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Full discussion for Eighty Days!

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

The Atlantic had absolutely horrible weather while Elizabeth Bisland was traveling across the ocean.

Nellie Bly gets to see her mother again and it’s a sweet reunion. She gets to see lots of people on the way back and it’s quite a big deal. There’s a huge crowd waiting for her as she arrives in New York. She gets back in 72 days, 6 hours, 11 minutes, and 14 seconds, the record! There’s so many people that they crowd the streets and also yell to be able to see Bly.

Elizabeth Bisland finally arrives in New York as well. Her journey is estimated at 76 days ,16 hours, and 10 minutes. She didn’t have a very big crowd to greet her. They blame her for missing connections and making blunders. None of these things had been her fault, not to mention that the ship she originally missed would’ve gotten her back late still. Going west to east was a mistake in this case because of how rough the Atlantic was.

Nellie Bly fever happens across the US, but her fortune doesn't last. She ends up costing The World a lot of money because she wouldn't testify on their behalf to support an expose that she wrote. She also has some medical issues and becomes really depressed during that time.

To quickly sum up the epilogue: Elizabeth Bisland gets married and is very happy with her husband and she publishes several works and is highly praised as a writer. They travel to Japan many times and enjoy it there. Her husband becomes ill and his condition slowly worsens over time until he eventually dies and he is heartbroken. She does a lot of volunteer work (including in Europe, where she met her husband if I remember correctly) and lives what I'd call a happy life.

Nellie Bly's life is more turbulent, but it does get better after her depression. She marries an old millionaire. After he dies she manages his company. She does really well at running it, but is terrible about the financials and ends up losing her fortune. I think she ends up in a rift with her mother, but I can't remember that part super well. Oh yea, because she runs away to Europe to avoids charges of some crime. She ends up also volunteering a lot later in life and helping orphaned babies (awww).

Both she and Elizabeth Bisland never have children of their own and they both die of pneumonia.

1) How would you rate this book overall? How did you enjoy it?

2) Are there any interesting facts throughout that you enjoyed?

3) So do you think you'd try to take a trip around the world after reading this? How about at a more leisurely pace?

4) Who do you think ended up living the better life? Elizabeth Bisland or Nellie Bly?

5) Please feel free to discuss any other thoughts you had!


1) I liked it a lot! I gave it 4 of 5 stars on Goodreads.

2) I think my favorite thing that I learned was that the base for the Statue of Liberty was built using donated funds, and that most of the donations were fairly small amounts.

3) I would consider it, but definitely at a slower place.

4) Honestly, it seemed like Bisland made out better than Bly. I felt really bad for Bly after the race finished.