The best-selling author of all time outside of William Shakespeare can now join fellow British authors Roald Dahl and Ian Fleming by suffering the ignominy of having her books edited for woke purposes.
The works of Agatha Christie, whose mysteries featuring detectives Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple delighted readers enough for her novels to have sold between two to four billion copies, have been altered in new editions published by HarperCollins.
HarperCollins has “created new editions of the entire run of Miss Marple mysteries and selected Poirot novels,” The Telegraph reports.
Examples of the bowdlerization of Christie’s novels include altering the inner narration of Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple. Other examples include the character of Miss Allerton in “Death on the Nile,” who disparaged children by saying, “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,” now state, “They come back and stare, and stare. And I don’t believe I really like children.”
Also in “Death on the Nile,” references to the Nubian people have been elided.
The term “Oriental” is no longer extant in the HarperCollins editions; a “grinning” black servant has been changed to someone not black and “nodding.” In “A Caribbean Mystery,” the description of a West Indian hotel worker having “such lovely white teeth” has been stricken; “beautiful teeth” has also been removed.
The word “natives” has either been removed or replaced with “local”.
The Hercule Poirot mysteries started with “The Mysterious Affair At Styles,” and went on to include at least two novels often considered some of the best mystery novels of all time: “The Murder of Roger Ackroyd,” which uprooted the rules generally hitherto adhered to in mystery novels, and “And Then There Were None.” Other classic novels included “The ABC Murders,” “Murder on the Orient Express,” “Death On The Nile,” and “Curtain,” which was published posthumously, the last case of Poirot’s career and a brilliant example of Christie’s originality.
In addition to the novels featuring Poirot and Marple, Christie also wrote four novels about the couple Tommy and Tuppence Beresford, which had their own charm as readers followed them from being youngsters falling in love to their adventures in old age.
The publisher of Roald Dahl, the famed children’s author who wrote “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” “Matilda,” “James and the Giant Peach,” and “The BFG,” among other works, collaborated with the Roald Dahl Story Co., which manages the works’ copyright and trademarks, to make hundreds of alterations in order not to offend anyone with Dahl’s original works.
The Roald Dahl Story Co. admitted they had worked with Inclusive Minds, which monitors children’s literature for inclusion, diversity, and accessibility, The Washington Post reported.
The Telegraph illuminated some of the changes made to Dahl’s books, and their report caused author Salman Rushdie, himself the subject of an Iranian death warrant for his work, to tweet, “Roald Dahl was no angel but this is absurd censorship. Puffin Books and the Dahl estate should be ashamed.”
Ian Fleming Publications Ltd. commissioned a review of Fleming’s James Bond novels by “sensitivity readers,” according to The Telegraph.