A daring race around the world recreated
By Isabelle Gerretsen on November 27, 2015
Last year, Rosemary Brown set out on a 32-day expedition recreating the Victorian reporter’s record race around the world in 1889, and raised £1,050 for Unicef from sponsorship.
She has released a book on her travel diary in time for 14 November, the 126th anniversary of Nellie Bly’s voyage.
She said: “My goal is to get Nellie back on the map. I have huge admiration for her. At a time when people are obsessed with Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton, I think it is important to honour her legacy. She blasted through the newsroom when it was full of men cursing and smoking cigars.”
Ms Brown retraced Nellie’s steps as closely as possible and visited London, France, Hong Kong and Japan.
She said: “In two places I strongly felt Nellie’s presence— when I climbed inside the belly of The Great Buddha in Japan and when I visited Jules Verne’s house in Amiens.”
Bly’s aim was to beat the fictional record set by Phileas Fogg in Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days.
She covered 21,740 miles in 72 days, Ms Brown travelled 22,500 miles by boat, train and plane, blogging along the way.
In her book, Nellie Bly in the Sky, Ms Brown recounts the challenges she faced on her journey.
A level-eight typhoon struck while she was staying in Hong Kong.
She writes: “I had to get on that train to Canton. It was one of the most exotic stops on Nellie’s world tour. It cost me a tremendous effort to get to China in the first place. I chair a human rights organisation, which made it difficult to get a visa.”