The Gilded Age, A Tale of Today cover

The Gilded Age, A Tale of Today

Mark Twain (1835-1910)

1. 00 Preface
2. 01 Chapter 1
3. 02 Chapter 2
4. 03 Chapter 3
5. 04 Chapter 4
6. 05 Chapter 5
7. 06 Chapter 6
8. 07 Chapter 7
9. 08 Chapter 8
10. 09 Chapter 9
11. 10 Chapter 10
12. 11 Chapter 11
13. 12 Chapter 12
14. 13 Chapter 13
15. 14 Chapter 14
16. 15 Chapter 15
17. 16 Chapter 16
18. 17 Chapter 17
19. 18 Chapter 18
20. 19 Chapter 19
21. 20 Chapter 20
22. 21 Chapter 21
23. 22 Chapter 22
24. 23 Chapter 23
25. 24 Chapter 24
26. 25 Chapter 25
27. 26 Chapter 26
28. 27 Chapter 27
29. 28 Chapter 28
30. 29 Chapter 29
31. 30 Chapter 30
32. 31 Chapter 31
33. 32 Chapter 32
34. 33 Chapter 33
35. 34 Chapter 34
36. 35 Chapter 35
37. 36 Chapter 36
38. 37 Chapter 37
39. 38 Chapter 38
40. 39 Chapter 39
41. 40 Chapter 40
42. 41 Chapter 41
43. 42 Chapter 42
44. 43 Chapter 43
45. 44 Chapter 44
46. 45 Chapter 45
47. 46 Chapter 46
48. 47 Chapter 47
49. 48 Chapter 48
50. 49 Chapter 49
51. 50 Chapter 50
52. 51 Chapter 51
53. 52 Chapter 52
54. 53 Chapter 53
55. 54 Chapter 54
56. 55 Chapter 55
57. 56 Chapter 56
58. 57 Chapter 57
59. 58 Chapter 58
60. 59 Chapter 59
61. 60 Chapter 60
62. 61 Chapter 61
63. 62 Chapter 62
64. 63 Chapter 63

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Genres

Summary

The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today is an 1873 novel by Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner that satirizes greed and political corruption in post-Civil War America. The term gilded age, commonly given to the era, comes from the title of this book. Twain and Warner got the name from Shakespeare's King John (1595): "To gild refined gold, to paint the lily... is wasteful and ridiculous excess." Gilding a lily, which is already beautiful and not in need of further adornment, is excessive and wasteful, characteristics of the age Twain and Warner wrote about in their novel. Another interpretation of the title, of course, is the contrast between an ideal "Golden Age," and a less worthy "Gilded Age," as gilding is only a thin layer of gold over baser metal, so the title now takes on a pejorative meaning as to the novel's time, events and people.Although not one of Twain's more well-known works, it has appeared in more than 100 editions since its original publication in 1873. Twain and Warner originally had planned to issue the novel with illustrations by Thomas Nast. The book is remarkable for two reasons–-it is the only novel Twain wrote with a collaborator, and its title very quickly became synonymous with graft, materialism, and corruption in public life.