This year for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge, I’m writing about the 1800s in celebration of Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland’s race around the world in 1889, the subject of my new novel based on this adventure: Liz and Nellie.


Almost half-way around the world, Nellie bought herself something that didn’t fit into her small grip sack. A monkey. A mischievous creature who drank with the sailors, attacked a stewardess, and when he reached her home, broke all the china he could get his hands on. Monkeys were for sale at several ports in the east and she held off until Singapore when:

I did resist the temptation to buy a boy at Port Said and also smothered the desire to buy a Singalese girl at Colombo, but when I saw the monkey my will-power melted and I began straightway to bargain for it. I got it.

“Will the monkey bite?” I asked the driver, and he took it by the throat, holding it up for me to admire as he replied:

“Monkey no bite.” But he could not under the circumstances.  –Nellie Bly


Maybe her monkey looked like one of these guys:

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