Mary's Agatha Christie Blog

Having launched the website This blog was created in response to the emails I received from other Agatha Christie fans telling me just exactly what they think about a wide-ranging selection of Agatha Christie related matters. My son David (see profile below) has very kindly offered to host the Agatha Christie blog for me, along side his forensic psychology blogs which you should check out if you get the chance - fascinating stuff.

Monday, August 28, 2006

The Strange Case of Hercule Poirot

Came across an interesting article entitled 'The Strange Case of Hercule Poirot'. Written by P.D James for the daily Telegraph, the article investigates how Agatha Christie's fictional detective has survived so long?

Let me know what you think of the article. I'll be posting my own thoughts shortly. For instance do you agree with the following passage?

'Captain Hastings does not last long, making an exit in Dumb Witness, published in 1937, and appearing finally in Curtain, written by Christie with the intention that it should not appear until after her death. She was wise to jettison him: he wasn't just boring, he was also unnecessary.'

Click Here To Read The Article in Full

All the best Mary


Blogger mdw said...

All things considered, P D James’s article on Hercule Poirot in the Daily Telegraph was not too bad. Some of what she said, I agree with, and though I sometimes thought she was being a touch patronising, well maybe that’s just me being overly sensitive.

However, where I consider she got it completely wrong is when she called Hastings boring and unnecessary – rubbish!

Those of you who have read my web page on Captain Hastings will know that I have a very high regard for him. I think he is the perfect foil for Poirot and the embodiment of honour, integrity and loyalty – possibly highly unfashionable (and to people like Miss James) boring, qualities for a leading character in a twenty first century novel, but precisely the sort of man we want to read about in an Agatha Christie novel.

I personally think that some of the stories that feature Captain Hastings are among the best of Dame Agatha’s work – consider Dumb Witness and The ABC Murders - and Hastings’s contribution to the readers’ enjoyments should not be underestimated.

The makers of the earlier excellent Poirot television series knew what they were about when they included Hastings in stories where, in the original, he doesn’t actually appear. This is one example of acceptable liberty-taking

9:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really can't add much to what the previous poster just said, that I agree with almost everything James said except for her disdain for Hastings. He provided Poirot with a suitable friend, someone Poirot could really trust. It was a smart move for the writers of the TV series to place him into stories that he wasn't in originally. It added a magic touch that is sorely missed in the newest Poirot films.

7:47 AM  
Blogger Bertie said...

@mdw : I completely agree with you. No way was Hastings boring and unnecessary, and yeah, even I have can't add much more to what you have said. Hastings was definitely an integral part of the series and his being a "boring" character (with which I vehemently disagree!!) could not possibly the reason of why he was "bunked" after Dumb Witness.

9:27 AM  
Blogger madhu said...

although hastings accompanied Poirot in only a few of his adventures, he was to him ,nevertheless,what Watson was to Sherlock Holmes.A sincere,loyal assistant to the great detective."Boring" is a tag that doesn't apply to someone lik Hastings.Maybe P.D James needs a littlecztd re-introspection here

5:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course Hastings is boring. . .he is typically English. His manner played beautifully against Poirot. Poirot the precise person. Hastings existence created an avenue for Poirot's emotions (kindness, thoughtfulness, "Love"?) to be revealed. . .even if just slightly.
For example, Hastings would demonstrate the typical English slang of calling frenchmen "frogs" and Poirot shoot hims a knowing glance that the use of those kind of words and descriptions are unacceptable to him.
Hastings. . .boring AND useful.

9:19 AM  

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