Now Agatha Christie Gets the Rewrite Treatment to Spare Modern Sensitivities

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Even the bestselling novelist in the world isn’t being spared woke rewrite treatments to spare the delicate sensitivities of modern readers, with Agatha Christie’s works getting the full treatment from her publisher.

Christie is famous for creating such timeless sleuths as Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple, and the Daily Telegraph reports new editions based on both these investigators have had original passages amended or excised by publisher Harper Collins.

Insults and references to ethnicity feature amongst the references to have received the editorial reworking.

So-called “sensitivity readers” had made the edits, which were evident in digital versions of the new editions, including the entire Miss Marple run and selected Poirot novels set to be released or that have been released since 2020, the Telegraph reported.

The updates follow edits made to books by Roald Dahl and Ian Fleming to remove offensive references to gender and race in a bid to “protect” modern readers, as Breitbart News reported.

The newspaper reported the edits cut references to ethnicity, such as describing a character as black, Jewish or gypsy or a female character’s torso as “of black marble” and a judge’s “Indian temper”, and remove terms such as “Oriental” and the N-word.

The word “natives” has also been replaced with the word “local”.

Among the examples of changes cited by the Telegraph is the 1937 Poirot novel Death on the Nile, in which the character of Mrs Allerton complains a group of children are pestering her, saying that “they come back and stare, and stare, and their eyes are simply disgusting, and so are their noses, and I don’t believe I really like children”.

English detective novelist, Agatha Christie (1890 – 1976) typing at her home, Greenway House, Devon, January 1946. (Getty)

This has reportedly been stripped down in a new edition to state: “They come back and stare, and stare. And I don’t believe I really like children.”

The new edition of the 1964 Miss Marple novel A Caribbean Mystery, the amateur detective’s musing that a hotel worker smiling at her has “such lovely white teeth” has been removed, the newspaper added.

 Guinness World Records lists Christie as the best-selling fiction writer of all time, her books having sold more than two billion copies.

As well as writing top selling novels, Christie also created the world’s longest-running play, the murder mystery The Mousetrap, which has been performed in the West End since 1952.

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