Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Ten Days in a Madhouse - Nellie Bly (audio)

I listened to Nellie Bly's Ten Days in a Madhouse and I thought it was very interesting. It was written in the late 1800's. Nellie Bly is the pen name of Elizabeth Jane Cochran. She went undercover to Blackwell's Island's Insane Asylum in New York, which is once known as Welfare Island and now known as Roosevelt Island. It is a total of 147 acres. According to the 2000 census, there are 9,520 residents. As it once was for an insane asylum, it is now a residential area.



Nellie went undercover to the women's insane asylum and told of the horrid truths of how the women got there are also how her and them were treated. She spoke of how there was no heat and how they were forced to take ice cold bath and had to share the same water and wore the same clothes for a month. It was horrible of the tales she spoke of. The food was rancid, and in small portions and so on. Most of the women were not crazy at all but simple women who may have yelled at someone or who may not have listened to a mere instruction. It amazes me that people thought this way back then without any real medical evaluations. People were treated different simply because they were upset or spoke aloud. Women were not thought to speak in such ways so if once they had that was it, they were sent to an crazy house!

All in all I gave 4/5 stars to Nellie Bly's book and I was happy at the end when she had a chance to confront all the brutal nurses and the non existent and horrible doctors!

1 comment:

Dick said...

For more on Nellie Bly and the Pauper Lunatic Asylum on (what was then called) Blackwell's Island, check out the TimeLine on the Roosevelt Island website,