Letter from Miss Indigo - Hidden treasure p.334

Here Miss Indigo again discusses her mother's 'lamentable ignorance'. She then describes the wonders of the phosphorescent light that emanates from rotten fish. 'For the illustration of this curious property', she writes, 'I hoarded a mackarel in a closet for several days, and it was already beginning to be most interestingly luminous, when mamma, who had for some time been complaining of a horrid stench in the house, discovered my hidden treasure, and ordered the servant to toss it on the dunghill.'

About Letter from Miss Indigo

 

This article, written in 1824, is a satirical take on female amateur scientists and their enthusiasm for scientific tourism. It consists of a spoof letter written by Miss Indigo to her friend Miss Maria Louisa Mazar. Miss Indigo writes of her trip to Worthing where she has earnestly applied her scientific knowledge to everything she has encountered: from the 'fine specimens of the mammalia class of quadrapeds' (the sheep and cows in the meadows) to the 'piper nigrum' (black pepper) in her soup.

Tourism for amateur scientists was an increasingly popular pastime during the 19th century, and this article sniggers at those travellers who take themselves a bit too seriously.

The New Monthly Magazine was first published in 1821. It was primarily a literary journal, and it contained original prose and poetry, covering a rich variety of subjects.

Taken from: The New Monthly Magazine and Literary Journal Vol XI
Publisher: Henry Colburn
Date: 1824
Copyright: By permission of the British Library Board
Shelfmark: 257.d.6