Hat's off to you, Nellie Bly. My new hero.
For the sake of a story, she faked insanity and she got herself admitted into an insane asylum then wrote an exposé on the Blackwell's Island women's asylum in New York. Not knowing how, or if, she or anybody else would be able to get her out. And all this before women even had the right to vote. Blows my mind. Girls got guts.
The story was published in a series of articles for Joseph Pulitzer's New York Newspaper The World in the late 1800s (Yes, dude who the Pulitzer Prize is named after) and then later in novel form. I can't help but think about what an exciting time it must have been to read newspapers in New York. This must have been the golden age of journalism. Really, it's investigative journalism at it's best. Nellie Bly could teach a thing or two to all those reporters who now write crappy commentary reports on the latest episodes of the Kardashian's. Well written journalism like this is a hard thing to come by these days. Or maybe I'm just reading the wrong websites, I dunno?!?
The story is compelling, eye opening and horrifying all at the same time. The abuse of power and the conditions that these women suffered makes me think about how people who can do little for themselves are treated by others in society. What does that say for humanity? Has anything changed in the 21st century? It's a very thought provoking read. It's a must read.
Wow, I'm still amazed by the story. It will be one that haunts me for a long time.
She also wrote Around the World in Seventy-Two Day, also for The World, which wasinspired by Jules Verne Around the World in Eighty Days. I have never read Jules Verne in my life but I am definitely going to pick it up and then read Nellie Bly's account of her attempt to match it.