Madwoman (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

This novel is based on historical events that took place in 1887 New York, and it helps one understand with better clarity the unbelievable injustices imposed on women. Nellie Bly was born a girl in a man’s world and did not take well to the notion that the only place for a woman is in the domestic home. In order to secure her dream of a journalist, Nellie agreed to enter the Blackwells Lunatic Asylum, faking madness in order to expose the myths about the treatment at Blackwells and bring about reform. During her ten days in Blackwells, Nellie was torn between horror and pity, and was on the brink of becoming insane herself. Were the women in this institution really insane to begin with, or was it the place that caused them to become insane? It makes one wonder if sanity is merely the ability to contain the madness within you. The inhumanity described in this story is inconceivable, but such a poignant read! Nellie Bly, a woman in a man’s world, was able to change the way women were treated, something a man could not do! 


— From Awesome August Staff Picks


Based on a true story, a spellbinding historical novel about the world's first female investigative journalist, Nellie Bly.

In 1887, young Nellie Bly sets out for New York and a career in journalism, determined to make her way as a serious reporter, whatever that may take.

But life in the city is tougher than she imagined. Down to her last dime and desperate to prove her worth, she comes up with a dangerous plan: to fake insanity and have herself committed to the asylum on Blackwell's Island. There, she will work undercover to expose the asylum's wretched conditions.

But when the asylum door swings shut behind her, she finds herself in a place of horrors, governed by a cruelty she could never have imagined. Cold, isolated and starving, her days of terror reawaken the traumatic events of her childhood. She entered the asylum of her own free will - but will she ever get out?

An extraordinary portrait of a woman ahead of her time, Madwoman is the story of a quest for the truth that changed the world.

About the Author

Louisa Treger, a classical violinist, studied at the Royal College of Music and the Guildhall School of Music and worked as a freelance orchestral player and teacher. She subsequently turned to literature, earning a Ph.D. in English at University College London, where she focused on early-twentieth-century women's writing and was awarded the West Scholarship and the Rosa Morison Scholarship “for distinguished work in the study of English Language and Literature”. Louisa's first novel, The Lodger, was published by Macmillan in 2014. She lives in London.

Praise For…

“Romantic tension with an asylum doctor and suspense as to Nellie's release combine with Treger's . . . use of the real-life Bly's famous 'stunt journalism' to highlight the horrific plight of endangered women-many perfectly sane but inconvenient wives, prostitutes, and immigrants were deemed insane-and the appalling state of nineteenth-century mental health care.” —Booklist

“I highly recommend this fictionalized account of Nellie Bly's early life and her fierce determination to go undercover at Blackwell's Asylum. A truly riveting read.” —Fiona Davis, New York Times bestselling author of The Magnolia Palace

Madwoman . . . weaves a fascinating true story of the world's first female investigative journalist, Nellie Bly . . . This story of a pioneer woman is superbly and engrossingly presented.” —Mystery & Suspense Magazine

“. . . a magnificent portrayal of Nelly Bly in all her journalistic integrity and daring.” —New York Journal of Books

“A spirited account of a flamboyant life.” —The Times (London) on THE DRAGON LADY

“An effective mix of romance, mystery, and history, The Dragon Lady is an accomplished narrative of world-changing geopolitics from a distant continent, nevertheless relevant to modern times. The story is both absorbing and enlightening, and its focus on one couple's spiraling crises will keep readers spellbound.” —Washington Independent Review on THE DRAGON LADY

Product Details
ISBN: 9781448218011
ISBN-10: 1448218012
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Publication Date: August 23rd, 2022
Pages: 304
Language: English