Ten Days in a Mad-House by Nellie BlyIf you read this book without knowing anything of Nellie Bly except that she was a journalist, you might think it was a wonderful expose of the absolute horrors of bedlam in New York.
You might doubt whether really the food was so bad that apart from a crust or two and a bowl of cold tea, it was totally inedible - the bread had spiders baked into it. You might wonder if the nurses were all nasty, brutish and extremely violent. Question if the doctors were either having public affairs with their illiterate nursing assistants or just plain blind to the extreme violence, starvation and freezing conditions all around. You might even come to the conclusion, as I did that even if half (or perhaps a quarter) of all this was true then it was outrageous and perhaps fantastical. But it was a good bit of reporting, because she was taken seriously and conditions did change for the better, or were said to, which is the same thing in a book.
However, if you knew that Nellie Bly (the pseudonym of Elizabeth Cochran) was an investigative journalist with all that implies in the modern era, and had also written, Nellie Bly as a White Slave and Trying to be a Servant you might think she was a bit of a sensationalist reporter whod do anything for a laff and a buck and you wouldnt be far wrong. (These two pieces are available at the link above here Also some strange advertisements).
It was then my opinion of the book sunk down to a 3 star. Just a journalist assignment, pays the bills, keeps her in the public eye as a late 19thC celebrity. Just as she went off on a less-than-eighty-days jaunt around the world for a newspaper.
But then, it all changed when I read that these sensationalist titles were to gain the popular eye - Nellie Bly was a fierce feminist and exposer of the terrible attitudes and sometimes treatment women faced from the completely male-driven society of her time. Nellie Blys schtick extended to exposing prison conditions (which she also got improved somewhat), corruption in the State Legislature (you think anyone could affect political corruption more than temporarily?) So sensationalism was a means to an end. How could I give less than 5 stars to a woman who stood together with Emma Goldman and Susan B. Anthony. She should be better known now and an icon of her times and profession.
The book is free here.
Exclusive: 10 Days In A Madhouse Illustrated Reading of Nellie Bly's Book on Blackwell Insane Asylum
10 Days in a Madhouse
Description : The book comprised Nellie Bly's reportage for the New York World in while on an undercover assignment in which she feigned insanity to investigate reports of brutality and neglect at the Women's Lunatic Asylum on Blackwell's Island. Home page url. Download or read it online for free here: Download link multiple formats. Download mirrors: Mirror 1 Mirror 2 Mirror 3 Mirror 4. Diary of a Suicide by Wallace E. Baker - A.
Munro, Publisher, n. Try them and you will Find. WHY they need no breaking in, but feel easy at once. WHY they are liked by Ladies of full figure. WHY they do not break down over the hips, and WHY the celebrated French curved band prevents any wrinkling or stretching at the sides.
PRICE TWENTY-FIVE CENTS. Ten Days. In a. Mad-House. BY NELLIE BLY. At 10 o'clock we were given a cup of unsalted beef tea; at noon a bit of cold.
meaning of taking things for granted
Cast & Crew
Long before Christiane Amanpour, Frances Fitzgerald and Martha Gellhorn blazed a trail in courageous investigative journalism, a pioneering and intrepid writer and journalist whose pen name was Nellie Bly opened up a whole new field in what had previously been a strictly male domain. She was to chronicle her experiences and write a report that revealed everything that she went through in the asylum. It was not an easy decision to make and Nellie herself had doubts about the fact that once she was declared insane, her editors would hardly be in a position to get her out! Ten Days in a Madhouse received a sensational response. Nellie's account of the dehumanizing conditions inside the asylum, the prevailing attitudes towards mental illness, contemporary ideas of treatment and the brutality and neglect of the system that she experienced were an eye-opener for the authorities. The authorities were left red-faced when it was discovered that insanity could so easily be faked. However, her expose of the conditions inside the Lunatic Asylum for Women at Blackwell's Island prompted a grand jury investigation in which she was asked to testify.
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