Ten Days A Madwoman

Ten Days A Madwoman

The Daring Life and Turbulent Times of the Original "girl" Reporter Nellie Bly

Book - 2016
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Young Nellie Bly had ambitious goals, especially for a woman at the end of the nineteenth century, when the few female journalists were relegated to writing columns about cleaning or fashion. But fresh off a train from Pittsburgh, Nellie knew she was destined for more and pulled a major journalistic stunt that skyrocketed her to fame: feigning insanity, being committed to the notorious asylum on Blackwell's Island, and writing a shocking expos of the clinic's horrific treatment of its patients. The dead of night, New York City, 1887. Twenty-three-year-old Nellie Bly stares into a mirror, unblinking, eyes forced open as wide as possible. After she loses track of time, she moves away, reads an unnerving ghost story in dim gaslight, then returns to the mirror, eyes bulging, this time practicing deranged facial contortions. The purpose of this bizarre nocturnal ritual? To prepare herself to hoodwink the city s top doctors into deeming her incurably insane. To be committed to Roosevelt Island s infamous asylum. And, once there, to write and publish the most sensational expos of the clinic s horrific treatment of its patients. Nellie succeeded in her quest and skyrocketed to fame. Her inspiring career in stunt journalism that followed enthralled her readers as she drew attention to political corruption, poverty, and abuses of human rights. Leading an uncommonly full life, Nellie went on to do everything from circling the globe in a record seventy-two days and bringing home a pet monkey to marrying an aged millionaire and running his company upon his death.
Publisher: New York, NY : Penguin Publishing Group, 2016
ISBN: 9780803740174
Call Number: jB BLY
Characteristics: 136 p. : ill. ; 24 cm


From Library Staff

Nellie Bly, daring journalist and trailblazer for independent women, pulled a major journalistic stunt that skyrocketed her to fame: feigning insanity, being committed to the notorious asylum on Blackwell's Island, and writing a shocking exposé of the clinic's horrific treatment of its patients.

Nellie Bly pretended to be insane in order get admitted and report on the inhumane conditions of a New York City asylum in 1887.

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Dec 13, 2018

I liked this book. Goodman deftly re-creates the frenzy surrounding Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland's infamous race around the world in 1889. While the adventures of Bly, intrepid reporter for Joseph Pulitzer's The World, have survived and been embellished over the last century, genteel literary critic Bisland's story has sadly fallen by the wayside. Goodman corrects that historical omission by interweaving both their journeys as the two women set out in opposite directions, equally committed to the idea of achieving the record for the fastest trip around the world. Inspired by Jules Verne's fantastical Around the World in 80 Days, Bly confidently expected to top the fictional feat of Phileas Fogg. Determined not to be outdone by Pulitzer, Cosmopolitan magazine commissioned Bisland, who set out one day later, to race against both Bly and time in an effort to cross the figurative finish line first. As a riveted world watched, these two women galloped around the globe via fortitude and an array of both modern and old-style transportation. Urge armchair travelers to hop on board as Nellie and Liz strike a blow for both feminism and the burgeoning Victorian travel industry.


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