top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon
arrow down

‘Offensive’ parts of Agatha Christie novels in French to be changed

Death on the Nile and La Mystérieuse Affaire de Styles are two of the books being revised

Will you read revised versions of Mrs Christie’s work? Pic: Takashi Images / Shutterstock

The publisher of Agatha Christie’s novels in French said it will revise certain passages that may be deemed offensive to a new generation of readers.

The passages in question contain physical descriptions of characters that contain negative stereotypes of certain groups.

Masque, who publishes Christie’s novels in French, said the revisions would be in line with the requests of the company that manages the author’s work.

It comes after a number of books from the author were revised in English after recommendations from a board of literary reviewers.

Not the first revisions

It is not the first time a French translation of a Christie novel has been revised – already in 2020, Dix petits nègres was retitled Ils etaient dix (They Were Ten).

The current set of revisions focuses on facial descriptions in the novel, where stereotypical tropes are judged to have been used to mock or negatively discuss characters – including changes to one of Mrs Christie’s most famous novels, Death on the Nile.

“The French translations of Agatha Christie's work are subject to the usual revisions and over the years have incorporated the corrections requested by [the company that manages Mrs Christie’s estate],” said a spokesperson for the publisher.

Changes will bring the novels “into line with other international editions,” they added.

Read more: Six things that show the French love for books and reading

Part of a trend

Puffin UK made headlines earlier this year after announcing they would revise some of Roald Dahl’s books to remove references to weight, mental health, and racial stereotypes.

After the backlash, the publisher assured that it would still be possible to purchase copies of the original version of the text through a special collection of Mr Dahl’s works.

Gallimard Jeunesse, who publishes the author’s works in France, confirmed they had no plans to revise the novels however, and will continue to publish original versions of the texts. 

What do you think about revising ‘problematic’ classic works of literature? Should publishers remove offensive language or should books remain untouched? Let us know what you think at

Related articles

Six books to read about moving to France for a new life

Why ordering books online in France will become more expensive

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
featured helpguide
Income Tax in France 2023 (for 2022 income)*
Featured Help Guide
- Primarily aimed at Britons, covers pensions, rent, ISAs, shares, savings and interest - but also contains significant general information pertinent to readers of other nationalities - Overview of online declarations + step-by-step guide to the French printed forms - Includes updates given automatically after this year's site opened
Get news, views and information from France