Steampunk Lecture Mark Twain House and Museum

Alan Kitty is a Historical Interpreter and Impersonator who lectures on Mark Twain and the Nineteenth Century. His talks explore a variety of topics that feature Twain’s perspectives on his own times and ongoing influence on our own. Twain’s writing and performances are examined against the lush backdrop the evolution of the United States from frontier nation to global superpower. Particular attention is paid to the affect of events and the character of Victorian and Eduardian America on Twain’s writings and private views. Source material for these lectures includes Twain’s touring and dinner speeches, anecdotes letters, articles and Op Eds. Additional material may include archival news articles, period biographies and autobiographies. Some classes include an element of live performance for illustration purposes. Discussion is encouraged. A Q&A follows each session.


The lectures listed below are either available or scheduled at several continuing education centers, including Longboat Key Education Center and Ringling College OLLI. Check the catalogs offered by each for current offerings. Each lecture runs from 40 minutes to 5 hours, and can be divided into multiple sessions. We encourage requests for any listed topic as well as those not listed.

  • MARK TWAIN: A BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH
  • BORROWING MARK TWAIN: HOW TO BE FAMOUS WITHOUT HAVING TO GO THERE
  • PRESENTING SAM CLEMENS: The Comedy of Mark Twain and the Tragedy of Samuel L. Clemens
  • THE END OF THE FIRST INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION AND THE BEGINNINGS OF TWAIN
  • MARK TWAIN’S THEMES: An Examination of Twain’s Writing and Performing Processes and Major Themes
  • MARK TWAIN’S CHARACTERS: Painted from Life (in vivid rural color)
  • MARK TWAIN IN BUSINESS: The Idiot’s Guide to Chasing Rainbows
  • THE PLAYS OF MARK TWAIN
  • LIVING WITH MARK TWAIN: A Family’s-eye View of Samuel Clemens
  • ROOSEVELT PROGRESSIVISM ACCORDING TO MARK TWAIN