Bisland, in contrast, went to London to mingle in British high society. She wrote a series of articles for The Cosmopolitan on her journey, subsequently published as a book, In Seven Stages: A Flying Trip Around The World. She married a wealthy attorney who later became a utilities tycoon. Bisland’s 1929 New York Times obituary (“Mrs. E. B. Wetmore, Author, Dies in South”) failed to even mention the journey.

As for the record, Bly did hold the position of the fastest person in the world, very briefly. Four months later, on May 24, 1890, George Francis Train completed an around-the-world trip in 67 days.

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Daniel Luzer is web editor of the Washington Monthly.