Agatha Christie’s novels are being rewritten by its publisher, HarperCollins, to adapt them to “modern sensibilities”, revealed this Sunday the ‘Sunday Telegraph’.
The mysteries of inspector Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple thus join the wave of reissues to make them more acceptable to new readers who have also caught up with Roald Dahl’s books or the James Bond adventures written by Ian Fleming.
Entire passages of the queen of crime’s works have been deleted or rewritten in the new editions of those books that are being prepared or that have been published since 2020, says the Sunday newspaper.
A commission of “sensitive readers” reviewed Christie’s works to ensure that the “ethnic insults or references” have been suppressed, as well as the physical descriptions of some of the characters.
The newspaper cites the example of various comments on the teeth and physique of people that appear in books that have been suppressed, especially in cases where the protagonists of the novels meet people outside the UK.
Marple’s and Poirot’s internal monologues have been sectioned and references to a character’s revulsion for children have been modified.
Vocabulary has also been altered to remove the term “Oriental,” while the racial allusion to a black servant has been removed, among other examples cited by the newspaper.
HarperCollins, according to the ‘Telegraph’, has created new editions of all the adventures of Miss Marple, as well as a selection of Poirot novels.
The company Agatha Christie Limited, run by the author’s great-grandson James Prichard, manages the rights to her works for literature and film.