This Lakeside Press edition has taken the stories of two intrepid 19th century lady journalists and woven them together. In a real life effort to emulate Verne's Around the World in 80 Days, Bisland and Bly were sent by their newspapers around the world in opposite directions, one going east and one going west. They reported back on their observations and adventures to an enthralled public. Bly had proposed the idea to her editor a year before and thought it had been dropped. Unbeknownst to her, the machinations of the competitive journalism world were working in the background to turn it into a competition. She had no notion that she was racing against Bisland until she had already reached Hong Kong and was warned that she was behind and going to lose the race. As Bly is remembered and Bisland is not, you can guess how the race ended. Their observations are particularly astute. The casual racism, poverty and excess they noted shows how much the world has changed and how much it hasn't.