Submitted by scott on Wed, 08/21/2019 - 10:22

Attempting to economize, Sam Clemens moved his family from Hartford, Connecticut to Europe. First leg was to Geneva, Switzerland.

June 5 Friday – Sam, Livy, and Jean left Hartford for New York, where they met their other daughters and Sue Crane. The party stayed at the Murray Hill Hotel.

June 6 Saturday – At 5 a.m. the Clemenses sailed from New York for France on the Gascoigne. The family would not return for more than eight years and would never again live in Hartford.


From June 21 to June 27, 1891, Sam was in Annecy. From June 27 to July 27, 1891, he was at Aix-les-Bains.

The Wagner Opera festival opened in Bayreuth [Brooklyn Eagle, July 19, 1891 p.7]. This paper reported in a dispatch from London, “Bayreuth is overflowing with visitors, fully 50 per cent of them being Americans.” The Clemens party would arrive there on July 31 [July 10 to Hall]. The festival was held each year in the town of Wagner’s birth. Performances were given in a theater designed by Wagner in 1872, the Festspielhaus, with excellent acoustics.

This place is the village of Marienbad, Bohemia. It seems no very great distance from Annecy, in Haute-Savoie, to this place — you make it in less than thirty hours by these continental express trains — but the changes in the scenery are great; they are quite out of proportion to the distance covered.

They returned to Germany at the end of August, to Nuremberg, which he notes as the ‘city of exquisite glimpses,’ and to Heidelberg, where they had their old apartment of thirteen years before, Room 40 at the Schloss Hotel, with its wonderful prospect of wood and hill, and the haze-haunted valley of the Rhine. They remained less than a week in that beautiful place, and then were off for Switzerland, Lucerne, Brienz, Interlaken, finally resting at the Hotel Beau Rivage, Ouchy, Lausanne, on beautiful Lake Leman” [MTB 923]. (Editorial emphasis.)