Monday, June 25, 2012

Musings: Ten Days in a Mad-House

 It's hard to resist a title like that, isn't it?!  I certainly couldn't.  I listened to an excellent Librivox recording of intrepid Victorian undercover female journalist Nellie Bly's book on her time spent at the Women's Lunatic Asylum on Blackwell's Island in New York City.  Wow.  It was really eye-opening.  And Bly didn't stop there - she went on to travel the world in just 72 days (take that, Jules Verne!) the next year, and soon settled down to marriage with a millionaire industrialist 40 years her senior.  Oh, and registered a few patents in her own name.  Ain't no thang.

The woman was fantastic!  And Ten Days in a Mad-House was a good read, too (not FUN, but wow).  I highly recommend it!

If you'd like to hear more of my detailed thoughts, they are at the Project Gutenberg Project blog.


This is just such a hilarious caption I couldn't resist.


16 comments:

  1. OH! I want to know more!!

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    1. Haha, yay! You should read her.

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  2. I've read about her on Wikipedia, but I haven't actually gone to the source material. That picture is fantastic though.

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    1. Yes, along with good hygiene and safe sex, we should all practice insanity.

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  3. Lol, yup I could read it

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    1. Even though it's non-fiction? ;-) Yay!

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  4. Sounds interesting. Victorian treatment of mental illness is a fascinating (and harrowing) subject.

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  5. Those first women journalists were a breed apart. They were the Gloria Steinems and Rachel Maddows of their day! Only even braver.

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    1. Yes, very impressive as far as investigatory journalists go, who often don't understand that "the world does not revolve around you and your do whatever it takes, ruin as many people's lives, so long as you can make a name for yourself as an investigatory journalist, no matter how many friends you lose or people you leave dead and bloodied along the way, just so long so you can make a name for yourself as an investigatory journalist, no matter how many friends you lose or people you leave dead and bloodied and dying along the way?" Oh, Zoolander!

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  6. Why did I think Nellie was a fictional person??

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    1. Well, Nellie Bly is a pen name, but the woman behind the name is REAL and awesome.

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  7. I added this to my wishlist just the other week, after seeing it mentioned in some other book I was reading (sadly I can no longer remember which). Off to PGP to read your review!

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    1. Ooh, I want to know what book you saw it referenced in, too!

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  8. I read her round the world book, which I suspect is going to make you v cranky in sections (esp when she reaches the subcontinent). But her tone is so forthright and hilarious, I've been meaning to read this one!

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    1. Ugh, I hate when people I love in one sector become horrible people in another.

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