No menu items!

After Ian Fleming, famous crime writer Agatha Christie is the new censorship victim of the English Ministry of Truth

By Paulo Briguet

The works of the famous crime writer, written between 1920 and 1976, have had numerous passages altered to avoid offending “sensitive readers”.

After altering the books of Roald Dahl and Ian Fleming, the red pen of the Ministry of Truth is back in action in England.

This time, the victim is Agatha Christie (1890-1976), a celebrated author of detective novels.

The new editions of the author’s works, published by HarperCollins, present numerous alterations, deletions, or changes in the original text – all so as not to displease “sensitive minorities” or readers who may be offended by certain expressions considered politically incorrect.

Agatha Christie. (Photo internet reproduction)
Agatha Christie. (Photo internet reproduction)

The new digital versions of Agatha Christie’s books, written between 1920 and 1976, have undergone identity screening.

Numerous passages containing controversial descriptions, imaginary insults, and references to ethnicities have been removed.

The red pen worked mainly on references to characters that Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple, the writer’s two main heroes, encounter outside the United Kingdom.

Sections of dialogue with unsympathetic characters were suppressed or altered. Comments or thoughts about teeth or physical features are gone from the text.

Even smiles have disappeared.

In the 1937 novel Death on the Nile, a Mrs. Allerton character complains that a group of children is harassing her and saying:

– They come back and look, and look, and their eyes are just disgusting, and their noses too, and I don’t believe I like children very much.

After the red pen, the line went like this:

– They come back, and they look, and they look. And I don’t believe I like children very much.

In another passage, a black servant is described as smiling, as he understands the need to be quiet about a particular subject.

However, the same servant is no longer defined as black and does not smile either. All he does is keep “nodding his head”.

In Mystery in the Caribbean, Miss Marple stops thinking that a hotel clerk in the West Indies smiles at her with “such lovely white teeth.”

In the same book, a female character described as possessing a “torso of black marble such as a sculptor would have appreciated” no longer earns the compliment.

The passage in which another character cannot see a black woman because she is hidden among bushes at night has been completely deleted from the text.

Mentions of the Nubian people – an ethnic group in Egypt – have been removed from Death on the Nile.

The Nubian boatman described by the author became just “the boatman”. In The Mysterious Case of Styles, Poirot no longer says that a particular character is “a Jew,” of course.

A young woman described as “of the gypsy type” is now “a young woman.” In Miss Marple’s collection of cases, a judge angrily demanding his breakfast no longer has an “Indian temperament”; now, he just has a “temper.”

The word “native” has been replaced, in every case, by “local.”

The word n* – considered so racist that its mere pronunciation is regarded as a crime – has disappeared from Agatha Christie’s narration and dialogues.

This includes her book The Case of the Ten Little Black Men (later And There Were None Left), whose original English title we cannot reproduce here.

Agatha Christie Limited, managed by Agatha Christie’s great-grandson James Prichard, has not commented on the case.

As George Orwell warned in 1945, the Ministry of Truth censorship would not be done by governments but by publishers and the media.

Once again, Orwell is right.

With information from Brasil Sem Medo (BSM)

Check out our other content