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Mark Twain
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The Gilded Age 1869-1871
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Cover for The Gilded Age
Cover for The Gilded Age
Courtesy of the Center for Mark Twain Studies, Elmira College

The Gilded Age 1869-1871

At 34 years of age, Clemens entered into the longest and most faithful contract of his life: his marriage to Olivia Langdon Clemens. She was the daughter of a New York coal magnate, a member of the country’s wealthy elite. For a poor boy from the West, who had seen the world from bottom up, this was such high society that he often felt like “Little Sammy in Fairy Land.”

But winning Livy meant far more than a status change for Clemens. She would be partner, editor, and fellow traveler in success and failure for the next thirty-five years. She would also furnish him her family’s home in Elmira, New York, a place where he visited often and wrote many of his best-loved books.