Around the World in Seventy-Two Days
“She was part of the ‘stunt girl’ movement that was very important in the 1880s and 1890s as these big, mass-circulation yellow journalism papers came into the fore.” –Brooke Kroeger
Around the World in Seventy-Two Days (1890) is a travel narrative by American investigative journalist Nellie Bly. Proposed as a recreation of the journey undertaken by Phileas Fogg in Jules Verne’s Around the World in Eighty Days (1873), Bly’s journey was covered in Joseph Pulitzer’s popular newspaper the New York World, inspiring countless others to attempt to surpass her record. At the time, readers at home were encouraged to estimate the hour and day of Bly’s arrival, and a popular board game was released in commemoration of her undertaking.
Embarking from Hoboken, noted investigative journalist Nellie Bly began a voyage that would take her around the globe. Bringing only a change of clothes, money, and a small travel bag, Bly travelled by steamship and train through England, France—where she met Jules Verne—Italy, the Suez Canal, Ceylon, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Japan. Sending progress reports via telegraph, she made small reports back home while recording her experiences for publication upon her return. Despite several setbacks due to travel delays in Asia, Bly managed to beat her estimated arrival time by several days despite making unplanned detours, such as visiting a Chinese leper colony, along the way. Unbeknownst to Bly, her trip had inspired Cosmopolitan’s Elizabeth Brisland to make a similar circumnavigation beginning on the exact day, launching a series of copycat adventures by ambitious voyagers over the next few decades. Despite being surrounded by this air of popularity and competition, however, Bly took care to make her journey worthwhile, showcasing her skill as a reporter and true pioneer of investigative journalism.
With a beautifully designed cover and professionally typeset manuscript, this edition of Nellie Bly’s Around the World in Seventy-Two Days is a classic work of American travel literature reimagined for modern readers.