Letter from Miss Indigo - Tittle tattle p.332

To begin the article the author quotes from  Swift: ''I know very well that those who are commonly called learned women, have lost all manner of credit by their impertinent talkativeness and conceit of themselves; - it is a wrong method and ill choice of books that makes them just so much the worse for what they have read.''

Miss Indigo's letter begins with a promise not to 'indulge in the frivolous tittle-tattle to which so many of our sex are addicted, but to attempt a scientific journal worthy of our studies, and of the opportunities afforded us by our constant attendance at so many of the learned lectures in London.'

About Letter to Miss Indigo


This article, written in 1824, is a satirical take on female amateur tourists 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 describes 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