It's but a few steps from the front door of Mark Twain's house to the front door of Harriet Beecher Stowe's "cottage," an affectation in semantics, given its generous size. America's most famous abolitionist novelist was 63 years old when Sam and Olivia Clemens built their house next door. She was already famous; "Uncle Tom's Cabin" had been translated into more than 20 languages. Dozens of her other books remained in print.

As Mark Twain's house, its proportions and contents, so eloquently reflects the affection and vitality of the writer and his family, so does Harriet Beecher Stowe's house reflect the abstemious, Calvinistic convictions of its residents. Like Twain's house, Stowe's has been lovingly restored.

Both houses are open daily through Aug. 31 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. From fall through spring, the homes are closed on Monday; the hours for the rest of the week are 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m.

The combined admission fee to both homes is $6 for adults and $2.75 for children, 6 to 16.

The homes are located in the heart of Hartford, just a few blocks' walk west from downtown hotels and the Connecticut state capitol.

For more information, call (203) 525-9317.