This biography of Elizabeth Cochrane, who made her mark in the history of news-writing under the pen name of Nellie Bly, is...

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THE AMAZING NELLIE BLY

This biography of Elizabeth Cochrane, who made her mark in the history of news-writing under the pen name of Nellie Bly, is as laudatory as the title implies and a disappointment to those in search of a deeper study of a woman who must have had more to her character than is presented here. Two juveniles about her were published recently and with these the events in her life became more familiar. In Pittsburgh in the 1880's she was hired by Madden of the Gazette for her spirited letter in defense of women's social rights. From them on it was a succession of fiery stories exposing other social sore spots and talking up taboos and these helped pave the wa for her decision to go to New York and almost literally starve Pulitzer out of his den so that he would hire her. The conditions of her first job for the World were fantastic: Nellie was to pretend she was crazy, gain entry to Blackwell's Island and write an expose of the horrors of insane asylums. This and her famous trip around the world (that beat Phineas Fogg's time) were the most startling links in a long chain of features that delved into politics, workers' causes, the slums, womens' rights and more. But as they are recounted here, with a smile and a salute, Nellie seems to have accomplished them all with equanimity and there is little sense of inner personality or her relationships with others. One doubts that the whole picture is given.

Pub Date: Oct. 9, 1956

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1956