Navigation: Relaxing


"I have never taken any exercise, except sleeping and resting, and I never intend to take any. Exercise is loathsome."

Clemens considered himself a connoisseur of idleness, although he also managed to be both productive and active. In his later years, he often did his writing in bed, with pipe and cigar at hand; he even welcomed interviewers and photographers there. He enjoyed family vacations at fashionable resorts and spas at home and abroad, as well as more rustic stays at artists' colonies and encampments in the woods of New England.

He enjoyed hiking, but only his version of it: "the true charm of pedestrianism does not lie in the walking, or in the scenery, but in the talking." He was a confident swimmer: his secretary, Isabel Lyon, noted in the diary she kept during a 1908 visit to Bermuda that Clemens at age 72 "was as young and vigorous in his wide strokes as a youth would have been."

A Whispering Child A Whispering Child
[inscribed photograph, 1906; drawing from Harper's Weekly, 8 December 1908]
Working in Bed Working in Bed
[article in Woman's Home Companion, April 1906]
'Mark Twain in the Woods' "Mark Twain in the Woods"
[original clipping from the New York World, July 1901]
Vacationing in Bermuda Vacationing in Bermuda
[photographs, 1908]
'Lawn Whist' "Lawn Whist"
[manuscript, 1905]
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