The Gilded Age, A Tale of Today

Mark TWAIN (1835 - 1910) and Charles Dudley WARNER (1829 - 1900)

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. (Description by Wikipedia)

Genre(s): General Fiction, Satire

Language: English

Section Chapter Reader Time
Play 00 00 - Preface TriciaG
00:03:04
Play 01 01 - Chapter 1 TriciaG
00:22:38
Play 02 02 - Chapter 2 David Dwight
00:07:54
Play 03 03 - Chapter 3 David Dwight
00:09:51
Play 04 04 - Chapter 4 Charles RUHE
00:22:30
Play 05 05 - Chapter 5 Richard Kilmer
00:20:06
Play 06 06 - Chapter 6 Richard Kilmer
00:24:31
Play 07 07 - Chapter 7 Richard Kilmer
00:16:43
Play 08 08 - Chapter 8 Charles RUHE
00:18:52
Play 09 09 - Chapter 9 Charles RUHE
00:13:00
Play 10 10 - Chapter 10 Charles RUHE
00:18:51
Play 11 11 - Chapter 11 Charles RUHE
00:13:27
Play 12 12 - Chapter 12 airandwaters
00:16:50
Play 13 13 - Chapter 13 airandwaters
00:19:05
Play 14 14 - Chapter 14 airandwaters
00:14:11
Play 15 15 - Chapter 15 airandwaters
00:18:43
Play 16 16 - Chapter 16 samohtar
00:16:15
Play 17 17 - Chapter 17 Dee Wykoff
00:17:59
Play 18 18 - Chapter 18 John Kooz
00:18:17
Play 19 19 - Chapter 19 Michael Reuss
00:17:11
Play 20 20 - Chapter 20 Nicole Kay
00:14:55
Play 21 21 - Chapter 21 TriciaG
00:15:23
Play 22 22 - Chapter 22 TriciaG
00:19:37
Play 23 23 - Chapter 23 Richard Kilmer
00:06:15
Play 24 24 - Chapter 24 Richard Wallis
00:16:25
Play 25 25 - Chapter 25 Richard Wallis
00:09:43
Play 26 26 - Chapter 26 Richard Wallis
00:15:13
Play 27 27 - Chapter 27 Dee Wykoff
00:13:30
Play 28 28 - Chapter 28 Piper Hayes
00:22:09
Play 29 29 - Chapter 29 Floyd Wilde
00:16:20
Play 30 30 - Chapter 30 Richard Kilmer
00:06:56
Play 31 31 - Chapter 31 TriciaG
00:19:53
Play 32 32 - Chapter 32 Jillian T. Weiss
00:12:45
Play 33 33 - Chapter 33 Richard Kilmer
00:38:42
Play 34 34 - Chapter 34 Richard Kilmer
00:11:52
Play 35 35 - Chapter 35 Richard Wallis
00:11:33
Play 36 36 - Chapter 36 Richard Wallis
00:09:07
Play 37 37 - Chapter 37 Richard Wallis
00:06:55
Play 38 38 - Chapter 38 wvthcomp
00:17:39
Play 39 39 - Chapter 39 wvthcomp
00:12:48
Play 40 40 - Chapter 40 Piper Hayes
00:14:21
Play 41 41 - Chapter 41 Piper Hayes
00:17:47
Play 42 42 - Chapter 42 Piper Hayes
00:33:46
Play 43 43 - Chapter 43 Kenneth Sergeant Gaghan
00:11:47
Play 44 44 - Chapter 44 Kenneth Sergeant Gaghan
00:16:06
Play 45 45 - Chapter 45 Tom Lennon
00:25:12
Play 46 46 - Chapter 46 Tom Lennon
00:21:04
Play 47 47 - Chapter 47 Richard Kilmer
00:15:22
Play 48 48 - Chapter 48 Richard Kilmer
00:15:16
Play 49 49 - Chapter 49 Michael Reuss
00:16:14
Play 50 50 - Chapter 50 Kalynda
00:16:58
Play 51 51 - Chapter 51 Kalynda
00:12:57
Play 52 52 - Chapter 52 Lisa Meyers
00:03:53
Play 53 53 - Chapter 53 Lisa Meyers
00:11:51
Play 54 54 - Chapter 54 Dee Wykoff
00:20:00
Play 55 55 - Chapter 55 Michael Reuss
00:18:09
Play 56 56 - Chapter 56 Michael Reuss
00:17:17
Play 57 57 - Chapter 57 jennm
00:13:43
Play 58 58 - Chapter 58 TriciaG
00:17:15
Play 59 59 - Chapter 59 Piper Hayes
00:26:09
Play 60 60 - Chapter 60 Michael Reuss
00:16:22
Play 61 61 - Chapter 61 Michael Reuss
00:13:13
Play 62 62 - Chapter 62 Michael Reuss
00:11:16
Play 63 63 - Chapter 63 Michael Reuss
00:14:43