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Eighty Days: Nellie Bly and Elizabeth…

Eighty Days: Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland's History-Making Race Around… (original 2013; edition 2013)

by Matthew Goodman

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Title:Eighty Days: Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland's History-Making Race Around the World
Authors:Matthew Goodman
Info:Ballantine Books (2013) Paperback, 450 pages
Collections:Read in 2012, Books That I Own, Your library
Tags:Non-Fiction, History, 1890 America, 1800's America, New York, New York City, Travel History, Journalists, Nellie Bly, Elizabeth Bisland

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Eighty Days: Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland's History-Making Race Around the World by Matthew Goodman (2013)


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Showing 1-5 of 65 (next | show all)
Jules Verne read about the ease of modern steam ship travel that took the strain out of world travel and ran on schedule. "Around the World in Eighty Days" is a great adventure story but even in its day was already history, as anybody rich could simply book a steamer trip from Italy to Ceylon and from there to Hong Kong/Yokohama, then to San Francisco and with the train across the US to pass from New York to Liverpool.

In November 1889. the New York World added a bit of a complication in sending a young woman reporter called Nellie Bly across the globe. Competition among the New York media meant that another newspaper sent its own female reporter called Elizabeth Bisland on the journey but in the opposite direction. The story's excitement suffers from the fact that both trips were rather uneventful. The two women were essentially like parcels on steamers whose location is tracked across the globe. The only minor mishaps occur during the transfers.

The book is well written, though I would have preferred if the author had let the women speak more themselves instead of summing up and commenting on them. Let the sources talk - these are reporters after all. While the two ladies traveled across the globe, their mode of transport did not allow them to discover it, most of the time was spent in first class on the most modern steam ships of their day. ( )
  jcbrunner | Jan 31, 2014 |
I hadn't heard of Nellie Bly's journey before reading this book, and certainly not of Elizabeth Bisland. Their adventures as they connect together a series of ocean voyages with a few train trips, going in opposite directions around the world, demonstrated the difficulties of travel as the world was just beginning to open up. The collection of letters, diaries and newspaper reports helps the reader to learn the character of these women. However, I found the book overly long and question whether so much detail is needed to tell this story. And I have to admit that I don't understand the adulation give by people to the accomplishment of stringing together a series of commercial tickets. ( )
  TerriBooks | Jan 24, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Interesting and very readable look at a mostly forgotten bit of history: two women's around-the-world trip to try to beat the time set in the Jules Verne novel, Around The World In Eighty Days. I've wanted to learn more about Nellie Bly for a long time, and Elizabeth Bisland's story was just as intriguing. Although at times the story seemed a little overly detailed, it was still fascinating to learn about these intrepid women and some tidbits of 19th century travel and history.
  LibraryLover23 | Jan 21, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I'd agree with the reviewer who would have loved a map of Nellie and Elizabeth's travels, but other than that, this was a fun read about a little-known aspect of history and an incredible journey by two strong, adventuresome women. Feminists and historians alike should enjoy this one. ( )
1 vote corglacier7 | Jan 1, 2014 |
dnf, newspaperwomen, nineteenth century history, Global travel ( )
  sprague06 | Dec 17, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0345527267, Hardcover)

Sample Pictures from Eighty Days

Picture One
A drawing of “the rival tourists” that appeared in Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper.

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Picture Two
Nellie Bly in her distinctive traveling outfit.

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On November 14, 1889, two young female journalists raced against one another, determined to outdo Jules Verne's fictional hero and circle the globe in less than 80 days. The dramatic race that ensued would span 28,000 miles, captivate the nation, and change both competitors' lives forever.… (more)

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