Mark Twain: The Gilded Age

(3306 words)
  • Max Lester Loges (Lamar University )

The origin of The Gilded Age lies in a dinner party conversation between Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner about the deplorable state of contemporary American literature. Their wives challenged them to produce something better, and the two authors collaborated on a book whose title ultimately named the era that the book describes. The book satirizes the corrupt political and business practices of Post Civil War America and the features of the sentimental and melodramatic novels the authors found so irksome. For instance, recent historical events that had their parallels in The Gilded Age include the attempt of Kansas Senator William Pomeroy to purchase his Senate re-election, the Credit Mobilier Scandal, and the general …

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Loges, Max Lester. "The Gilded Age". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 26 September 2012
[, accessed 30 September 2016.]