Nellie Bly vs. Ellie Blair–the Gals Behind Mail-Order Deception
Nellie Bly (AKA Elizabeth Jane Cochran) is the young gal who put the word “intrepid” in the phrase “intrepid reporter.” At the age of 18, when most women were still working as domestic technicians, this firebrand had a job working for the Pittsburgh Dispatch, reporting on the horrible working conditions of women in factories. When that got her in trouble with factory owners, the paper moved her over to nice feminine topics like fashion, society, gardening…
Uh, yeah. Disgusted with such boring stories, she went to Mexico for a bit and reported on life there. Her dispatches about the government got her in trouble with the country’s dictator and she had to flee the country. Not long after this, she made the big time in New York City after feigning insanity and spending ten days in a madhouse. Now, that’s intrepid. But Nellie wasn’t done. She then made her legendary jaunt around the world in 72 days in 1889-90.
Now here’s the rub and how it ties in with my story, Mail-Order Deception. Nellie was on fire; she was unstoppable. Her curiosity was insatiable. One would think she would have been the intrepid reporter on into her golden years.
But, nay, this was not the case. In 1895, at the age of 31, Nellie married Robert Seaman, a wealthy industrialist some 40 years her senior. She left journalism for over two decades to tend to him and help run his business. It was only after bankruptcy that she fell back on journalism and covered much of WWI. But it seemed her passion had wained.
Passion, like a fuse, burns out. Especially when you have the chance to experience something real and lasting like true love. Everything else will pale in comparison. Colors dull. Thrills fade. Nellie and my character of Ellie learned a very important lesson about life–you can’t go it alone. No matter how intrepid you are. Love is the only thing that gives life meaning.
Don’t you agree?
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Posted on September 13, 2019, in Ladies in Defiance and tagged a lady in defiance, adventurous women, christian fiction, christian romance, early women romance writers, ellie blair, Hearts in Defiance, heather blanton, historical romance, intrepid reporters, legends of the old west, lois lane, mail-order deception, nellie bly, Old West History, old west legends, pinkerton detectives, Romance, romance in the rockies, true romances, true west, unsung heroines of the west, west, western history, western romance, Westerns, Wild West Shows, women groundbreakers, women in newspapers, women in publshing, women of the old west, Women of the Wild West, women who settled the west, women who went west, Women who won the west, Wyoming romances. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.
“…after spending 10 days in a madhouse…””
At one time, I read an article about someone spending time in an asylum, pretending to be insane, then when he or she got out, they wrote about the conditions there. Was this Nellie Bly??
Regardless, thank you for the interesting article (as always).
Had to have been Nellie. Thanks for reading!
When my grandson was little, I read to him a lot…and the book about Nelly Bly was among them. What an amazing girl.
Sent from my iPad
She was a pistol, that Nellie! LOL!