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Old 03-11-2014, 01:51 AM   #1
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Twain, Mark & Warner, C.D.: The Gilded Age (Illustrated). v. 1, 10 March 2014

THE GILDED AGE
by Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens) (1835 – 1910)
and Charles Dudley Warner (1829 – 1900)

First published in 1873.
The text of this book is in the public domain world-wide, because the author died more than 100 years ago. The illustrations and introductory material are in the public domain in countries where copyright is “Life+70” or less.


Mark Twain is most noted for his novels, “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” (1876), and its sequel, “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” (1885), the latter often called “the Great American Novel.” Charles Dudley Warner is best known today for his collaboration on “The Gilded Age;” he also wrote many travel books and collections of essays and sketches.

“The book that named an era...”
This is Twain’s first novel, and the only one written with a collaborator. “The Gilded Age” satirizes greed and political corruption in post-Civil War America in the era now commonly referred to as the Gilded Age. The term actually comes from the title of this book. One interpretation of the title can be 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.

The novel concerns the efforts of a poor rural Tennessee family to become affluent by selling the land acquired by their patriarch, Silas “Si” Hawkins. The later part of the Hawkins story line focuses on their beautiful adopted daughter, Laura, who travels to Washington, D.C. to lobby for legislation of federal purchase of the land. A parallel story written by Warner tells of the efforts of two young upperclass men, Philip Sterling and Harry Brierly, to seek their fortunes through land speculation. The main action of the story takes place in Washington, D.C., and satirizes the greed, graft, and corruption of the governing class. Twain also lampoons the social pretensions of the newly rich. Although more than a century has passed since its first publication, the novel’s satirical observations of political and social life in Washington, D.C., are still seen as pertinent.

[The above adapted from Wikipedia.]

The comic presence of Colonel Sellers is the thread that weaves together all the story lines in this book. An irrepressible dreamer and schemer, he is always chasing a multi-million dollar fortune just over the horizon, with penury constantly nipping at his heels. After Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn, he is perhaps one of Twain’s best-known fictional characters, and was brought back in Twain’s long-running stage play “Colonel Sellers,” and again in the humorous novel, “The American Claimant” (1892). [The MobileRead illustrated epub edition is available here, the mobi is available here.]


A striking feature of the book is the use of chapter-head epigraphs, or “mottoes”, in forty-seven different languages, which may be considered as a satire on the practice of citing untranslated Latin, Greek, French, etc. These were compiled by noted philologist James Hammond Trumbull (1821 – 1897). Readers had to wait twenty-five years for enlightenment, when the 1899 “Uniform Edition” finally published Trumbull’s translations to the mysterious mottoes.

(Twain said, in “A Tramp Abroad”, “I have a prejudice against people who print things in a foreign language and add no translation. When I am the reader, and the author considers me able to do the translating myself, he pays me quite a nice compliment – but if he would do the translating for me I would try to get along without the compliment.”)

Although this is one of Twain’s lesser works, it is entertaining reading, with something for everyone – humor, satire, drama, adventure, romance, pathos, and a tragedy in the form of an illicit love affair ending in murder. Who could say no to all that?

------

An excerpt:
Spoiler:
“Squire” Hawkins got his title from being postmaster of Obedstown—not that the title properly belonged to the office, but because in those regions the chief citizens always must have titles of some sort, and so the usual courtesy had been extended to Hawkins. The mail was monthly, and sometimes amounted to as much as three or four letters at a single delivery. Even a rush like this did not fill up the postmaster’s whole month, though, and therefore he “kept store” in the intervals.

The Squire was contemplating the morning. It was balmy and tranquil, the vagrant breezes were laden with the odor of flowers, the murmur of bees was in the air, there was everywhere that suggestion of repose that summer woodlands bring to the senses, and the vague pleasurable melancholy that such a time and such surroundings inspire.

Presently the United States mail arrived, on horseback. There was but one letter, and it was for the postmaster. The long-legged youth who carried the mail tarried an hour to talk, for there was no hurry; and in a little while the male population of the village had assembled to help. As a general thing, they were dressed in homespun “jeans,” blue or yellow—there were no other varieties of it; all wore one suspender and sometimes two—yarn ones knitted at home—some wore vests, but few wore coats. Such coats and vests as did appear, however, were rather picturesque than otherwise, for they were made of tolerably fanciful patterns of calico—a fashion which prevails there to this day among those of the community who have tastes above the common level and are able to afford style. Every individual arrived with his hands in his pockets; a hand came out occasionally for a purpose, but it always went back again after service; and if it was the head that was served, just the cant that the dilapidated straw hat got by being uplifted and rooted under, was retained until the next call altered the inclination; many hats were present, but none were erect and no two were canted just alike. We are speaking impartially of men, youths and boys. And we are also speaking of these three estates when we say that every individual was either chewing natural leaf tobacco prepared on his own premises, or smoking the same in a corn-cob pipe. Few of the men wore whiskers; none wore moustaches; some had a thick jungle of hair under the chin and hiding the throat—the only pattern recognized there as being the correct thing in whiskers; but no part of any individual’s face had seen a razor for a week.

These neighbors stood a few moments looking at the mail carrier reflectively while he talked; but fatigue soon began to show itself, and one after another they climbed up and occupied the top rail of the fence, hump-shouldered and grave, like a company of buzzards assembled for supper and listening for the death-rattle.

------
Editorial notes:
Text is based on the Project Gutenberg ebook, but proofed and corrected against the 1922 Definitive Edition, resulting in some spelling and punctuation revision. Thanks to Jellby-magic, the missing chapter-head epigraphs have been restored. I formatted punctuation, diacritics, and italics; added scene breaks; and cross-linked chapter-head mottoes to their translations, end-notes to source paragraphs; chapter titles to html table of contents.

This epub includes all 212 first-edition illustrations (even the hard-to-find “table-top map” from chapter 27, sadly, in Gutenberg’s usual low resolution), plus the illustrations from the 1899 Uniform Edition. Also some introductory pieces, and of course, the appendix with the “Motto Translations.”

The “HiTech” version has many embedded unicode fonts for the epigraphs, also dropcaps, and illustrations in a slightly higher resolution. If your reader is shy about using unicode font features or wrapping text, the “LoTech” version uses images for the epigraphs, large initial caps, and smaller illustrations in jpeg format.

Multitudes of thanks to Jellby, Transcribing Maestro and Font-Spelunker Extraordinaire!

Thanks also to Doitsu, Doubleshuffle, dickloraine, mrmikel, skreutzer, and Tex2002ans, for their advice and encouragement.

A new title for the MobileRead Library -- I hope you enjoy the book. *Please* report any errors. Any feedback would be much appreciated.

========

EDIT: Uploaded version 2 of the "HiTech" version, with svg images to overcome unicode font-display problems in ADE-based readers.
Previous downloads 218.

If you had problems with the Asian and Indic fonts, I hope these will work better for you. Feedback is always welcome.
This work is in the Canadian public domain OR the copyright holder has given specific permission for distribution. It may still be under copyright in some countries. If you live outside Canada, check your country's copyright laws. If the book is under copyright in your country, do not download or redistribute this work.

To report a copyright violation you can contact us here.

Last edited by GrannyGrump; 03-22-2014 at 09:01 AM.
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Old 03-12-2014, 02:35 AM   #2
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Again - absolutely amazing work. Thank you so much.

(And I think I forgot to reply to your reply to my question about Life on the Mississippi: Thrilled you're doing it, whenever you may get around to it.)
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Old 03-12-2014, 04:33 PM   #3
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a quick thank you...looks great once again!
TnG
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Old 03-14-2014, 03:41 AM   #4
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Very impressive!
Thank you yet again.
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Old 03-14-2014, 06:44 AM   #5
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@Doubleshuffle, Tired"NGrumpy, SBT --- thank you all for the very kind words. This project could not have happened without Jellby's very generous collaboration!

I must note that Doitsu reported the RTL Asian and Indic language fonts are not working well in ADE. I am going to attempt this weekend, to make a MidTech () version with SVG Images (not svg text) for the RTL texts. I hope that will work out... With luck, I will upload those Monday my time.

Thanks again.
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Old 03-14-2014, 11:45 AM   #6
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RTL doesn't work in ADE, that's a known fact. I think Indic scripts worked fine when I tried in my reader, but that's ADE2-based, with ligature support, which is probably needed in this case.
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Old 03-19-2014, 01:01 PM   #7
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Thanks again, for your wonderfully made eBooks.

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Old 03-22-2014, 09:02 AM   #8
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Uploaded REVISED Volume 01 and Volume 02 HiTech, version 2.

Corrections for RTL and indic font problems ---
Having been advised and guided by Doitsu, I have added SVG images which should display instead of the problematical RTL fonts on ADE / ADE-based devices. The fonts themselves should display on non-ADE readers.

Also uploaded Volume 02 LoTech version 2, with new epigraph image for chapter 41, with correction of missing characters in the Arabic quote (font failure, *not* a fault in Jellby's transcription).

By the way, many of these epigraphs were corrected to quote the original sources, because the transcribers and typesetters for the Gilded Age did make mistakes. So you can read these knowing that you are enjoying more accurate mottoes than did the readers in Twain's day!
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Old 03-22-2014, 09:30 AM   #9
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Great job, gG, keep up the good work!
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Old 03-22-2014, 04:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Great job, gG, keep up the good work!
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Old 04-05-2014, 11:05 AM   #11
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Thank you!

Very fine work.

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Old 04-09-2014, 05:30 AM   #12
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Thank you all for your kind words, and thank you for downloading! I wish you very happy reading!
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