Today: Thursday, 7 December 2023 year

‘Offensive passages’ removed from Agatha Christie books

‘Offensive passages’ removed from Agatha Christie books

The works of the English writer Agatha Christie (1890 – 1976) were edited for publication by HarperCollins in order to remove passages from new editions that might offend the feelings of certain readers.

We are talking about new editions that are just planned to be released or that have already been published in the period from 2020. The redacted texts of works written between 1920 and 1976 include, among other things, the removal of passages containing “descriptions, insults or references to ethnicity”.

It is noted that in a number of cases, changes were made to the narrative on behalf of the author, including through the internal monologue of Miss Marple or Hercule Poirot, two legendary characters of Christie.

Fragments of the statements of “antipathetic” characters were also cut out.

For example, from Death on the Nile (1937) a fragment of Mrs. Allerton’s statement in which she complained about the “disgusting” eyes and noses of a group of children disappeared, and what was said about another character disappeared from the novel The Mysterious Affair at Stiles (1920). Poirot’s words that he is “of course a Jew.”

From the original expression “his Indian character” in the collection “Miss Marple’s Last Affairs and Two Stories” (1979), the word “Indian” was removed in the new version of the text, and from the novel “Caribbean Mystery” (1964) an entire passage was deleted where the character does not I saw a black girl in the bushes.

Agatha Christie’s books are among the most published in the history of mankind. The writer is also among the most translated authors.