970s. I first
learned about Mark Twain's residence there about twenty years ago. When I
checked the house's location on a map, I was chagrined to discover that it
was only one stop beyond my former subway stop on the old Bakerloo line (now
the Jubilee line, apparently). For six months, I lived within easy walking
distance of Dollis Hill, which to me was merely the name of another
undistinguished stop on the Bakerloo line. In those days, I read a lot about
London's history, but the subject is so immense that it is easy to overlook
interesting details.