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Discussion Two for Eighty Days!

Eighty Days: Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland's History-Making Race Around the World

We're discussing through Chapter 7!

Nellie Bly got seasick and then got better. We learned a bit about how steerage passengers were treated + conditions of steerage. Bly’s trip was slightly delayed because of rough weather near the coast. Her hope of continuing without further delay relies on being able to hop on a mail train.

Elizabeth Bisland is heading towards California by train. We get to learn about the conditions that the passengers by train went through depending on class. Elizabeth Bisland also feels very self conscious about people commenting on her trip and treating her like a spectacle. She also ends up going on a crazy train journey near the end that is extremely fast and the train is pushed to the limit for speed nearly jumping off of the tracks.

Nellie Bly gets to meet Jules Verne himself as well as his wife. The meeting goes well, although he totally has a slightly different opinion of her looks compared to what he tells the papers.

1) How'd you enjoy this section?

2) Are you rooting more for Elizabeth Bisland or Nellie Bly?

3) What do you think about the class differences of the time?

4) If you were to travel around the world, would you rather go by Bisland's route or Bly's?

5) Feel free to share any other thoughts!


1) I'm enjoying the book a lot! It's interesting to see two very different women trying to do something so incredible.

2) I don't know that I'm rooting for either one over the other. I want them both to succeed.

3) Absolutely terrible. The descriptions of the steerage passengers and the conditions they had to deal with was heartbreaking.

4) Bisland's route, I think. I can't imagine making a long ocean journey and being back in your own country, only to have to travel across it by train to get home.