Miss Marple's evolution.

I was wondering if anybody had any comments to make on how later Miss Marple stories from the 1950's and 1960's, differ from earlier stories such as those within The Thirteen Problems. What would you say are the differences between them. Does the structure or style which Agatha Christie uses change? Are the characters better explained or developed in the newer stories?  I am doing some research on this topic for University and would love peoples opinions. Any comments would be great help.


  • GKCfanGKCfan Wisconsin, United States
    Miss Marple's clothing is described as "Victorian" in Thirteen Problems, and though she never really updates her wardrobe, she does wear sneakers for comfort walking on the beach in A Caribbean Mystery, unlike Poirot, who never abandons his patent-leather shoes.

    There are also some health issues.  Over time, Miss Marple has movement issues, and starts to lose her hearing in one ear.
  • katy0136katy0136 west midlands
    Thanks for your comment!
  • GKCfanGKCfan Wisconsin, United States
    You're welcome!

  • Lots of interesting info on the wiki page:


    The character of Jane Marple in the first Miss Marple book, The Murder at the Vicarage, is markedly different from how she appears in later books. This early version of Miss Marple is a gleeful gossip and not an especially nice woman. The citizens of St. Mary Mead like her but are often tired by her nosy nature and how she seems to expect the worst of everyone. In later books she becomes more modern and a kinder person.

  • My feeling is that while in the early books she already has insight into human characters and motivations, in the later books she shows more empathy, especially at the endings of books. SPOILERS!!!! e.g. when, at the end of "The mirror cracked", she realizes (and hints) that Jason poisoned his wife in order to save her from the consequence of her actions (and maybe to save any future victims) but accepts that he had a hard choice to make, or at the end of Caribbean Mystery, when she empathizes with Molly, and refrains from insisting on a formal parting with Esther, who she realizes is suffering and will resent her; or at the end of Nemesis, when she encourages Michael to make a new life. I think, in part, this reflects a change in Agatha Christie. Compare the end of "Moving Finger", with Jerry's callous comments on the victims, to the end of Nemesis, when Miss Marple parts from Jason Rafiel, both of them knowing he is dying and they will never meet again. 
  • katy0136katy0136 west midlands
    Thank you, this is really helpful :)
  • Correction - she parts from Jason Rafiel at the end of "Caribbean Mystery".
  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom

    In Murder At The Vicarage Miss Marple is Victorian and then Agatha Christie decided to Change her, Geraldine McKewan played her in a Victorian way and Joan Hickson more lke the other Novels, Julia Mackenzie plated her in the Middle.

Sign In or Register to comment.