Saturday, October 3, 2015

Mark Twain in Elmira, NY: Olivia Langdon Clemens - Elmira College

Olivia Langdon Clemens
Elmira College
Elmira, NY

N 42° 05.833 W 076° 48.770

Short Description: 

A statue of Olivia Langdon Clemens the wife of author , novelist, and humorist Mark Twain is located on the campus of Elmira College east of Park Place in Elmira, NY.

Long Description:

A life size bronze statue of Olivia Langdon Clemens, a member of the Elmira College class of 1864, is a gift to Elmira College from the Class of 2008. The statue was created by Gary Weisman. Olivia Langdon . Clemens is wearing an elaborate and historically accurate period outfit with ruffled blouse with puffed out sleeves and a skin-tight waistcoat around her 20' corseted waist which billows out at the lower sides. She stands on a 5' high square stone base with her right hand by her side and her left hand hand extended toward the nearby statue of her husband, Samuel Langhorne Clemens better known as Mark Twain.

The ornate square stone base has relief images of her home in Elmira, the Mark Twain study on the campus of Elmira College, and the following inscriptions:




In 1870, Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known by his pen name Mark Twain, married an Elmira resident and Elmira College graduate Olivia Langdon. They lived in Hartford, CT and spent many summers with Olivia's sister, Susan Crane, at her mansion at Quarry Farm in Elmira where Twain wrote major portions of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876), A Tramp Abroad (1880), The Prince and the Pauper (1881), Life on the Mississippi (1883), Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1889), and several shorter works. During this time Olivia, called Livy, served as his editor, adviser, and travelling companion.

Together they had four children. After travelling around the world on tour with her husband they, for reasons of health, moved to Italy where Livy died in Florence in 1904 at 58 years of age. She is buried in a family plot near her husband in Woodlawn Cemetery in Elmira, NY.

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