The 19th century interest in the wider world fostered a group of women writers who pioneered travel writing and journalism. Intrepid explorers in their own right, these women brought exotic destinations around the world into people’s homes with their writing.
Nellie Bly (born Elizabeth Cochrane Seaman) was much more than a travel writer, however, despite her books on her journey around the world to replicate Jules Verne’s classic story (for real, and in less time!). She was also a journalist who let nothing get in her way and who investigated social causes with tenacity, using her sharp intelligence to highlight the plight of those less fortunate. Her exposé on the conditions in mental asylums brought about real change.