Agatha Christie is a well-known British mystery author, and HarperCollins has altered several of her books to remove allusions to Jews and other minorities that sensitivity readers found objectionable.
The revisions, initially reported by the British Telegraph on Sunday, add Christie to the expanding list of authors whose works are being altered for modern readers.
Versions of Roald Dahl’s works have lately been changed to remove any potentially harmful material, and his family has subsequently apologized for his antisemitism.
Several of Christie’s detective novels from the 1920s and 1930s, which made her one of the best-selling authors of all time and introduced readers to Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple, contained references to Jews that renowned critics deemed antisemitic.
Also, she used racial slurs that were more prevalent at the time she was writing them, such as the N-word and the term “Oriental” to refer to characters who were of Asian descent.
According to the Telegraph investigation, numerous works have been changed to remove references to characters being Jewish, Black, or “gypsy.”
In one instance, Poirot’s description of a character in “The Mysterious Affair at Styles” as “a Jew, of course,” has been removed.
In a 2020 investigation, The Forward reported that shortly after the Holocaust and World War II, Christie gave her U.S.
Publisher permission to remove other sensitive passages against Jews. According to The Guardian, at least one of her book titles was modified in the 1970s to remove any references to racism.
In her 1990 book “Agatha Christie: The Lady and Her Mysteries,” Gillian Gill stated that Christie “abandoned her knee-jerk antisemitism as her range of contacts extended and she learned to comprehend what Nazism truly meant for Jewish people.”