Agatha Christie Books Get Woke Makeover, Join Roald Dahl and Ian Fleming
Books by the acclaimed mystery author have been edited, ostensibly to comport with modern sensibilities.
The sensitivity readers have found another target: Agatha Christie.
Books by the acclaimed mystery author—who was born in the 19th century and passed away in 1976—have been edited, ostensibly to comport with modern sensibilities. "The new editions of Christie's works are set to be released or have been released since 2020 by HarperCollins, which is said by insiders to use the services of sensitivity readers," noted The Telegraph. "It has created new editions of the entire run of Miss Marple mysteries and selected Poirot novels."
As was the case with recent edits to the works of Roald Dahl and Ian Fleming, the changes hardly seem necessary; there are few readers clamoring for them. The sensitivity readers, who are hired to rewrite texts and prevent offense, are making the books less colorful and descriptive. In the original Death on the Nile, some characters were described as Nubian—as in the ethnic group from the region of Nubia in northern Africa—but no longer. A character in The Mysterious Affair at Styles who was referred to as a Jew—because, well, he is a Jew—is now just a person. And a servant identified as black no longer has a race at all.
It's one thing to change outdated ethnic references or references that specifically malign a specific race. Christie is no stranger to that: Her 1939 book, And Then There Were None, was originally published under the name Ten Little Niggers in the United Kingdom, where the racial slur was not as broadly offensive. (The book was named after a children's rhyme.)
It's quite another matter to delete all references to ethnicity because… why do it? Who is offended by knowing the race of a specific character? Should books cease acknowledging Africans, Jews, and Indians?
The great irony is that many progressives are correctly outraged about Republican attempts to remove references to LGBT characters in public schools and libraries; critics have characterized these bills, like the one in Florida, as "Don't Say Gay" legislation. A similar law that restricts racial content in schools prompted a publisher to delete references to Rosa Parks' race due to compliance concerns. This stuff from Republicans is idiotic; it's also a mirror version of precisely what book publishers are doing to Christie, Dahl, and others at the behest of woke literary scolds.