Cindy Lovell

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Cindy Lovell
Cindy Lovell, Ph.D.
Cindy Louise Pletcher

(1956-05-06) May 6, 1956 (age 65)
Alma materStetson University (BA, MA) and The University of Iowa (Ph.D.)
EmployerEpic Flight Academy
Known forEducation, Writing, Mark Twain
Notable work
Mark Twain: Words & Music, Orthophonic Joy: The 1927 Bristol Sessions Revisited, and Linguistics for K-12 Classroom Application
Awards2010 Hannibal NAACP Martin Luther King, Jr. Award, 2011 Hannibal Area Chamber of Commerce Civic Contributor Award, 2012 Missouri Governor's Tourism Ambassador Award, 2012 Hannibal Area Chamber of Commerce Community Betterment Award, 2013 Awarded Key to the City of Hannibal[1][2], 2021 University of South Florida College of Education Excellence in Undergraduate Education Award[3]

Cindy Lovell (born 1956) is an American educator and writer.


Cindy Lovell was born in Altoona, Pennsylvania. She graduated from Stetson University with a BA and MA in Elementary Education and from The University of Iowa with a Ph.D. in Education. She has two children, Angela Lovell and Adam Lovell. She is known for her work in support of Mark Twain's legacy.[4][5]


Lovell has taught elementary school and has held tenured positions at Stetson University and Quincy University. She is the only person to have served as executive director for both the Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum in Hannibal, Missouri and the Mark Twain House & Museum in Hartford, Connecticut.[6][7] In Hannibal, Lovell oversaw the restoration of the Becky Thatcher House, established the quadrennial Clemens Conference, and facilitated numerous other projects.[8][9][10] In Hartford, she oversaw the restoration of the famed mahogany suite guest quarters in the Clemens home, established the Mark Twain American Voice in Literature Award with trustee and author David Baldacci,[11] and promoted the Mark Twain Commemorative Coin Act sales, which she worked to have enacted into law during her time in Hannibal.[12][13][14][15][16][17] Currently, Lovell is the director of education at Epic Flight Academy in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. She is an adjunct professor teaching education courses for the University of South Florida[18][19] and a Mark Twain course for Quincy University.[20] Lovell also served as events coordinator for the city of Hannibal during its bicentennial year in 2019[21][22] and is a member of the steering committee for the American Writers Museum.[23]


Lovell wrote the narrative tracks and served as co-executive producer with Carl Jackson of Mark Twain: Words & Music,[24] a double album benefit for the Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum.[25][26] Her narratives were performed by Jimmy Buffett, Clint Eastwood, Garrison Keillor, and Angela Lovell. Brad Paisley, Emmylou Harris, and others recorded the musical tracks. She also wrote the narrative tracks for Orthophonic Joy: The 1927 Bristol Sessions Revisited,[27] another double album project with Jackson, which was a benefit for the Birthplace of Country Music Museum in Bristol, Tennessee.[28] Lovell's narrative tracks were performed by Eddie Stubbs.[29][30] Singers on the project included Dolly Parton, Keb' Mo', Marty Stuart, and others.

Lovell has been a contributor to HuffPost[31] and other publications, such as Mensa Research Journal[32] and Florida Reading Quarterly.[33][34] She contributed chapters to Reading in 2010: A Comprehensive Review of a Changing Field,[35] Mark Twain and Youth: Studies in His Life and Writings,[36] and is a co-editor and author of Preparing the Way: Teaching ELs in the PreK-12 Classroom.[37] She also co-authored Linguistics for K-12 Classroom Application with Jane Govoni.[38][39] Lovell has also authored two children's novel, Rachel Mason Hears the Sound[40] and Not This Sunday.[41] She co-authored Down the Mississippi with CNN iReporter Neal Moore.[42][43][44]

Lovell has lectured widely on the subject of Mark Twain at a number of venues such as Oxford University,[45] Kensal Rise Library,[46] and the National Steinbeck Center.[47] She is an annual speaker on the American Queen steamboat's Mark Twain cruise[48] and has lectured at numerous educational conferences and symposia.[49][50][51]


Lovell appeared in Holbrook/Twain: An American Odyssey, a documentary about Hal Holbrook's career performing as Mark Twain, directed by Scott Teems[52][53] and Interpreting Twain, a documentary short directed by Paul Cotter.[54] Interviews with Lovell have appeared on C-SPAN[55] and CNN[56] and in The New York Times,[57] The New Yorker,[58] Smithsonian Magazine,[59] and other publications.[60] Journalist Bob Edwards interviewed Lovell for his show on SiriusXM.[61] Jim Trelease interviewed Lovell for The Read-Aloud Handbook.[62]

First photo of Sam Clemens's cave signature

Discovery of Clemens Signature in Mark Twain Cave[edit]

Lovell made news around the world when she discovered the long-sought boyhood signature of Samuel Langhorne Clemens on July 26, 2019 inside the Mark Twain Cave in Hannibal, Missouri where Clemens lived from the age of 4 to 17.[63] She had looked for the signature for decades and discovered it during a special tour with fellow Twain scholars during the quadrennial Clemens Conference hosted by the Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum.[64][65][66][67][68] Lovell and cave owner Linda Coleberd did not announce the discovery until experts had the opportunity to examine it.[69][70] The signature was authenticated as belonging to Samuel Clemens by Twain scholars Alan Gribben and Kevin Mac Donnell after comparing signatures of Sam Clemens and his siblings from the time period the Clemens family lived in Hannibal.[71]

Lovell's first significant Twain discovery came during a visit to the Bermuda National Trust when she found an unsigned manuscript detailing the first time Clemens witnessed a cricket match tucked inside a scrapbook. The essay had been published in The Strand after Twain's death, but the whereabouts of the original manuscript were unknown. The manuscript was later exhibited at Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art.[72][73]


  1. ^ Mark Twain Museum. "Awards and Honors". Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum. Retrieved 2019-10-24. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ Wes Mitchell (2013-02-19). "City Council". KHMO Radio.
  3. ^ "College of Education Staff, Faculty Members Recognized for 'Excellence in Undergraduate Education'". University of South Florida. Retrieved 2021-05-16. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ "Cindy Lovell Biographical Info".
  5. ^ Pat Grandjean (2013-07-11). "Final Say: Cindy Lovell of The Mark Twain House & Museum, Hartford". Connecticut Magazine.
  6. ^ Edward Husar (2013-01-11). "Lovell leaving Twain's boyhood home in Hannibal, taking job at Twain site in Connecticut". Quincy Herald-Whig.
  7. ^ Susan Dunne (2013-04-10). "Meet 'Twainiac' Cindy Lovell, New Director Of Mark Twain House". Hartford Courant.
  8. ^ Ryan Murray. "Mark Twain Museum Taking Steps to Preserve Grant's Drug Store". Mark Twain Museum. Retrieved 2019-10-23. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ Cindy Lovell (2017-08-17). "Mark Twain's Hannibal - The Clemens Conference". Mark Twain Museum.
  10. ^ Bill Shuler (2013-01-11). "Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum Director Leaving". KHMO Radio.
  11. ^ Cindy Lovell (2015-05-28). "Mark Twain American Voice in Literature Award". HuffPost.
  12. ^ "Obama signs bill to mint Mark Twain coins". Quincy Herald-Whig. 2012-12-06.
  13. ^ Susan Dunne (2016-12-01). "Mark Twain House Reopens Mahogany Suite". Hartford Courant.
  14. ^ U.S. Congress (2012-04-16). "Mark Twain Commemorative Coin Act". Government Publishing Office.
  15. ^ Carole Goldberg (2014-02-28). "Mark Twain House Comeback". Hartford Courant.
  16. ^ Mark Twain House. "2014 Annual Report". Mark Twain House & Museum.
  17. ^ Mark Twain House. "Annual Report FYE 2015" (PDF). Mark Twain House & Museum. Retrieved 2019-10-25. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  18. ^ University of South Florida. "SOE Adjunct Faculty". University of South Florida. Retrieved 2019-10-25. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  20. ^ Quincy University. "Cindy Lovell, Ph.D. Adjunct Professor of English". Quincy University. Retrieved 2019-10-25. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  21. ^ Harold Smith (2017-12-06). "Cindy Lovell to be Events Director for Hannibal Bicentennial". KHMO Radio.
  22. ^ Danny Henley (2017-12-06). "Familiar face returning as Hannibal's Bicentennial Director". Hannibal Courier-Post.
  23. ^ American Writers Museum. "Steering Committee". American Writers Museum. Retrieved 2019-10-25. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  24. ^ Mark Twain: Words & Music (Media notes). Mailboat Records. 2011-09-21. ASIN B005MR4P6Q.
  25. ^ Randy Lewis (2011-11-17). "In rotation: 'Mark Twain Words & Music'". Los Angeles Times.
  26. ^ Richard Thompson (2011-12-11). "Mark Twain – Words & Music". Bluegrass Today.
  27. ^ Orthophonic Joy: The 1927 Bristol Sessions Revisited (Media notes). Sony Legacy. 2015-05-12. ASIN B00VV4BXPK.
  28. ^ David McGee (2015-05-12). "Birthplace of Country Music Museum marks release of 'Orthophonic Joy'". Bristol Herald Courier.
  29. ^ Gary Hayes (2015-05-27). "News About Sony's Orthophonic Joy Album". Gary Hayes Country.
  30. ^ Net Radio Dogs Road Show (2015-06-11). "Cindy Lovell from Orthophonic Joy discusses Carl Jackson, Mark Twain, and more". YouTube.
  31. ^ Cindy Lovell. "Cindy Lovell: Teaching and Twaining". HuffPost. Retrieved 2019-10-23. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  32. ^ Cindy Lovell. "Creative outlets". Mensa Research Journal. Retrieved 2019-10-24. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  33. ^ Cindy Lovell. "Poetry: Great Day for a Fire Drill". Florida Reading Quarterly. Retrieved 2019-10-24. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  34. ^ Cindy Lovell Oliver (2007-12-01). "Making Mark Twain Accessible: Teachers First, Then Students". Florida Reading Quarterly.
  35. ^ Cindy Lovell (2019-01-01). Reading in 2010: A Comprehensive Review of a Changing Field. Nova Science Publishing. ISBN 978-1608766598.
  36. ^ Cindy Lovell (2016-07-28). Mark Twain and Youth: Studies in His Life and Writings. Bloomsbury Academic. ISBN 9781474223126.
  37. ^ Jane M. Govoni and Cindy Lovell (2021). Preparing the Way: Teaching English Learners in the Pre-K – 12 Classroom (4th Ed.). Kendall Hunt. ISBN 9781792440830.
  38. ^ Jane M. Govoni and Cindy Lovell (2020). Linguistics for K-12 Classroom Application. Kendall Hunt. ISBN 9781792412950.
  39. ^ Office of Community Relations (2021-02-04). "QU Adjunct English Professor Co-Authors Book". Quincy University.
  40. ^ Cindy Lovell Oliver (2005-07-30). Rachel Mason Hears the Sound. N.L. Associates, Inc. ISBN 9781878347619.
  41. ^ Cindy Lovell (2007). Not This Sunday. N.L. Associates, Inc. ISBN 9781878347725.
  42. ^ Neal Moore and Cindy Lovell (2012). Down the Mississippi. Mark Twain Museum Press. ISBN 9780983716921.
  43. ^ Tammy Lynn Moore and Michael F. Shaughnessy (2008-01-01). "A Reflective Conversation with Cindy Lovell". Gifted Education International. 24: 52–57. doi:10.1177/026142940802400107.
  44. ^ Pivotal Foundation (2008-01-01). "Dr. Cindy Lovell". Pivotal Faces of Change.
  45. ^ Chris Gray (2015-12-10). "Rudyard Kipling tried to steal Mark Twain's pipe". Oxford Times.
  46. ^ Margaret Bailey. "Mark Twain Comes to Kensal Rise!". Kensal Rise Library.
  47. ^ Marc Cabrera (2010-09-02). "The Big Read: Monthlong event focuses on joy of reading "Tom Sawyer"". Monterey Herald.
  48. ^ American Queen Steamboat Co. (2018-09-16). "Mark Twain Voyage" (PDF). AQSC.
  49. ^ Chris Branam. "'Twainiac' addresses UA literacy event". Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Retrieved 2012-06-24. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  50. ^ Center for Mark Twain Studies. "Trouble Begins Lectures". Elmira College. Retrieved 2019-10-25. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  51. ^ Jonathan Bell (2014-01-07). "Mark Twain expert to lecture on author's visits to Bermuda". The Royal Gazette.
  52. ^ Scott Teems. "Holbrook/Twain: An American Odyssey". Holbrook/Twain. Retrieved 2019-10-23. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  53. ^ Trevor McDonald (2019-11-05). "Holbrook's Twain chronicled in documentary". Hannibal Courier-Post.
  54. ^ IMDB. "Interpreting Twain". IMDB. Retrieved 2019-10-23. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  55. ^ C-SPAN (2015-11-16). "Mark Twain's Hartford Home". C-SPAN.
  56. ^ Amanda Jackson (2019-09-26). "After decades of searching, Mark Twain's signature was found inside a famous cave". CNN.
  57. ^ Alexandra Alter (2017-01-20). "A Rediscovered Mark Twain Fairy Tale Is Coming Soon". The New York Times.
  58. ^ Michael Schulman (2015-09-15). "Youngest Ever". The New Yorker.
  59. ^ David Carkeet (April 2014). "How the Mississippi River Made Mark Twain… And Vice Versa". Smithsonian Magazine.
  60. ^ Stephen Chupaska (2014-10-13). "Twain museum director hopes Bill Murray sees this story". The Day.
  61. ^ "Mark Twain: Words & Music". XM Satellite Radio. 2011-10-31.
  62. ^ Jim Trelease (2013). The Read-Aloud Handbook. Penguin. ISBN 9780143121602. Retrieved 2019-10-24. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  63. ^ Cindy Lovell (2019-12-15). "Discovering the Clemens's Signature in the Mark Twain Cave". Mark Twain Journal.
  64. ^ Bermuda News (2019-09-26). "Twain Find By Scholar With Bermuda Ties". Bernews.
  65. ^ Amanda Blanco (2019-09-25). "After 20 years of searching, the former director of the Mark Twain House discovers Samuel Clemens' signature in a Missouri cave". Hartford Courant.
  66. ^ Mietspiegel (2019-09-27). "Junge Sam Clemens' Signatur gefunden auf Mark Twain-Höhle-Wand". Mietspiegel.
  67. ^ "Mark Twain enthusiasts discover Sam Clemens' sign on Cave wall". The Hindu. Associated Press. 2019-09-28.
  68. ^ AP (2014-03-01). "Young Sam Clemens' signature found on wall of Mark Twain Cave". The Japan Times.
  69. ^ Mark Twain Cave. "Clemens Signature Discovered". Mark Twain Cave. Retrieved 2019-09-24. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  70. ^ Mark Lane (2019-10-03). "Mark Twain was here -- boyhood signature found by Edgewater Twain expert". Daytona Beach News Journal.
  71. ^ Jim Salter (2019-09-27). "Sam Clemens' signature appears to be on Mark Twain Cave wall". Associated Press.
  72. ^ Simon de Bruxelles (2014-03-01). "Cricket, a poem and precious girls: Twain in his paradise before death…". The Times.
  73. ^ Jessie Moniz Hardy (2015-11-02). "Twain scholar to speak on American author". The Royal Gazette.

External links[edit]