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Ten Days in a Mad-House  By  cover art

Ten Days in a Mad-House

By: Nellie Bly
Narrated by: Laural Merlington
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Publisher's Summary

In 1887, Nellie Bly had herself committed to the notorious Blackwell's Island insane asylum in New York City with the goal of discovering what life was like for its patients. While there, she experienced firsthand the shocking abuse and neglect of its inmates, from inedible food to horrifyingly unsanitary conditions. Ten Days in a Mad-House is Bly's expose of the asylum.

Written for Joseph Pulitzer's New York World, Bly's account chronicles her 10 days at Blackwell's Island and, upon its publication, drew public attention to the abuse of the institutionalized and led to a grand jury investigation of the facility. Ten Days in a Mad-House established Bly as a pioneering female journalist and remains a classic of investigative reporting. This edition also includes two of Bly's shorter articles: "Trying to Be a Servant" and "Nellie Bly as a White Slave".

Public Domain (P)2011 Tantor
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about Ten Days in a Mad-House

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Laurel Merlington was the perfect voice to narrate

She was able to tell this story so well, I felt like I was listening to Nellie Bly herself. She made it interesting and easy to distinguish by giving different characters different times of voice and accents. The story was great too, I felt like I was there with Nellie as she endured hardship to help the people have a better life.

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Nellie Bly is an American hero!

From start to finish, I was engaged in this book. Nellie’s bravery and tenacity led to the uncovering of the despicable treatment of mental patients in 1880’s America. If not for her, I don’t believe the mental health sector would be what it is today!

I listened to this book in one sitting, and it was an incredible look at the treatment of those deemed “insane” on the smallest infractions. I think everyone should read or listen to this book!

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Investigative moxie

Excellent narration! Bly's 1887 undercover stint and subsequent reporting on conditions at a New York insane asylum created a sensation, and spurred a large-scale investigation of the facility.

Also includes 2 shorter pieces in which she investigates employment agencies for young women, and works at a paper box factory.

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Lots of time leading up to the asylum

I only wish she would have devoted more time to the asylum itself, rather than the drawn out process of duping everyone. The book is only 3 hours long and that first hour dragged a bit but liked it overall.

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Fascinating

This was an incredibly fascinating and sad story. It's a shame how those poor women were treated. This book made me want to dive deeper into Nellie Bly's life and find more of her work. I felt the story about her time in the asylum ended abruptly, but that was my only complaint. The narrator's voice was strangely soothing and she did a fantastic job changing voices for each character.

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Treatment never changes

Excellent, yet pitiful story. Written from so many years back, the tragedy of ourMental health system has NOT CHANGED!!! Deplorable conditions, no help to patients whatsoever. Totally unethical treatment of patients.Reader sounds way too upbeat for this topic.

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Great read, very heartbreaking

I can't believe I sat thru the whole book it was very heartbreaking and scary to realize how someone could be put in a situation like that at someone else's whim.

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Brave!

Nelly Bly may be one of the bravest women to ever live! Thank you for this inside look.

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A Truly Inspiring Heroine!

Nellie Bly's bravery threw open the medieval doors to the then barbaric world of psychiatric "treatment" facilities. Thank you for all your courageousness!

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Great Book

If you could sum up Ten Days in a Mad-House in three words, what would they be?

Courageous investigative reporting.

What did you like best about this story?

Being able to get the real story on how innocent people are illegally put away and mistreated by the very people who have taken an oath to care for mankind.

Which character – as performed by Laural Merlington – was your favorite?

Nelly Brown of course!!

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Yes, the torture of sick and not so sick human beings incarcerated by the health system and getting away with all of it.

Any additional comments?

Thank you for opening the eyes of the public with your Incredible and extremely brave trip to the Mad House.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Andy
  • 08-30-17

captivating and unnerving

a captivating story taking you into the asylum and also the late 19c American era. wonderful.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Peta
  • 05-17-15

One person can really make a difference

What an extraordinary woman who put her life at risk to save others and to force the world to take notice of the terrible treatment of people in mental health institutions.
This story to me is about selflessness, justice and human rights. People like Nellie Bly should be celebrated. I had come across her name via a post on Facebook on A Mighty Girl and I was intrigued to hear her story. It is so unbelievable to know that patients were treated so badly because they were mentally ill. These days the stigma is still strong bur the treatment of patients from my experience is respectful and collaborative with patients.
This book is clear and concise and straight to the point about what Nellie experienced and I would encourage others to listen to the story, she is an inspiring person and it shows the difference one person can make if they set their mind to it.

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  • Kate
  • 03-14-15

Fascinating

I really enjoyed this - only short but very brave story of a young girl putting herself into a dangerous situation to expose the plight of women in insane institutions in New York city in the 1800's. Easy to listen to, I would have liked it to be longer!