Mary Ann’s May Recommendation

Eighty Days: Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland’s History-Making Race Around the World by Matthew Goodman

eightydaysMary Ann says: In 1889 Nellie Bly pitched the idea to Joseph Pulitzer’s World newspaper that she could try to beat the record of Phileas Fogg, a fictional character in Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 days. She wore one traveling dress. A magazine, the Cosmopolitan, sensed the value of the publicity, copied the idea and sent Elizabeth Bisland in the opposite direction and called it a “race.”

The book contains fascinating information about life in 1889, such as ocean travel (harrowing), the status of women journalists, the exotic places they passed through, and Chinese workers on the Transcontinental Railroad.  Bly actually visited with Jules Verne on her way.

The endurance and tenacity of the two women were amazing.

3 Similar Reads

Falling Upwards: How We Took to the Air by Richard Holmes

Over the Edge of the World by Laurence Bergreen

Gertrude Bell: Queen of the Desert, Shaper of Nations by Georgina Howell


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