The purpose of this project is to celebrate Samuel L. Clemens' life in Redding, Connecticut by documenting and showcasing his time here in multiple formats both online and offline. Your donations & site sponsorships will help me dedicate more time to these projects and allow me to get them online sooner.

Friday, March 19

Susan B. Durkee to talk about Mark Twain’s Final Years in Connecticut

Sharon, CT: On Saturday, March 27th beginning at 9:30am, the Sharon Historical Society will hold its annual meeting, featuring a short business meeting and election of Trustees.

The meeting will be followed by a lecture by noted artist and amateur historian Susan B. Durkee, beginning at 10:30am.

A highlight of her talk, “Mark Twain’s Final Years in Connecticut” will be the presentation of excerpts from the documentary film, Dangerous Intimacy.

Dangerous Intimacy tells the story of how, shortly after his wife’s death in 1904, Mark Twain enjoyed the attentions of Isabel Lyon, his flirtatious – and calculating – secretary.


Dangerous Intimacy: The Untold Story of Mark Twain’s Final Years shows how Twain extricated himself from the lies, prejudice and self-delusion that almost turned him into an American Lear.

Thanks to Karen Lystra’s research, which liberates the author’s last years from a century of popular misunderstanding, we see how, late in life, this American icon discovered a deep kinship with his youngest child and experienced the interplay of love and pain that is one of the hallmarks of his work. Dangerous Intimacy was begun in February of 2007, and recently completed in the fall of 2009.

The film was produced by History Film Inc., a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1987 to create film and video works on cultural and historical subjects. Richard Altomonte, the organization’s founder, graduated from Boston University’s College of Communications with a B.S. in Filmmaking and has been a fundraiser, screenwriter and documentary producer/director for many years.

Many of the movie scenes were filmed at The Lobster Pot, the home and studio of Ms. Durkee, as well as in and around Redding, CT, and such spots as Twain’s property, “Stormfield.” Ms. Durkee may be seen in the film in the part of Jean, Twain’s daughter.

The annual meeting and lecture will take place at the Sharon Historical Society museum located at 18 Main Street in Sharon, just north of the intersection of Routes 4 and 41.

For more information call the Sharon Historical Society at (860) 364-5688 or email to Liz Shapiro at sharonhistoricalsociety@yahoo.com.