Cover image obtained from www.audible.com

Cover image obtained from http://www.audible.com


Author: Nellie Bly

Type of Book: Audiobook – Unabridged

Narrator: Suzie Althens

Length: 2 hours, 50 minutes

Genre: Non-Fiction, History, Mental Health History, Memoirs

Release Date: June 1, 2015

Publisher: Audio Books by Mike Vendetti

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

* I received a free copy of this audiobook through AudioBookBlast dot com in exchange for an honest review.

In 1887 very little was known and even less was understood about the field of mental health. In fact, I’m not even sure if the term “mental health” was even in use in that historic time period.

This book is the true story of Nellie Bly. Nellie was an actress and one of the first female newspaper reporters. She was sent by the “New York World” newspaper to do an expose on how patients are treated in ‘modern day’ asylums.

Nellie uses her acting skills to have herself declared insane by four medical doctors. This feat should have been difficult, but it proves to be alarmingly easy.

Nellie convinces the doctors that not only is she insane, but that she is also homeless and destitute. Because of the combination of these attributes, Nellie finds herself admitted to The Blackwell’s Island Lunatic Asylum. This is where Nellie wanted to go to complete her assignment.

What Nellie discovers and subsequently writes about in the newspaper gives the public it’s first ever glimpse into what life inside an insane asylum is really like. Nellie exposes cruelty, bullying, inhumane conditions and the lack of any scientific testing measures.

As a direct result of Nellie’s covert investigation, a Grand Jury was assembled and many reforms were instituted as a direct result of the spotlight her expose placed on the deplorable conditions inside “insane” asylums.

The narrator of TEN DAYS IN A MADHOUSE has a wonderful voice. She is able to convey not only emotions, but also the state of mind of the characters. Her voice is refined and comes across as perfect for a pioneering female journalist during the late 1880s.

If you have never read or listened to the story of Nellie Bly before, I suggest you purchase this audiobook right away.

The story is fascinating and this was a major turning point in how mental health was perceived and how patients were treated. Without Nellie Bly’s investigative journalism many more people may have died and thousands more would have had to endure harsh treatment for many more years.

I rate this audiobook as 5 out of 5 stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


“As the doctor was about to leave the pavilion [at Bellevue Mental Hospital] Ms. Tilly Maird discovered that she was in an insane ward. She went to Dr. Field and asked him why she had been sent there. ‘Have you just found out you are in an insane asylum’ asked the doctor.
‘Yes, my friend said they were sending me to a convalescent ward to be treated for nervous debility from which I am suffering since my illness. I want to get out of this place immediately.’
‘Well, you won’t get out in a hurry,’ he said with a quick laugh.
‘If you know anything at all’ she responded, ‘You should be able to tell that I am perfectly sane. Why don’t you test me?’
‘We know all we want to on that score,’ said the doctor and he left the poor girl condemned to an insane asylum, probably for life, without giving her one feeble chance to prove her sanity. ”


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