Éditions du Masque, which publishes the works of Agatha Christie, has announced that they will follow the initiative led by the international editions of the British author concerning the rewriting of passages from her novels deemed offensive.
In 2020, the French version of Les Dix petits nègres was renamed They were ten . In doing so, France became one of the last countries to revise, in turn, the pejorative title of the book sold 100 million copies worldwide.
Three years later, it is the passages of novels telling the adventures of Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple, which are about to be revised, as reported at the end of March The Telegraph .
Thus, these are novels initially published between 1920 and 1976 which will undergo rewritings by the French publisher.
» The French translations of the work of Agatha Christie are subject to the usual revisions and over the years incorporate the corrections requested by Agatha Christie Limited [qui gestion l’oeuvre de l’auteure, ndlr], thus aligning on the other international editions ”, justify the editions of the Mask.
Following a review by a reading committee, the decision was made to change, delete or rewrite certain passages deemed degrading and reprehensible. For example, the physique or the origin of foreign characters have been rewritten, or even deleted, in our British neighbors.
As reported by The Telegraph and our colleagues from Le Parisien , in the novel La Mystérieuse Affaire de Styles (1920), Hercule Poirot alludes to a character with these words: “ a Jew, of course ”.
Agatha Christie is not the only author whose novels undergo changes. Across the Channel, those of Roald Dahl had been rewritten in order to remove references to weight, mental health, racism or violence. But faced with the scold of the British, its publisher, Puffin UK, had specified that the original version of the works would always be available.