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Did any of ACs novels include any homosexual characters?


  • 3rdGirl3rdGirl New South Wales, Australia Investigator
    I know the TV version of The Body in the Library has a couple of gay women in it, but I don't think they are in the novel. Also I think in The Moving Finger TV version there is a gay man - Cardew Pye.

    I can only think of Christopher Wren in 'The Mousetrap', but I'm sure there are others.
  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom ✭✭✭✭✭
    I have never thought of Christopher Wren as Homosexual and I have seen the Play in London in 1986, Many believe Miss Hinchcliffe and Miss Murgatroyed in A Murder Is Announced are Lovers, I don't know why ITV chose to make some Characters Homosexuals when homosexuality is not mentioned in those books, I have always thought Mr Pye was Homosexual although it is never actually Confirmed in The Moving Finger because of the time Agatha Christie was writing, someone said before this site had a Makeover that ITV did it is a Nod to their Homosexual Fans but if so that is stupid in my view, the Adaptations didn't have disabled characters in Novels which didn't have Disabled characters did they?
  • glalonzo0408glalonzo0408 Pennsylvania, United States ✭✭✭
    Tommy I agree.  To change a work of art to make a particular group of people happy is, in my opinion, ludicrous!  Not only that, who cares if any characters were portrayed as homosexual?  Silly.

    The best time to plan a book is while you're doing the dishes.

    Agatha Christie

  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom ✭✭✭✭✭
    Also if a particular Group of people is panderted to it is patronizing to them but many don't see that they are being patronized in the name of Political Correctness which is a Patronizing Concept in itself. 
  • youngmrquinyoungmrquin Buenos Aires, Argentina ✭✭✭
    edited February 2014
    Now, back to jennifer's question.
    The most probable candidate for homosexual couple is, as said before by Tommy, Hinchcliffe and Murgatroyd from A Murder is Announced. Though it's never fully addressed, and still it's possible that they were only companions. Someone had said, again, before this site had the makeover, that it was very common in that period this type of bond cause men were in the war or had died in it. Therefore, women used to live together. I really don't know how to read the bond between these two characters, so it's up to you.
    Mr. Pye from The Moving Finger is another story. While he's never connected to another man or even mentioned a gay interest, he's characterized as extremely effeminate. The police insist in putting him in the list of suspects even when they also insist that the suspect must be a woman. Now, all this should be read in the historical and social context it was written. Homosexuality is not obviously the same as being effeminate, but this is also something that we understand now, thanks to gender studies and certain social theories. I mean, maybe AC was describing, in her own way and in the context of that period, the way people believed how gay men behaved.
    I found Pye very similar to a character in Murder is Easy called Ellsworthy. While this character is not highlighted a effeminate, I find the description of him very similar to the one made of Pye (besides, he also manages an antique shop or something like that). The connection between men and art may also be other stereotype, but that in the context of the books, may hint as homosexuality.
    Other character that comes to mind, but much less a candidate, is Satherswaite (from the Quinn stories). He is possibly a man in touch with his emotional/feminine side and not necessarily gay, but his lifestyle and some descriptions his makes may suggest this option. As always, I apologyze for my poor English, I'm Argentinian and here we speak Spanish. 
  • YoungMrQuin your English is absolutely superb!!

    "Do not allow evil into your heart. It will make a home there." Poirot -Death On The Nile
  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom ✭✭✭✭✭
    I like it when things aren't always spelt out, It leaves it to the imagination and Means people of a More Old Fashioned way of thinking are not offended, after all homosexuality was unfortunately Illigal many years ago and why Upset people when It isn't really necessary to do so, let people think what they think in the comfort of their own Reading Time, I used to have two Teachers and they were both Spinsters and I always wondered if they were Lovers Many years later I think to myself Those Ladies were Great Teachers so who Cares what Their Sexuality is or was, I don't.
  • youngmrquinyoungmrquin Buenos Aires, Argentina ✭✭✭
    What a lovely school story, Tommy_A_Jones. Really moving.
    I agree with you, in the end, it doesn't change our general taste of the story. Moreover, if what we seek in AC stories is a mistery/detective/thriller narrative. However, it's true that some of us read them searching for other aspects, like character development and human relationships in different social and historical contexts.
    Keeping this in mind, jennifer's question (and maybe curiosity) is understandable. I started reading AC books when I was fourteen o fifteen, and now I am twenty five, and I've wonder the same for long.
    Yes, sexual orientation is not certainly a main topic of her books and it was taboo in most of her writing period, but it's also true that heterosexuality is present in all the stories in a natural way. There are couples, marriages, breaks-up, etc. between men and women, and they are explicit. What did Agatha thought about, not only gay people, but also and (more important, to me), about gay couples?
    These type of issues will raise inevitably, since in the end, she wrote about human relationships and their problems.
  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thankyou youngmrquin, It wasn't a Girl's school, after all I am a bloke but whenever I read Cat among The Pigeons I think of the school, The School made me think Meadowbanks  is the same period although I read the book years after leaving it. I started reading Agatha Christie books in my Teens too and now I am 46.

    Sadly we society today seems to encourage us to judge the past and compare with Standards of Today so the question of what Agatha Christie thought of Homosexuals and whether X or Y is a Homosexual or a Lesbian is going to be raised more and more and maybe detract from her writing 

  • jenniferjennifer Investigator
    edited February 2014
    Thanks all for the interesting responses!  Youngmrquin, your explanation of AC using stereotypes is excellent.  Obviously sexuality was not a topic that was discussed at that time in history.  The reason I posed the question is just that - since she did not "name" anyone in her novels as being homosexual, does that mean that they do not exist or do we use our own inferencing?  Today, we pick up a novel - say by Louise Penny, who describes in detail the relationship between 2 of her main male characters.  AC writes about social class structure and cultural differences, but does not address sexuality.  I find it very interesting.  I wasn't setting this forum up to bring up "civil rights" or groups wanting attention...just an interest of mine in different periods of writing :)
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