By Sandy Cares
Most people know Samuel Langhorne Clemens by his famous pen name Mark Twain, author of literary classics such as The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. But did you know that Twain visited the stunning island of Bermuda a total of eight times in his lifetime? The famous writer left such an impression on the island that locals created various sit-by-me-statues of him and placed them around the island to honor him.
Twain was the type of person who liked to play billiards or sit on the veranda of the pink Princess Hotel watching the vessels in the harbor. He thought, “There are several “sights” in the Bermudas, of course, but they are easily avoided. This is a great advantage—one cannot have it in Europe. Bermuda is the right country for a jaded man to “loaf” in.”
Another attraction he enjoyed was the India Rubber Tree on Queen Street in Hamilton. Member of the fig family, the gigantic limbs, the large leaves and the remarkable rooting system may all give root as to why the author was so impressed by it.
Most Visited Spots
Built in 1652 as a private home, Twain also visited the famous Tom Moore’s Tavern, known back then as Walsingham House whose namesake, the Irish Poet Thomas Moore, had written some of his great verses under the resident calabash tree, which still stands in the property about 180 meters away from the building.
The Bermuda Aquarium ranked among his favorite places in Bermuda where he regarded the gaping grouper fish as politicians with their mouths wide open.
Twain would also visit the stunning Crystal Caves, which he described as “a brilliant lake of clear water under our feet, and all the roof overhead splendid with shining stalactites, thousands and thousands brown and pink and other tints.”
Twain’s Love for Bermuda
Little about Bermuda escaped Mark Twain’s notice and approval, as he once mused, “You go to heaven if you want to, I’d rather stay right here in Bermuda.”
In April of 1910, the famous author left Bermuda for the last time and died in New York a few days later. He came into the world with Halley’s Comet in 1835 and wanted to depart with the comet’s return in 1910. He got his wish. Halley’s Comet appeared the following month.
Join Sandy Cares this summer in Bermuda aboard Sirena and Insignia: