Mar 18, 2013
09:23 AM
Connecticut Today

Great Minds Think Alike?

Great Minds Think Alike?

You may well wonder what Mark Twain and Stephen King have in common.

Well, for one thing, both lived in Connecticut, Twain being a resident of Hartford from 1874 to 1891—where he wrote The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, among other works—and, at the end of his life, Redding. The Mark Twain House & Museum ( includes a restoration of the author's Hartford home. Born in Portland, Maine, King has spent most of his life in his home state—but early on, he resided for a time in Stratford, an experience that provided inspiration for one of his best-known horror novels. From his website

"I started to remember Stratford, Connecticut, where I had lived for a time as a kid. In Stratford there was a library where the adult section and the children's section was connected by a short corridor. I decided that the corridor was also a bridge, one across which every goat of a child must risk trip-trapping to become an adult. About six months later I thought of how such a story might be cast; how it might be possible to create a ricochet effect, interweaving the stories of children and the adults they become. Sometime in the summer of 1981 I realized that I had to write about the troll under the bridge or leave him--IT--forever."

King—author of other classic bone-chillers such as Carrie, The Stand and The Shining, as well as the upcoming Joyland (to be published in June)—may be our reigning "Master of the Macabre," but Twain also had a talent for scary yarns, like the spooky slave tale "The Golden Arm." His "A Ghost Story" features the following passage: "I slept profoundly, but how long I do not know. All at once I found myself awake, and filled with a shuddering expectancy. All was still. All but my own heart—I could hear it beat. Presently the bed-clothes began to slip away slowly toward the foot of the bed, as if some one were pulling them . . . "

To learn more about both authors, be sure to be at The Bushnell in Hartford at 8 p.m. July 18, when King will converse with WNPR radio personality (and host of "The Nose") Colin McEnroe. The event is presented by the Mark Twain House & Museum, and proceeds benefit the museum's continuing educational and preservation activities. Tickets go on sale today to museum members and on March 21 to the general public. Prices range from $25 to $75; VIP tickets—which include a reception with King and an autographed book—are $250. To make a reservation, call (860) 987-5900 or visit

Great Minds Think Alike?

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