Ten Days in a Mad-House and Other Storiesby Nelly Bly
Ten Days in a Mad-House, by Nelly Bly, provides an insightful perspective into the way that the mentally ill were treated during the latter part of the 19th Century. Nellie's intrusion into this world is nothing short of frightening. The most shocking aspect of Bly's expose' isn't the way patients were treated, but rather the ease with which a moderately sane person
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While reading a book about Nellie Bly's and Elizabeth Bisland's respective trips around the world, my appetite was whetted to read some of Nellie's on writing. Imagine my delighted surprise, to find that "Ten Days in a Madhouse" was available on Nook Book! What a treat! Ms. Bly went undercover to investigate and expose the mistreament of the mental patients of a NY asylum. The "care" was unimaginably horrific. For example: Punishment options included isolation in a closet, while routine "assistance" included procedures such as pouring ice cold water continously over heads until the patient felt s/he was drowning. At least one patient's head was covered with a sheet, and she was held under water until she felt she would drown. Today we term these things torture. I won't give away the ending of this true-life investigation, but it was a short bu gripping book. As a bonus, you get another brief investigative story by Bly. If you are interested in the welfare of our society's most vulnerable members, or just good investigative journalism, this book is for you.