Greetings! The Hartford house's version of The Trouble Begins -- at 5:30, as opposed to the time Clemens himself opened, and Elmira's wonderful series opens -- continues Wednesday night, January 13, with Perri Klass, author of an important new book on the dawning of public health efforts on behalf of children. I'll let the Mark Twain House's marketing folk tell you more:
Sam and Olivia Clemens' idyllic early years of marital happiness were shattered with the loss of their first child, Langdon, to diphtheria. Only one hundred years ago, even in the world’s wealthiest nations, children died in great numbers—of diarrhea, diphtheria and measles, of scarlet fever and meningitis. Culture was shaped by these deaths; diaries and letters recorded them, poets and writers wrote about and lamented them.
The near-conquest of infant and child mortality is one of our greatest human achievements. Perri Klass, MD pulls the story together for the first time, paying tribute to scientists, public health advocates, and groundbreaking women doctors who brought new scientific ideas about sanitation and vaccination to families.
For the first Trouble at Home program of 2021, the Mark Twain House is delighted to welcome Perri Klass to talk about her book, "A Good Time To Be Born: How Science and Public Health Gave Children a Future," Langdon Clemens, and how measles plays a role in both Twain’s fiction and his autobiography. Klass will be interviewed by Director of Collections Jodi DeBruyne on Wednesday, January 13th at 5:30pm.
FREE event. To register: https://marktwainhouse.org/event/trouble-at-home-perri-klasss
One of the highlights of the house's early efforts at virtual Troubles last summer was an interview with Dr. Pat Ober, the great historian of Clemens's and his family's medical life, and Dr. Klass will no doubt be deepening and broadening an important aspect of their times. The New York Times calls her book "an ambitious, elegant meditation on what the doctor-writer Perri Klass describes as one of our greatest human achievements: a reduction in child mortality. She begins by reminding us that 'we are the luckiest parents in history'; for the first time in human memory, early death of children is now the exception, not the norm. "
Steve Courtney, Curatorial Volunteer
The Mark Twain House & Museum
351 Farmington Avenue
Hartford, Connecticut 06105
Even though The Mark Twain House & Museum is temporarily closed to the public, we are still offering many online programs. Visit our website<https://marktwainhouse.org/> for virtual programming, and the most up-to-date information on all things Mark Twain House & Museum. If you are able, consider making a donation<https://ci.ovationtix.com/35359/store/donations/>.