Nellie Bly Research: The Asylum
Even before the New York World published Bly's first-hand account of her stay on Blackwell's Island, the mystery of "The Insane Girl" captivated the public - and the press. Particularly taken in was the New York Sun, who ran a story about "Nellie Brown" nearly every day of her incarceration. When Bly's article dropped on October 9, the egg-faced Sun was furious, and attempted to sabotage the second half of the massive expose, leading to an incredible, incredulous response from Bly herself.
In writing the novel, these articles were invaluable in creating both the timeline and the sense of keen public interest Bly's adventure drew.