LETTER: How it was that Topsy just growed

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The Independent Online
Sir: "Unloved institutions that grew like Topsy", the headline reads (7 February), and the article beneath by Chris Blackhurst and Ian MacKinnon goes on to describe the expansion of quangos in the 1970s.

Poor, misunderstood Topsy. She wasn't the original of the 50ft woman. Nor, when she made her celebrated remark, was it a confession at the weightwatchers' club.

What Topsy said was: "I s'pect I growed. Don't think nobody never made me" (Uncle Tom's Cabin, chapter 20).

It was a speculation about her origins.

Yours faithfully, hugh rice Christ Church Oxford 7 February

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