Ten Days in a Mad-House is a book by American journalist Nellie Bly. It was initially published as a series of articles for the New York World; Bly later compiled the articles into a book, being published by Ian L. Munro in New York City in 1887.
The book was based on articles written while Bly was on an undercover assignment for the New York World, feigning insanity at a women’s boarding house, so as to be involuntarily committed to an insane asylum. She then investigated the reports of brutality and neglect at the Women’s Lunatic Asylum on Blackwell’s Island.
Audiobook: Ten Days in a Mad-House
The book received acclaim from critics at the time. Accumulation of her reportage and the release of her content brought her fame and led to a grand jury investigation and financial increase in the Department of Public Charities and Corrections.
Since my experiences in Blackwell’s Island Insane Asylum were published in the World I have received hundreds of letters in regard to it. The edition containing my story long since ran out, and I have been prevailed upon to allow it to be published in book form, to satisfy the hundreds who are yet asking for copies.
I am happy to be able to state as a result of my visit to the asylum and the exposures consequent thereon, that the City of New York has appropriated $1,000,000 more per annum than ever before for the care of the insane. So I have at least the satisfaction of knowing that the poor unfortunates will be the better cared for because of my work.
Originally published: 1887
Page count: 96