Why We Need More Heroines Like Nellie Bly

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ce4965a3-185e-4856-b803-cec3b492282fIt was 125 years ago that the original woman adventurer Nellie Bly made her epic journey around the world in 72 days. The spirited 25-year-old was trying to break Phileas Fogg’s record of circumnavigating the globe (in Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days) 220px-RoundTheWorldWithNellieBlybut in doing so she also broke with every convention of society during that era, a time when women were supposed to stay at home. Nellie Bly was the pen name for Elizabeth Jane Cochran, an investigative journalist who wrote for  the New York World newspaper and who ultimately became one of the most famous and renowned female figures in the Victorian era.

She was the inspiration for another journalist, Rosemary Brown, who recreated Bly’s expedition this year, traveling through France, Sri Lanka, Singapore, China, Japan, and the United States. You can read about Brown’s trip, which was registered with the Royal Geographic Society, on her blog. Brown lives in London with her husband and 19-year-old daughter, and a part of her mission was to help young women like her daughter appreciate the legacy left by women like Nellie Bly. Brown was quoted in the media as saying:

“My daughter, like a lot of girls her age, is sort of caught up with the Kardashians and Paris Hiltons of the world. That’s part of the reason I want to see Nellie Bly get put back on the map. She should know about Nellie and all of the things she accomplished for women. She should know about woman journalists and the important work that they do.”

We couldn’t agree more. Read more about Nellie Bly here.

Last modified: November 18, 2014

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