Talk:And Then There Were None

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Former good article nominee And Then There Were None was a Language and literature good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
April 10, 2009 Good article nominee Not listed
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Title of the page[edit]

Why this page entitled "And then there were none" when book is entitled "10 little indians"? Since when USA outweight original work and rest of the sane world?

The title of the work currently in the english speaking world is "And Then There Were None", and it's a title endorsed by the Christie estate.--Jtomlin1uk (talk) 08:00, 3 August 2009 (UTC)
The original title was "10 little niggers" not "10 little indians" wasn't it? I'd prefer that the page title were changed to reflect this. (talk) 08:29, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
this is true, I feel the article should reflect this. Hell look at the first paragraph, "ten little indians" is offensive to black people? How does that make any sense. See: Teravolt (talk) 01:51, 27 November 2010 (UTC)

First edition cover in infobox[edit]

Why isn't the first edition cover used in the infobox? Every single other Agatha Christie novel article uses the first edition, why doesn't her best selling novel follow this precedent too? I'm going to switch the images in accordance to wikipedia guidelines JayKeaton 20:57, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

There was a lot of discussion on this point a few months ago. A point was made that the UK first edition cover has a title which is no longer used and which is offensive. Overall, I disagreed that the points made required a change (And it was my copy of the UK first edition cover which is loaded) however for the sake of a peaceful life, the UK cover was put in the publication history. At the same time, the UK covers were moved out of the infobox on the other Christie pages by me (again, the vast majority of the images are mine) where the US edition takes precedence. Please don't change this back again. The UK cover is there as a historical record and so far, well for a couple of months anyway, everyone has seemed to be happy with the compromise. (I can't believe how often this damn page is changed in comparison to other Christie pages!!!)--Jtomlin1uk 21:10, 21 October 2007 (UTC)
Argh! Too late - it's done! I'm stepping out of this one now. Let battle commence!--Jtomlin1uk 21:11, 21 October 2007 (UTC)
"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." Changing it back. The original cover looks very good down in the 'publication history' section. Marieblasdell 21:42, 21 October 2007 (UTC)
The original cover looks very good down the publication history section? Hobgoblins of little minds? Neither of those points make much sense. Almost every book article uses a first edition cover. It's not just about consistency, this is an encyclopedia. The cover art of the re-re-re-re-re (times 64) print was not made before 1980, meaning that it was made well after Christies death. It is actually inconceivable to use a reprint where a first edition image is available. It would be like the Casino Royale (novel) cover showing a picture of Daniel Craig with a quote on it saying "remade into a blockbuster Bond film". JayKeaton 00:09, 22 October 2007 (UTC)
So there will be no complaints about using the first edition cover then? I'll add it back now in that case JayKeaton 14:43, 22 October 2007 (UTC)
Is it because of this novel that the rule 'never outrule the corpse' was applied? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:11, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
I am not familiar with the saying "never outrule the corpse"/"never out rule the corpse" and Google finds zero results when it is searched for. JayKeaton (talk) 04:28, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
It's a Latin phrase, and that's only a rough translation. Why do you even care? When the original cover was released "niggers" was an acceptable word. It's not, now, and I apologize to anyone I offended by typing it here. So stick with the original, but add the new title as a subtext at the very least.
Whether or not or to whom the title of the first edition is offensive is irrelevant. This is an encyclopedia, not a school report. The first edition cover is the first edition cover. On a similar note the first edition title is also the first edition title, but I'm willing to let that one be as the Christie estate apparently endorses its new name - but I'd like to see this article at least mention why the name was changed, as this is, after all, an encyclopedia. Anybody up to the task? Will the Great (talk) 08:38, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

Echoes in popular culture[edit]

Someone else (not me!) has deleted the entire section on 'Echoes in popular culture'. Looking at the article without it, I have to say I feel it's better (even if vandalism was on the mind of the person who deleted it). I can't help thinking that such a section makes the page more "trivial" in its nature and the article now is about the book proper. What do others think?--Jtomlin1uk (talk) 10:31, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

This article is in dire need of help[edit]

Please read Wikipedia:Content_disclaimer and Wikipedia is not censored. The first edition cover was removed from the info box because some people found it offensive. The article was further censored and history was rewritten by IP address "" in [this] edit, when this editor decided that Agatha Chrisie should not have originally published her book under the title "Ten Little Niggers", but that instead she should have called it "Ten Little Indians" instead. History can NOT be rewritten just because someone finds the title of a book offensive. We cannot mislead, lie or rewrite history just to make sure people are not offended. JayKeaton (talk) 19:36, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

The rhyme!![edit]

I have this article on my watchlist (as I do all of the Christie pages) and week in, week out, someone goes in and changes Indian to Nigger and within hours someone else changes it back. To say the least, it's tedious. The modern printing of the book, as endorsed by the Christie estate (meaning her grandson, Mathew Prichard) uses the non-controversial phrases Soldier Island and Ten Little Soldiers whilst keeping the original US title of the book And Then There Were None. In the (probably forlorn) hope that replicating this change on the wiki page will stop this ceaseless back-and-forth, I have replicated this change in the plot summary whilst referencing what the historical versions were, therefore avoiding accusations of censorship. I've also put hidden notes (or whatever they're called) to make people think before changing it. Please consider whether such a change is necessary before making it. You can bet your life someone will just change it back again and your efforts will be wasted (as mine might be here!!)--Jtomlin1uk (talk) 09:25, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

The rhyme can be the modern version, for sure, but a note would have to be there for readers to know what the rhyme was originally about. The song "Ten Little Niggers" is the basis for this 100 million selling book, it would be very stupid to gloss over this fact just to appease the sensitive readers. JayKeaton (talk) 01:49, 13 December 2007 (UTC)
Totally agree with your sentiments, which is what I've tried to do in the note which preceeds the rhyme.--Jtomlin1uk (talk) 09:12, 13 December 2007 (UTC)
The link to to the nursery rhyme "Ten Little Niggers" at the top of the article links to "Ten Little Indians" instead, which is a set of different nursery rhymes than the one referenced in the book. Would it make sence to publish the original rhyme under it's own article and link to this one instead? First, it would be helpful for those reading the book. Second, the fact that a nursery rhyme has become politically incorrect does not mean that it can be erased from history. IMHO, publish it in article, discuss it's origin and how it came about, explain how it became politically incorrect and why it is now longer used as a nursery rhyme. Errors of the past should be corrected, but not forgotten. John Larring (talk) 19:17, 15 September 2011 (UTC)
Why can't the original rhyme be used? I agree that the word "nigger" may be offensive to someone as well as "indian", but Christie never intended it to be an insult. This book is a product of its time, and thus shouldn't be blamed for an improper use of language that is due to old fashioned English (as we don't blame Shakespeare when he refers to illegitimate sons calling them "bastards", and we don't change those passages). I think the original should be restored or at least the "indian" version so that the sense of the original is not completely distorted. The "soldiers" version seems to me the most absurd solution. French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese editions use the translation of the original rhyme without worrying of the racism issue (probably because they're of my same opinion). [unsigned]
You forgot to sign your comment. Quis separabit? 15:24, 23 October 2013 (UTC)
The term "nigger" that Christie used is not the same as today, I agree. The term is similar to "a nigger in the woodpile" which would be roughly translated in contemporary English jargon as "a joker in the deck" or "a joker in the bunch". It is not politically possible to re-emphasize the original name without provoking negative and pointless verbal warfare. Suffice to say that the Wikipedia article does include the original name of the book and an image of the cover with the same name. That should be enough. I also added some background (hopefully it hasn't been removed) to the Pat Bottrill article over a similar controversy. Quis separabit? 15:24, 23 October 2013 (UTC)


This page is subject to a great deal of revisions, particularly in the use of the words "Nigger", "Indian" and "Soldier" in the reference to the name of the book in the past and the rhyme contained in the book in the present. Despite there being notes to editors in the text, unregistered users are frequently changing the page, only for it to be reverted back again within minutes. I would suggest that there are some 3 to 4 such changes and reversals in a week which I, for one, deem to be reverting vandalism (No notes are left by unregistered users as to why such a change is deemed necessary and no discussion is entered into on this page). In my view, it is time that we applied to an administrator for this page to be semi-protected. I'd welcome other's views.--Jtomlin1uk (talk) 20:12, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

Wouldn't it be easier to just let the vandalizers reveal themselves through their edits and to warn them and then ban their IPs to stop them from doing it again? However, having said that, if these constant edits are creating more work for regular editors for this authors series of books then semiprotection could save a lot of man hours that could be better used in the long run, so I would support it for a trial basis at least JayKeaton (talk) 15:21, 18 May 2008 (UTC)
You make some good points. Since writing the above I applied for semi-protection last night on a page that underwent a lot of revisions with trivia as a result of the broadcast of last night's episode of Doctor Who (which featured Agatha Christie) and that request was denied. It made me realise that protection status is not easily granted. The constant changes to this page are wearying but not overtly troublesome so debate over, I suppose.--Jtomlin1uk (talk) 15:44, 18 May 2008 (UTC)

Scholarly discussion of original title?[edit]

Has there been any scholarly discussion regarding the original title, and its retitling, both of which ran afoul of political correctness? I can see the Ten Little Niggers issue being a big one with Christie because, just as with Doyle and Shakespeare and other iconic writers, there is a desire to preserve the original texts and revert back to original texts, too, when feasible. Yet, as you can imagine, if this book reverted to its original title and was solicited to Barnes & Noble it would probably be treated the way Mein Kampf is treated by retailers. There actually is a similar situation involving a James Bond novel, Live and Let Die, which in its original UK edition uses the "N-word" in a chapter title, but all US editions (until I think recently) changed the chapter title. Anyway, my point is I would be surprised if there isn't some journal article out there discussing this situation. 23skidoo (talk) 13:44, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

There's little point in expecting reasoned discussion of the issue from academia, because academia is systematically left-wing. Mowsbury (talk) 20:40, 28 October 2010 (UTC)
Your personal anti-intellectualism aside, Wikipedia uses reliable sources, which much of academia would be. - (talk) 06:59, 23 October 2013 (UTC)

Spoiler Warning[edit]

I think there should be a spoiler warning in the Characters section. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:36, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

Please read the Wikipedia policy page Wikipedia:Spoiler. Any spoiler warning will be deleted.--Jtomlin1uk (talk) 05:09, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
The spoiler warning should be moot because the plot synopsis is far too long anyway. (talk) 08:00, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

A good story but...[edit]

  • A good story but a stretching belief: for example; Lombard is supposed to be a experienced ex-soldier and professional mercenary-yet when he finds his pistol again he doesn't automatically check to see the gun is still loaded or if any cartridges have been fired! If he had seen that one chamber had not been fired he would have realized that Armstrong was lying and Wargrave was not dead and they they were both allies! Of course this would have ruined the entire plot! Secondly Scotland Yard claims they can't trace ownership-yet it is obvious that whoever owns the Island has to have a lot of money-which-everyone else being too poor- leaves only Marstan {who dies first}; Armstrong {who couldn't drag himself up on the beach after his death!} and Wargrave {investigation would have that his assets would have been gone-what could a dying man used his assets for....? Also in the stage/movie version Wargrave fires the gun once during his phoney death-yet if the stage play had followed the original story-there would have been the revolver with three fired cartridges-instead of two!! {The Phoney shot by Wargrave; Claythorne shoots Lombard; Wargrave shoots himself!!!!}
  • Lastly there is the part of the ten copies of the rhyming clues-2 of Scotland Yard finest missing such an obvious deduction....? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:12, 15 May 2010 (UTC)
You are right, of course. Obviously some suspension of disbelief is required for almost all works of fiction, and this one requires more than just some. I have to be honest though -- I never thought about the bullets in Lombard's gun; I guess I'm not gun-oriented, good points there!! Nonetheless the measure of a good book is if it is engrossing, enthralling and you can't wait to learn "who done it". The killing of Blore, in fact, is perhaps the least convincing murder as it could only succeed if the killer, a fairly old man with cancer, managed to topple a heavy statue from a window right onto the head of a moving target in such a way as to ensure death. Quis separabit? 01:35, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Another suspension of belief is at the end when Lombard and Claythrone find Armstrong body and each assumes the other is the killer espically then each assmues the other had killed Blore when neither of them could have killed him! Likewise neither of them could have had the time to "Kill" Wargrave - unless at the end each supposes that the other was an accomplice to Armstrong who was the "killer" of Blore and then dies trying to swim to shore...? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:57, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
That is already included in the article when it points out that Vera and Lombard "both overlook in their panic" the fact that neither could have killed Blore. As far as Wargrave's red herring of a killing, Dr. Armstrong carried enough weight, based on his profession, despite his own lethal lapse (crime) many years earlier, for the others to believe the judge was actually shot dead, even though no one heard a gunshot. Quis separabit? 20:51, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
As far as "Likewise neither of them could have had the time to "Kill" Wargrave - unless at the end each supposes that the other was an accomplice to Armstrong who was the "killer" of Blore and then dies trying to swim to shore...?" -- you are over-thinking this a bit. Yours, Quis separabit? 20:52, 10 December 2013 (UTC)


  • Other inspired adoptions? The Avengers had two episodes with a similar And then there were none storyline: in one Steed and several other experts in different kinds of hand to hand combat are tricked into being stranded on a desert island and killed off one by one; in another Steed former army associates are being killed off one by one until only Steed is left. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:13, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
I agree, but what's the point? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:23, 14 March 2009 (UTC)
  • Lonely guests/strangers killed off one by one is in epsiode of Quincy (TV series) "Murder on Ice" Quincy and his new wife are trapped in a mountainyop lodge with over guests who are being killed off one by one....
  • The Wild Wild West (TV Series) also has trapped guests killed off one by one... Were Avengers/Quincy/and WWW inspired by Then there were none?
  • The Lost Patrol (1934 film) and 49th Parallel are also stories of Persons killed off one by one... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:14, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
There was also the 1980s TV movie She's Dressed to Kill, most notable for its cast (Eleanor Parker, Corinne Calvet, Barbara Cason, Clive Revill, Jessica Walter) with a similar theme, although the victims are limited to the models at a fashion showing trapped in some snowed in locale (I can't remember all the details -- it was in the 1980s!!). Quis separabit? 01:50, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
There were also the 1930s pre-Code Sherlock Holmes film, A Study in Scarlet, which is supposed to be somewhat similar, but I haven't seen it, although I do know from the synopsis that no one is geographically trapped in some remote locale, it takes place in London, as well as the quite creepy and scary film The List of Adrian Messenger, in which a lot of people are killed all over the British Isles (and in the sky with an airplane bomb) by a ruthless killer for a financial motive, although, like A Study in Scarlet no one is trapped in any one locale, per se. Still scary, though. Quis separabit? 02:02, 24 January 2012 (UTC)

Jewboy censorship[edit]

In the original and modern editions, Philip Lombard calls Mr. Morris "Jew" and "Jewboy" with "thick Semitic lips", while some editions replace the word "Jew" with "Morris". [1] —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:09, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

That is done because we are civilized people. MarkinBoston (talk) 02:50, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
Christie was & other editions are as well: nothing uncivilized in showing others are barbaric. Not really censorship, either, though: more bowdlerizing. — LlywelynII 02:56, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
I am not sure what Llywelyn II is getting at with the comment "Christie was & other editions are as well: nothing uncivilized in showing others are barbaric"; I hope it's not what I think. I agree that it is more bowdlerizing than actually censorious but to be regretted nonetheless, and I'm a Jewish atheist. Quis separabit? 15:31, 23 October 2013 (UTC)
Rms requested a gloss, apparently because he thinks I think people's lips have something to do with their level of civilization (?).
Christie and the other editions were civilized people and it's nonsense to pretend that they weren't. At the same time, their treatment of Jews was barbaric (i.e., uncivilized) and we at Wikipedia should present it as it was and let them be judged for it. Being civilized has nothing to do with rewriting our past to gloss the failures of our predecessors, as MarkinBoston implied.  — LlywelynII 02:08, 24 October 2013 (UTC)


I don't know anything about Wikipedia politics, this article appears to have a lot of watchers and a no relevant section right now for this snippet (perhaps its best to wait until more references are found?). However, it seems that the reference to the book in the Japanese game Touhou 6 - Embodiment of Scarlet Devil /must/ be notable. The music to a part of a final level is named /U.N. Owen was her/, implying that the last boss was responsible for the mystery here. I say this is notable despite the game being self-published, as currently a Google search for U.N. Owen hits much more Touhou (including the top hit) than Agatha Christie. The games are very popular in Japan among shooting game fans, and increasingly in the West, having very little local competition. More information at (talk) 09:41, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

References in other works is a title in the recognised Wikinovels template however I cannot help but feel that the reference you want to contribute is pretty trivial, irrespective of how many google hits it gets.--Jtomlin1uk (talk) 17:46, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
Actually, to the contrary, Touhou Project is anything but trivial -- the games have a very wide fanbase both in Japan and in the Western World (and probably many other places), and the music is also very popular. In fact, the infamous 'McRolled' video gets its music from none other than the very song mentioned. The series even has its own page here on Wikipedia . . . not to mention a very in-depth wiki of its own (as evidenced by's link). By the by, there's another reference to the book that is used in that game -- the second-to-last bullet pattern (aka Spell Card) that Flandre'll use against you is called "Secret Barrage - And Then There Will Be None?". (talk) 00:24, 10 January 2009 (UTC)
I agree with the above editor, especially considering U.N. Owen was her? is really popular in the internet, as of March 2009. (talk) 11:18, 29 March 2009 (UTC)
I agree with the above editor that Cracked has a funny article about them but one internet fanbase (pretty much only in Japan) among all the other fanbases isn't notable for Wikipedia (Knowyourmeme, on the other hand...) and mentioning it here would be WP:UNDUE: it's a 2D shooter and the mention is a passing allusion. Feel free to mention it on their page, though, if it helps explain their 'mythos'. — LlywelynII 03:07, 6 September 2013 (UTC)


Once again someone has made well-meaning changes to this page to show Indian instead of Soldier as the name of the island and the subject of the rhyme on which the book is based. I would like to say - for the last time but I doubt that - that this is the case for this wording on this page: the first and therefore true version of the book was that published in the UK in 1939 when the Nigger-word was used. This was Christie's choice and - if the manuscript was in existance today - one could see that that choice of word was typed with her own fair hand. Within a few months the book was published in the US and Dodd Mead, the US publishers, changed the words from Nigger (which they deemed unacceptable for the US market only) to Indian. This change presumabely had the agreement of Christie as no word of protest appears in her autobiography or any biographies of the lady. Even if she didn't like it, I have little doubt that her protests would have been ignored by Dodd Mead in the same way that they ignored some of her remarks about the US alternative titles for her books that they chose. From the 1960's onwards protests gathered pace on both sides of the Atlantic about the choice of words used in both of the markets. In the UK the title was changed from "Ten Little Niggers" in the mid-1980's to "And Then There Were None" but the contents of the book remained the same until relatively recently when Christie's literary estate - headed for a long time by her daughter and then her grandson - approved the changing to Soldier. This is the version that has been on sale for several years now in bookshops and you would in all probability not be able to purchase a NEW version of the book with either the original UK or US wordings. This page reflects the current wording of the book as approved by Christie's estate and on sale today but makes plentiful references to the original wording in order that someone couldn't make erroneous claims of censorship. In any case, as it is a British book and the the 1940 US wording was not of Christie's original choice the word Indian has not precedence whatsoever.--Jtomlin1uk (talk) 09:06, 3 December 2008 (UTC)

The section "Publication History" claims that "Modern printings use the rhyme Ten Little Soldiers and 'Soldier Island'." However this statement is not sourced, and seems not to be uniformly true. St. Martin's Press publishes a mass market paperback and a trade paperback of the book. The 2001 mass market paperback uses Indian Island while the 2004 trade paperback uses Soldier Island. Both versions are in print in the US and available through, so it's hard to claim that one is a modern printing and one is not. I've marked this statement for verification. --Uncia (talk) 21:54, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

The version I read used soldiers and soldier Island — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:43, 3 February 2012 (UTC)

Unnecessary references[edit]

I have deleted a number of unnecessary references that have been added to this page over the past few weeks. This page is about the book and, in line with the Wikinovels template, also refers to adaptations of the book, be they film, tv or other. Films which "somewhat" mirror the plot, episodes of television series where people die one by one or music on japanese video games are none of these things. To add these things in is to get close to having a "trivia" section which is always discouraged on Wikipedia.--Jtomlin1uk (talk) 17:36, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

I understand why the original British title has been rejected in favour of the alternative American title and I accept this may be a controversial move. That said, this is a British book and it has mostly been published in Britain as "Ten Little Niggers". This article should really be given its original title. --Lo2u (TC) 03:09, 25 January 2009 (UTC)

Actually, looking at the evidence again, it seems Agatha Christie's estate has approved the renaming of the book. So probably best to leave it. --Lo2u (TC) 03:33, 25 January 2009 (UTC)
The Christie estate are commercially motivated, and subject to 21st century political pressures that are irrelevant to Christie's life. The book should certainly be published under its original title, but I suspect it will take a few hundred years for the issue to blow over and authenticity to be respected in this case. In the meantime, the article about an in print book should probably use the current title. Mowsbury (talk) 20:43, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

Dates incorrectly punctuated[edit]

There are several full dates with incorrect punctuation (lacking a comma after the year). As an IP user I can't fix this as the article is currently under semi-protection. (talk) 17:08, 20 February 2009 (UTC)

Could you give a couple specific examples so that I can fix them? Cheers. Imperat§ r(Talk) 22:42, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
I think I've fixed all the dates now. For International Format dates, a comma after the year is only required to conform with normal grammar rules. For example: "On 6 September 1939 Agatha Christie entertained the vicar." is correct, as is "On 6 September 1939, following tea with the vicar, Agatha Christie wrote a short story in which a clergyman is strangled.". --Pete (talk) 21:02, 15 March 2009 (UTC)
Sorry but I think this is wrong. Please see this page. The elements that make up dates should have commas between them.--Jtomlin1uk (talk) 09:05, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
It isn't wrong. English has been doing away with extraneous punctuation since the pig's breakfast Dickens made of them: ...6 September 1939... is perfectly correct. The original anon was right, however, in saying that the American format dates ...September 6, 1939... should (technically) be followed by a comma after the year (it's a parenthetical appositive giving greater detail about the date). Of course, so many people leave it out that it's just something to correct as a personal quirk, not as an article of faith. — LlywelynII 02:52, 6 September 2013 (UTC)

List of Movies based on this story is not complete in the Wiki article.[edit]

In 1965 the story was filmed under the name "Ten Little Indians." It starred Hugh O'Brian, the Wyatt Earp of 1950's American TV, and Shirley Eaton, who had short-lived fame as the girl who was killed by gold paint in the James Bond film "Goldfinger." Wilfred Hyde-White, Leo Genn, Dahlia Lavi and Fabian were also featured. Christopher Lee was the mysterious voice on the tape which accused the guests of their crimes.

This correction is based on the Internet Movie Data Base (IMDB) as well as personally having viewed the 1965 movie several tmes.

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:And Then There Were None/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Hi, I will be reviewing this article soon. It may take me a few days to finish, so I'll try to post my review in sections. Cheers, Ricardiana (talk) 04:09, 31 March 2009 (UTC)

Criterion 1 - Well-written, complies with MOS[edit]

The writing is not bad overall, and the article mostly complies with the Manual of Style, but there are definitely some problems.

  • The plot summary is very long. An encyclopedia article should be more concise. I suggest just cutting some info out - for instance, there's a long section on the characters in the plot summary but then a separate section on "Characters" later, which is a little repetitive. Some info you might be able to split off into separate articles - like the poem. In any case, the plot summary needs to be pruned considerably.
Mostly done. I've pruned off the Characters list, but I haven't gone over the majority of the actual plot yet.
  • Once the plot summary is over, there are a lot of bulleted lists in the article for films, etc. They are definitely a nice visual break after scrolling through so much unrelieved text in the plot summary, but the MOS doesn't like [[2]], so re-write them as paragraphs.
  • Yes check.svg Done
  • The "other" section is basically trivia, at least in format. Some of the info, like the pastiche, could just be part of a more broadly titled film adaptation / interpretation section; other stuff like the Spiderman bit is just trivia and will have to go, sorry.
Yes check.svg Done
  • I think it would make more sense to put the "Publication history" section up after the plot summary and before getting into the films, etc. As it is I was reading about the book, then about films and computer games and then back to the book again. I would put all the book stuff together. Publication history could even go first, before plot, which might help to defray some of the past edit wars over the title.
  • Yes check.svg Done
  • Some of the sections are very, very short, like the Geography one. I'm not sure the really short sections need to be their own sections - work the information into existing sections - the geo. info could easily go into the plot summary - or else beef things up a little. Is there more info on the graphic novel or video game?
  • Yes check.svg Done
  • There are a number of local sentences I found unclear, but they were all in the plot summary section and I don't see the point in nit-picking if someone is just going to re-work the whole section anyway, so I'll save any local comments for later, after that section has been pared down.
  • The "Bibliography" section only lists Taves, but none of the other sources. You could do two things here: one, get rid of the section altogether, since you have info under "References," or you could create a "Notes" and "References" section (I just did this to Nancy Drew, and Emily Dickinson, which is a Featured Article, has this layout as well).
  • Yes check.svg Done
  • Since the lead is supposed to be a summary of the article, you could add some more info to it - mention the adaptations into various media, for example. Ricardiana (talk) 04:43, 31 March 2009 (UTC)
  • The "Literary reception" section is basically "So and so said: 'X.' Another person said 'Y.' Mr. Q: 'Z.'" It needs to read less like a collection of quotations and more like a synthesis of various opinions of the work. Paraphrase more. Ricardiana (talk) 04:52, 31 March 2009 (UTC)

Criterion 2 - accurate and verifiable[edit]

Looks good here. One thing I do suggest - not for GA status, but just to make the article easier to work with - is re-doing the ref tags so that they refer quickly to fuller info in a References section - the example of Emily Dickinson cited above shows what I mean. The reason I recommend this is that it's just so much easier to edit when you're not faced with a huge long tag - although perhaps in this page's case, you want to make it harder to edit...hmmm....Ricardiana (talk) 04:50, 31 March 2009 (UTC)

Criterion 3 - broad in coverage, focused on topic[edit]

Looks good here as well, except for the issues aforementioned with the overly long plot summary. Ricardiana (talk) 04:50, 31 March 2009 (UTC)

Criterion 4 - neutral[edit]

Fine here. Ricardiana (talk) 04:50, 31 March 2009 (UTC)

Criterion 5 - stable[edit]

Normally this would fail GA because of the edit wars, but in the case of this article the edit warring is I think inevitable. I suggest requesting semi-protection of this article at some point to try to cut down on that. Also, kudos to whoever thought of adding warnings about making changes - I hope that is helping, although it may be too early to tell. Ricardiana (talk) 04:43, 31 March 2009 (UTC)

Criterion 6 - images[edit]

Current images look fine. It would be nice if you could add one or two more; trailers are in the public domain, I'm told, so you could use a still from a trailer, or a picture of a movie poster or something like that. Ricardiana (talk) 04:58, 31 March 2009 (UTC)


A lot of useful stuff but the ordering of the sections (e.g. put the publication history straight after the plot summary) is against the wikinovels template.--Jtomlin1uk (talk) 08:20, 31 March 2009 (UTC)

"Do not, however, forget the spirit behind these guidelines. If they make editing or reading more difficult for a particular novel or for novels in general, change them or ignore them, preferably with some explanation on talk or meta pages. Many novels do not necessitate layouts such as this, or have special requirements that do not fit the template exactly." ~ I think this page might be an exception due to the edit wars over the title. The page has been semi-protected at one point evidently, it's had semi-protection requested but denied at least once, it's had the cover of the novel bat back and forth between versions in the past, and the page has invisible warnings to editors about the publication history. Seems to me just putting the publication history earlier on the page, rather than burying it at the bottom, might help with that. Thus my suggestion. Ricardiana (talk) 15:37, 31 March 2009 (UTC)


I see that Imperator has made number of good changes. Looks like this is what's left:

  • Plot summary is definitely better. Can still be pruned a little, which I see someone (Imperator?) is working on. In the process, there are some awkwardly worded sentences that can be shortened or eliminated in re-writing. Here are some examples:
  • "Thus, with his mental make-up the way it was, he became a judge, ordering the death penalty in all cases where he firmly believed the accused person guilty, so he could enjoy seeing them crippled with fear by the knowledge that they would soon be hanged." I'm all in favor of long, rolling, Dickensian sentences, but I think this one has a few too many clauses. Also, some of them are awkward: "with his mental makeup the way it was" could be "given his mental makeup" or something like that.
  • Yes check.svg Done
  • "He then picked them off one by one, reveling in the mental torture each survivor experiences as their own fate approaches." Inconsistent use of verb tense.
  • Yes check.svg Done
  • "After Vera (the guiltiest of the "condemned" according to the judge, since she not only deliberately allowed a child to drown but then managed to pass herself off as a heroine who had tried to rescue the boy) hanged herself, Wargrave, who had been watching from the bedroom closet, pushed the chair against the wall." That long parenthetical divorces subject from verb, and is info that could be covered in the character listing or at least re-worked here.
  • Yes check.svg Done
  • The "Other" section is still written in bulleted form, so that needs to change. In addition, I suggest either incorporating the info in to the film adaptation section, or retitling this section to be more specific, in order to avoid people adding trivia - I notice somebody did just yesterday. Even "Other film versions" might help with that.
  • Yes check.svg Done I've also added a note that will hopefully deter addition of trivia.
  • The citations to Taves only give author's last name - there should be more info. I'll go into the history and put it in if no-one else does.
  • Add something about film adaptations to the lead, as the lead should summarize the article. Could also mention video game and graphic novel.
Yes check.svg Done
  • "Literary reception" is still mostly a collection of quotations, mostly focused on reception. I added a quotation from a critic with an opinion about the significance of the work in general. What the section needs now is topic sentences of some kind, and perhaps breaking up the quotations. Something like this would read more smoothly: "Reception of the book was uniformly favorable. Early critics called the novel "ingenious" and "fascinating." Writing in the such-and-such periodical, so-and-so wrote that .... Other critics were similarly laudatory .... blah blah."
  • Yes check.svg Done

That looks like all that's left. I can make some changes myself, but I'm not allowed to do the bigger stuff. I'll keep checking back in. Best, Ricardiana (talk) 17:49, 1 April 2009 (UTC)

I've fixed all of the points but one (the citation to Taves). I'm afraid that I'm pretty hopeless in that area, so it would appreciated if you could help do it ;) Cheers. I'mperator 19:21, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
Taken care of. Ricardiana (talk) 22:57, 1 April 2009 (UTC)

On hold status[edit]

Imperator has made a lot of good changes to this article, and it's much improved. I've put it on "On Hold" status for one reason, which is Criterion #1, the writing. I gave some examples above in the "Progress" section of some problematic sentences, and Imperator immediately went and changed them, so kudos to Imperator. However, sadly, those examples were just examples, not the only problematic sentences. So, I've put the article on hold; in a week, time will be up and I'll check back to see what changes have been made.

To give some guidance, I think that the main problem section is the plot summary. The "Characters" section has some problems as well. The writing in the rest of the article is fine.

I would list every problem sentence except that there are a lot of them. So, instead, I'll make a list of the kinds of problems to look for.

  • Long parenthetical statements, especially those that separate subject and verb or that interrupt a clause. In general, keep parentheticals short and to a minumum.
  • Eliminate wordiness. There's a lot of that here. To give just one example: "ten little figurines of soldiers." "Soldier figurines" would do just fine and eliminate the "of"; "figurine" implies little, so "little" is unnecessary.
  • On a related note, eliminate repetition.
  • Watch punctuation. A sentence should not have multiple semi-colons, for example, unless you are separating items in a list; semi-colons should not be used for commas; and dashes should be used sparingly.
  • Tone. The "Characters" section reads like the back cover of a 60s paperback. For an encyclopedia article, the language should be more matter-of-fact and less dramatic. Readers only need to know the character's names, professions, and past crimes. Descriptions of their appearance, etc., are what make fiction great and encyclopedia articles not so great b/c encyclopedia articles don't have that kind of thing. -As a guide, the description of Dr. Armstrong is perfect. The others should fit that pattern.
  • Consistency of verb tense. I gave one example already, but there are others, particularly in the "Postscript" section.

Update to status - will be asking for second opinion[edit]

Hello, I've checked back in and the bad news is that I don't think that this article is a GA just yet. I will be asking for a second opinion, however, rather than just failing it, since I'm new to this process.

My main reason is that not all my previous comments were addressed. I do appreciate that Imperator made a number of changes to address some of those comments. However, I was able to go in today and make a number of changes to eliminate wordiness (I cut nearly 1000 words on one edit alone), repetition, etc., as well as some issues with punctuation and so on. I know that it's OK for a reviewer to be bold and make changes herself, but my impression is that those changes should be minor. I don't know if the changes I've made are minor enough to be kosher or not, and I don't want to get in trouble for passing an article I've done too much work on. On the other hand, without some such changes as I made, I think the article would have failed on criterion 1.

So we'll see what the other reviewer thinks. Here are my thoughts:

  1. The plot summary is still way long. Do we really need a blow-by-blow of each person's death?
  2. The character summary was pruned a little, but I see someone added back in much of what was cut. I stand by my previous comments on this section.
  3. The literary reception and significance section is still rather chunky and clunky. Also, it focuses almost entirely on reception, and not very much on significance. I added a few quotations from a modern critic, but today as I'm flipping through Google Books I'm seeing other possibilities - Out of the woodpile By Frankie Y. Bailey, for one. This raises a new concern, because while a GA needn't be completely thorough, it shouldn't leave out anything important, and modern assessments of literary significance are definitely important to include in the section on literary significance.

So, I will be asking for a second reviewer shortly. Ricardiana (talk) 17:20, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

Second opinion[edit]

I'd support a fail. However, since the criticisms I'd suggest (see below) haven't necessarily been covered before, you might want to consider giving it a day or two more before making a decision. However, aside from the several small issues, there's two large problems (two unreferenced sections, and an apparently less-than-comprehensive coverage of its reception) that I don't think can be solved in a short time without a lot of work.

  1. The word "Niggers" is wikilinked in the lede, but not "Indians" further down. I think the two terms should be treated with consistency, so I'd probably wikilink both words, but only in the first instance where they occur outwith a mention of the book's titles (in the ==Publication history== section)—personally I try to avoid wikilinking bold text unless absolutely necessary.
    Yes check.svg Done
  2. I'd agree the Plot summary section is out of proportion to the rest of the article. More importantly, it's entirely unreferenced. You can either reference the book itself as a primary source, or use CliffsNotes or similar; see this link as an example. Note that this particular site requires registration, but if you can find something similar it should help you.
    Doing. I've added one citation to bookrags, but intend to use book itself more.
    Hmm, I respectfully disagree. The MOS says that citations should be given "when adding material that is challenged or likely to be challenged, when quoting someone, when adding material to the biography of a living person, when checking content added by others, and when uploading an image." None of this applies to a plot summary, and as a college instructor I have a big problem with the idea of citing Cliffnotes, Sparknotes, Bookrags, or anything similar. I also simply don't think that those are reliable sources. Ricardiana (talk) 04:03, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
    I see where you're coming from with this, and checking some on-Wiki discussions (e.g. here and here at the Reference Desk), their reliability is disputed, especially at Featured level. I'm not from the US and don't have first-hand experience of them, so I may have been mistaken in how "scholarly" these publications are considered.
    Nevertheless, I'd still prefer to see references either to the primary source or a reliable secondary source of some description. Such citations act both as barriers to passing vandalism (someone slyly changing "the butler did it" to "the housekeeper did it" is slightly more difficult to get away with if it conflicts with an external source), and also to demonstrate that the summary is not original research. However, as the primary reviewer the decision is yours; you won't see me demanding a review if you pass this sans citations for the synopsis. --DeLarge (talk) 10:46, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
  3. The section heading of ==Characters in "And Then There Were None"== can simply be cut down to ==Characters==
    Yes check.svg Done
  4. In ==Literary significance and reception== there's a spelling error: other reviewers were "as complimentary".
  5. In the same section, you don't need to give exact dates for when each critic said what; that should be covered by the citation.
  6. Same section again: "Such was the quality of Christie's work that many compared it to Roger Ackroyd." No initial wikilink to The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, and because you've given an abbreviated title, this reader (not a Christiephile) thought you were referring to another author rather than one of her earlier works.
    Yes check.svg Done
  7. In the last two paragraphs of this section, you use "critics" in the plural, but only cite one for each viewpoint you're expressing. As expressed above, I think this hasn't been covered to the level of comprehensiveness required. What you might want to do is split this section in two, covering contemporary and modern analysis discreetly, and searching out more commentary.
  8. The opening sentence in ==Film, TV and theatrical adaptations== is very run-on, and lacks punctuation.
    Yes check.svg Done
  9. The ===Television=== subsection should be better written than just five bullet points. It looks doubly bad because the sections around it are all properly written prose text.
    Yes check.svg Done
  10. The first three sub-sections are, like the plot summary, entirely unreferenced. Not even a link to the IMDb page of each film?
  11. Given how short it is, I'd make ==Other media adaptations== a sub-section of the the one above, which I'd rename to something like ==Theatrical and media adaptations==. I'd then just mention the game and the graphic novel in a single paragraph. The current way of writing it gives greater prominence to the game than any of the TV adaptations, for example, by going into more detail about release dates etc. That's very... Wikipedic (sic), and not in a good way. In fact, I think I'd go further; just subsume the video game and graphic novel mentions into "other variations" since they're hardly notable. The game got mediocre reviews, and the graphic novel's only been out for a month.
  12. The fifth reference ( isn't formatted properly (see WP:Footnotes).
    Yes check.svg Done

Apologies for being the bearer of bad tidings, but hopefully these criticisms can help improve the article in the longer term. Regards, --DeLarge (talk) 23:13, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

Ok, sorry for not being responsive; I have just gotten Bart the Fink to GA status. Now that I'm back, I've made quite a few changes, and have encouraged a fellow editor to help copyedit the article. Thanks for waiting :) Cheers. I'mperator 02:41, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

Second opinion from TheLeftorium[edit]

To be honest, I don't think the article meets the GA criteria. Here's some stuff you can improve:

  • "And Then There Were None" should only be bolded one time in the lead.
  • The plot section needs to be shortened down.
  • The "Film, TV and theatrical adaptations" needs to be referenced.

I suggest you withdraw/fail the nomination and work on the article a bit more before nominating it again. —TheLeftorium 13:22, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

Per this and DeLarge's comments, as well as my own, I don't think that this article passes in its current state. I encourage you to submit it for GA again once my, DeLarge's, and TheLeftorium's concerns have been addressed. Ricardiana (talk) 00:42, 10 April 2009 (UTC)


The section describing the sequence and MO of the murders doesn't make sense, lines are repeated and confused. (talk) 23:57, 3 October 2012 (UTC)

We can't change original versions. We must respect original text. If we change it then this is not Agatha Christie anymore! We must respect truth even if we don't like it! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:15, 15 January 2011 (UTC)

Topic paragraph[edit]

Wikipedia isn't censored? Are you kidding? There is no way to edit the topic paragraph, which is historically inaccurate. The book was originally called "Ten Little Niggers." Wikipedia is just as corrupt as the idiots who want to rewrite "Huckleberry Finn" to replace "nigger" with "slave." A huge middle finger to you douchebags at Wikipedia -- you are HUGE censors. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Tlinn80 (talkcontribs) 04:41, 29 July 2011

Anyone can edit the article, it is not protected, simply click the "edit" button at the top of the page. The material is not "censored", if you look at the article history, you can see that an IP editor vandalized the article by changing the wording less than 16 hours ago. This is also supported by the overwhelming talk page consensus supporting the use of the original title. I just undid the IP's edit to restore the original wording and image in the article. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 05:03, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
OK, fair enough -- but you guys don't include the <EDIT> option in the topic paragraph, which is awfully confusing. And this is coming from a guy who designs websites all day. Really, guys? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Tlinn80 (talkcontribs) 05:13, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
My understanding is that it was decided early in the days of the wiki that having a section-edit button for the lead was considered unattractive, so it was remove for the sake of appearance (with the logic that the full page edit button was available via the top tabs. However, it was made available so that each user had the option to add it for their own user-profile (I set it up on mine long ago, so had to search for where the switch is located): select the My preferences link at the very top of the page, then go to the "Gadgets" page; scroll down to the "Appearance" section, and add a check next to the line "Add an [edit] link for the lead section of a page". From then on, you'll see a section-edit for the lead section as long as you're logged into your account. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 06:04, 29 July 2011 (UTC)

Vandalism "ten little sluty ass whores"[edit]

Someone changed the infobox "ten little [whatever]" to "ten little sluty ass whores"

I reverted the vandal edit by — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:19, 15 January 2013 (UTC)

Thank you. You're almost as awesome as User:ClueBot NG! Face-smile.svg Rivertorch (talk) 11:09, 15 January 2013 (UTC)


I wonder if the plot of the Quincy episode "Murder on Ice" could be regarded as an adaptation of this story. The story bears some similarities to this one. Paul MacDermott (talk) 20:56, 15 January 2013 (UTC)

I don't think I've watched Quincy since I was a kid, so I can't respond specifically. Still, the essentials of the plot have become something of a trope, so it's hard to know whether any seemingly derivative work is intentionally echoing the novel or just following the convention—at least without hearing from the writer(s). I suppose that if a notable critic has indicated a connection, it might be worth a mention here. Rivertorch (talk) 21:21, 15 January 2013 (UTC)

Length of plot summary[edit]

WP:NOVSTY advises 3-4 paragraphs, includes prologues and epilogues, not 12. AnEyeSpy (talk) 12:47, 10 June 2013 (UTC)

Advice is advice, but this is a seminal psychological drama, and under BOLD and IAR one can sometimes color outside the lines. Yours, Quis separabit? 01:09, 13 June 2013 (UTC)
How about a compromise? I think the recent, shorter version was a bit too short for clarity's sake, but I've been thinking for some while that what preceded it was seriously verbose. Rivertorch (talk) 07:03, 13 June 2013 (UTC)
OK, what kind of compromise do you have in mind? Quis separabit? 14:30, 13 June 2013 (UTC)
Nothing terribly specific. The prose shouldn't be so truncated as to be awkward or misleading, and that did happen here recently. On the other hand, summary should summarize, touching only on the essential elements and avoiding all but the most important details. Any detail that isn't critical to prevent a reader's being confused should probably be omitted, even if it means that the summary doesn't present a 100% coherent story. One of the problems with intricately detailed plot summaries is that they attract drive-by editors who think they should be even more intricately detailed. That has been an issue with this article, and there haven't been enough watchers knowledgeable about the plot to ensure accuracy.. It's been a few years since I read the book, but based on my recollection I'm guessing that there are enough important details in the book to warrant five or six paragraphs, some of them longish. Rivertorch (talk) 23:56, 13 June 2013 (UTC)
OK, I'll do my best to rv the fat. Quis separabit? 00:52, 16 June 2013 (UTC)
The present edition is fine. Tag removed.
Less than 500 words may be perfect for describing a Pokemon episode or Avengers movie, but detective stories are naturally heavy on plot and plot twists. Any future edits should be based on improving clarity and concision, not arbitrary word counts. — LlywelynII 02:46, 6 September 2013 (UTC)

ABC TV series Whodunnit[edit]

The current (Aug. 2013) TV series Whodunnit could also be considered as a variation of the And Then There Were None story. They started with 13 "guests" and they are being killed one at a time, except for a double murder. As I write this there are only 4 left and one of them is the killer. We don't know who it is yet. Perhaps a reference to this should be added, after the TV series is complete. Scfenster (talk) 02:12, 6 August 2013 (UTC)


As far as Google knows, the guy in the archive who thought the original Christie title was Nigger in the Woodpile seems to have been mistaken, but this source claims that the original US title for Dodd, Mead, & Co.'s first edition was Ten Little Indians; then later it became And Then There Were None and also The Nursery Rhyme Murders (which we don't even have listed as an alternate title in the publication history section). Could someone check the sources and figure out if this is accurate? — LlywelynII 04:33, 6 September 2013 (UTC)

Nigger Boys, Injun/Indian Braves/Boys, Soldier Boys[edit]

There are some pretty obnoxious comments above and in the actual article complaining about how tedious it is reverting people's edits. In fact, the 'problem' seems to be Jtomlin1uk's page WP:OWNership and a pretty good reason for those continuing edits (I was starting make one myself) is that no one has even attempted to establish a consensus here or in the archived discussion. So, let's fix that.

I'm pretty sure there aren't many "Indian" fans just because that's the American version of the rhyme, so the argument seems to be

should the article use Christie's original rhyme and wording or should it use the modern Christie Estate's?

In favor of the modern, you have the point that "nigger" is so far outside the pale in modern diction that a Canadian government employee was fired for referencing this book under its original name; simply showing it inescapably makes Christie look a little sketchy to modern eyes. In favor of the original, you've got Wikipedia's general preference for presenting first editions; its policies against censorship; the work as a historic artifact; the facts that "soldier boy" was never an actual children's rhyme nor in any sense appropriately describes most of the characters in the novel. It's not our job to make Christie's work look any better or different from what she wrote.

Including the discussion above, support currently seems stacked against Jtomlin1uk's version:

  • Original:
    John Larring
    unsigned here
    (possibly also: unsigned in archive,
    & JayKeaton, who all speak strongly in favor of presenting the original wording of the title)
  • Bowdlerized:
    (possibly also: Will the Great, who speaks in favor of the the estate's wishes)

but obviously we should hear from more people. What do you guys think? — LlywelynII 05:05, 6 September 2013 (UTC)

Copyediting points[edit]

Over the last few days and I have been working on this article. We've hit a few points where we seem to favor different wordings or styles.

Rather than revert where we differ I'm bringing them to the talk page to discuss them. Input from anyone else welcomed too :)

WP:BLP violation.

The additional (..) comment has been re-added after removal:

"The original name of the mystery... has long been abandoned as offensive. (For example, [name of living individual] was pressured to resign after using the same three words during [details of a real-world business meeting] [external cite link to show forced resignation])"

Yes it's useful to cite the statement "n-word is deemed very offensive". No, even if hell freezes over, we do not illustrate that by picking one unconnected living individual who was in completely different real-life circumstances prominently pressured to resign for using it in ....2002?!..., with zero other connection to the article and no other reason for mention at all, beyond (in effect) look at this real-world person's real-world disgrace, which shows it's a really offensive word. Instead, it should be pretty easy to find a different reliable source for the real point requiring cites: namely "the word is long-seen as grossly offensive". One can review the articles on that word, find an existing cite that shows it is agreed to be very offensive by mainstream/significant views, and reuse that cite in this article as well, to underpin the same point. Sorry for the strong tone I may have said that in, but it's really important to convey why it's serious, why it's not a borderline question, why one should not do citing this way (in any article), and how else it can better be done. Learning point maybe :) If you disagree, I'm happy to discuss but per WP:BLP please do not revert without clear consensus, thanks :)

I get wayyyy more relaxed now, after that's off my chest! :) Sorry for the strong words :) The rest's a lot lighter!

Original research:

The underlined words are original research. (Some of them insert "outside reader" + critic's observations into the plot section. These should be in a separate "plot observations" section if anywhere, and citable to a reliable source, not just Wikipedians comments)

  • "Vera and Lombard... both now believe each other to be the killer, overlooking, in their shock and panic, that neither could have killed Blore."
(outside-plot observation: this is what a reader might think, or a critic would think)
  • "He lured nine of them to the island he had purchased with the help of a shady lawyer, Isaac Morris"
(the novel doesn't - from memory - say anything on this, so he may have been completely honest as a lawyer, other matters aside. Contextually, it was written pre-war, before the war on drugs, when Sherlock Holmes was not an outcast for enjoying cocaine. I don't think we have any basis at all for a claim that the character Morris in the novel was a "shady" lawyer.)
  • "Armstrong, who trusted the judge more than anyone else"
("trusted" yes; "trusting nature" yes; this no)
"U.N. Owen" as a character:

For most of the book, this is a character. The fact it's an alias of another person doesn't change that for the novel proper, U.N. Owen is indeed a mysterious character. Of course we need to be clear the reality. This I think is appropriate and says it all, if added:

"U.N. Owen is the fictional alias of the island's owner and the host who invites the guests to it. In their invitations the initials U.N. stand for different names for each guest. The guests surmise this to be a homonym of the word Unknown, used by the mysterious killer."
A lot of valueless verbosity or unnecessary details that can be tightened to improve tone:
  • "the corpse of Armstrong"
-> "Armstrong's body"
  • "Vera manages to persuade Lombard"
-> "Vera persuades Lombard"
  • "she fires, managing to shoot him through the heart, killing him almost instantly"
-> "she shoots him through the heart"
(is the mention of instantness a plot point, compared to if it took 40 or 60 seconds? Shooting through the heart in fiction is usually assumed by a reader to be pretty instantly fatal)
  • "She returns, relieved, to the house"
-> "She returns to the house"
  • "Morris, a hypochondriac, constantly complained of maladies, both real and imagined. For this reason, he accepted a cocktail of medicines given to him by the judge, who promised they would cure his upsets, and which, of course, proved fatal."
-> "Morris, a hypochondriac, was killed by poisoned medicines given to him by the judge before the weekend itself, who explained they would help his illnesses."
(So much wrong here.. we don't need 3/4 of this here, especially as it's background anyway, and it's further repeated in his character summary as well. Is it a key plot point that he "constantly" complained? Clauses like "For this reason", "which, of course", "which proved" rather than "which were", so much here is redundant, adding wordage or removing simplicity but not adding any value. What does matter here is two things - He had a (real or imagined) medical complaint. He accepted poisoned medicines he would have used.)
  • "He then played upon Armstrong, who trusted the judge"
-> "He then played upon the trusting Dr Armstrong"
  • "the judge met with his dupe secretly that night along the rocks overlooking the sea and pushed him to his death"
-> "he pushed the doctor off the rocks into the sea"
(don't need to clumsily state "dupe" or make that claim ourselves. We've already said the doctor trusted him, that's enough. "Death" is implied by immediate continuation, which states the "body" or "corpse" drifted on the tide)
  • "he correctly surmised that Vera and Lombard would turn on each other but that she would be more than a worthy opponent and manage to turn the tables on the latter"
-> "he expected Vera to outwit and kill Lombard"
(we don't need to emphasize how clever he is with words like "correctly", or dress up his expectations in a long phrase about her "more than worthiness" as an "opponent". He expected her to survive, and it happened. keep it simple and direct, encyclopedia tone not "literary review" tone)
  • "he (again correctly) anticipated"
-> "he anticipated"
  • "using a handkerchief to prevent leaving any of his own fingerprints"
-> "using a handkerchief to prevent any fingerprints"
(because he might leave someone else's prints if he touches it? :) )
  • "He states that he will fasten a rubber cord to Lombard's gun, using a handkerchief... If this plan works as intended, the gun will recoil"
-> "He states that he will fasten a rubber cord to Lombard's gun, using a handkerchief... The gun will recoil"
(Any plan's description is "what happens if it works as intended", this is redundant. It's re-stating it's Wargrave's plan, when we've already made clear this is his plan)
  • "The gun will recoil after firing the fatal shot through the forehead, leaving him exactly as described"
-> "The gun will recoil after his death, leaving him shot exactly as described"
(no need to repeat his plan a third time, either. We've said he will be left looking exactly as described. For Wikipedia plot purposes we've said how he will be left)
  • "She returns, relieved, to the house, which she notes does not "feel like an empty house", decides she is not hungry and ascends to her room"
-> "She returns to the house"
(the next sentence says that she feels another presence anyway [so it doesn't feel empty], her hunger isn't relevant, and the fact she goes to a room isn't relevant - the very next sentence is that she finds a noose in the house and hangs herself)
  • "Feeling the presences of Cyril, the boy she allowed to drown, as well as that of her former lover, Hugo, she places the noose around her neck"
-> "Feeling the presences of the boy she allowed to drown and of a past lover, she places the noose around her neck"
(the book states she's in a disoriented state, she smells seaweed, she feels others presences, and the suggestive nature of the chair and noose prompts her to kill herself. We don't need to mention each presence for this. Hugo and Cyril as individuals are pretty irrelevant. So we don't need a lengthy description. If we do, it's in her character info anyway.)
  • "After bludgeoning General Macarthur and Rogers, the butler,"
-> "After bludgeoning General Macarthur and Rogers,"
(Said who Rogers is in the plot, already)
  • "the judge managed to insert his remaining chloral hydrate as a sedative in Miss Brent's coffee before injecting her with cyanide when she was left alone in the kitchen, using one of Dr Armstrong's hypodermics"
-> "he used his remaining chloral hydrate as a sedative in Miss Brent's coffee before injecting her with poison"
(we're already discussing "the judge" who has just bludgeoned two people, so "he" is enough. The novel says nothing to suggest he "managed" to drug the coffee, any more than it says he "managed" to hit Rogers with an axe or "managed" to pull the clock down, that's tone we shouldn't add. It's not relevant she was "alone in the kitchen" or that he used the doctor's needles rather than bringing his own - all of that is minor detail for our kind of plot summary)
  • "shortly afterwards, shocking Lombard and Vera, the corpse of Armstrongs washes ashore"
-> "shortly afterwards, shocking the remaining two survivors, Armstrongs body is washed ashore"
(quickly mentions number of survivors - it's easy to lose count we're down to the last two! No need to repeat names as we mention names in previous + next sentence too. "Armstrong's body" is tighter text than "the corpse of Armstrong")

Comments and discussion welcomed. I've reverted the BLP item but not the others yet. FT2 (Talk | email) 16:15, 15 May 2014 (UTC)

Rms125a reply[edit]

I think we agree more than we disagreebut how is this BLP? Is anyone related to the original mystery still alive?? Quis separabit? 21:37, 15 May 2014 (UTC)

:::::That's all for now. Will be back later after I review the book text. Ciao. Quis separabit? 21:37, 15 May 2014 (UTC)

Er, can't locate the book, so let me try from memory and [3] and [4] to tackle a couple of more a few points:

"shortly afterwards, shocking Lombard and Vera, the corpse of Armstrongs washes ashore"

-> "shortly afterwards, shocking the remaining two survivors, Armstrongs body is washed ashore"
(quickly mentions number of survivors - it's easy to lose count we're down to the last two! No need to repeat names as we mention names in previous + next sentence too. "Armstrong's body" is tighter text than "the corpse of Armstrong")|}
Actually, we are not down to two; Wargrave is still alive, remember? Quis separabit? 22:04, 15 May 2014 (UTC)
Both in the reader's perspective and critically, there's probably a good case we are down to two. When Wargrave (apparently) died the characters in the book counted from 5 to 4 survivors, and then 3 after Blore, so in the plot we're at two when they face off. Outside the plot we are as well, even if only on a technicality. Wargrave isn't a "survivor", because, as the killer, he can't be someone who has "survived" being killed by the mysterious killer. Until we describe that Wargrave didn't die, then following our plot summary or the book, there are just 2 "survivors" at that point as far as they or the reader knows. That said I'm happy to consider ideas. But repeating their names is redundant (same names in 3 sentences running) and using words like "apparently" belabors the point a lot. I think "2 survivors" here is going to be pretty unambiguous, especially as a few lines down, after they are both dead, one of the deaths - believed real - is only then disclosed as having been fake. FT2 (Talk | email) 23:30, 15 May 2014 (UTC)

* "he correctly surmised that Vera and Lombard would turn on each other but that she would be more than a worthy opponent and manage to turn the tables on the latter"

-> "he expected Vera to outwit and kill Lombard"
(we don't need to emphasize how clever he is with words like "correctly", or dress up his expectations in a long phrase about her "more than worthiness" as an "opponent". He expected her to survive, and it happened. keep it simple and direct, encyclopedia tone not "literary review" tone)
OK, agreed. Quis separabit? 22:04, 15 May 2014 (UTC)

* "She returns, relieved, to the house"

-> "She returns to the house"
Not sure, here -- the book spends at least half a page describing Vera's self-absorbed triumphant relief. Quis separabit? 22:04, 15 May 2014 (UTC)
It describes a lot in depth, and a lot of different people's states of mind. Half a page of "OMG I survived, I feel floaty/triumphant/disoriented/woozy/whatever" isn't plot narrative stuff really, it's just the usual stuff that goes into the difference between a 120 page novel and a 1/2 page plot summary. The author puts the reader in their mind. Character has a state of mind, author describes it. But it doesn't really make it a plot point. FT2 (Talk | email) 23:30, 15 May 2014 (UTC)

*"Armstrong, who trusted the judge more than anyone else"

-> ("trusted" yes; "trusting nature" yes; this no)
OK, agreed Quis separabit? 22:04, 15 May 2014 (UTC)

Hugo and Cyril as individuals are pretty irrelevant. So we don't need a lengthy description.

-> Say what???!! Dude, the woman ruined her life because of her decision re her charge, Cyril, which cost her the man she loved, her career, and her professional and emotional stability. The psychological torment aspect of this novel centers on Vera and her thoughts about Hugo and Cyril. I wanted to add that she regrets her decision but does not really feel remorse, remembering Cyril as "whiny" and "spoiled" but I didn't despite backup text for the latter part as this is OR on my part, albeit accurate. However, to generally downplay the importance of Hugo and Cyril to Vera, the character who takes up more time and space in the novel than any other, would be a mistake. She is even thinking of Hugo when she puts the noose around her neck hearing in her mind (PTSD, maybe, but still) him telling her to do so! Quis separabit? 22:04, 15 May 2014 (UTC)
Because its a plot summary. It's not trying to summarize the book as (say) Spark Notes would do. She survives. She goes to the house. She slips a noose over her head. The plot link is that she's disoriented, and various memories are coming to her, and objects and scents had been placed in her room to play on that expected/predicted state. It's a summary. (Off topic, if it helps, I also had the same reaction quite a bit on plot summaries, but this really is how plots are tightened for FAC and so on - what's key and what's not. It took me a while to get the point and not to feel "but you're cutting big parts of it?!" on it). FT2 (Talk | email) 23:30, 15 May 2014 (UTC)
"She survives. She goes to the house. She slips a noose over her head" -- there is a little more going on than that. Removing linguistic ostentation is one thing but leaving holes in important plot devices, even those at the very end, is not good. Quis separabit? 02:17, 16 May 2014 (UTC)
How about "Thinking of the child she let drown, and the lover she lost as a result...", would that be a compromise? I don't have a problem with alluding to what was on her mind. I just don't think we need to go into names and details of them. When all said and done Cyril and Hugo are never actually characters in the book. Their plot relevance is that Vera is someone who has had a child drown and thereby lost a love (and also got targeted by a sadist but that's disclosed later!), and who has these losses come to mind when she's alone and in a shocked trancelike state after somehow surviving what she thinks is a mass killing by the man she's just outwitted and shot. Due to the situation, emotionality, suggestive furniture placement, deliberate invocation of seaweed (sea memories), she then ends up in a dreamy way doing as Wargrave thought she might. That's the plot. But those who come into her mind just before death, such as the boy she lost - he could have any name at all, John or Andrew, and we'd still have no essential change to the plot, nor need to refer to him much. We mention his name in her character though. Ditto and more so when we look at Hugo - Hugo is part of the loss related to Cyril that her mind flicks to. For example, he plays no great part himself in the novel, he didn't die, he isn't a reason she's on the island, and so on. Perhaps "Thinking of the child she let drown, and the lover she lost as a result..."? Would that work? We do name and describe them below. FT2 (Talk | email) 10:08, 16 May 2014 (UTC)
OK, compromise is always good, to wit: "Thinking of the child she let drown, and the lover she lost as a result..." Quis separabit? 10:39, 16 May 2014 (UTC)

"He lured nine of them to the island he had purchased with the help of a shady lawyer, Isaac Morris"

-> (the novel doesn't - from memory - say anything on this, so he may have been completely honest as a lawyer, other matters aside. Contextually, it was written pre-war, before the war on drugs, when Sherlock Holmes was not an outcast for enjoying cocaine. I don't think we have any basis at all for a claim that the character Morris in the novel was a "shady" lawyer.)
Interesting, you should bring up cocaine. Wargrave killed Morris because provided the drugs that led to the death of the daughter of his [Wargrave's] friends (difficult as it is to imagine Wargrave having friends, but deus ex machina, there.) The Scotland Yard inspectors investigating the case also discuss Morris' character (or lack thereof).
So Morris was a drug dealer not "shady". I am OK with that change. Quis separabit? 22:04, 15 May 2014 (UTC)
"Drug dealer" hmm.. suggests a regular activity/"career" but we aren't told that's so for the character either. The point is, we don't know if his professionalism as a lawyer was "shady" or "reputable" from the book, and the extent of any underground activity is not described in much depth either. We're best to simply document what's in the book. He (the character) is a lawyer. He also privately supplied drugs that led to someone's death. He got away with it until these events. FT2 (Talk | email) 23:37, 15 May 2014 (UTC)
Is there any reason to assume she was his only client? Quis separabit? 02:17, 16 May 2014 (UTC)
That's the whole point (and the reason that implying either way would be WP:OR) - the book doesn't say either way about the character, so nor can we assume what the character "must" or "probably" might (not) do. FT2 (Talk | email) 10:08, 16 May 2014 (UTC)
OK, agreed. Quis separabit? 10:39, 16 May 2014 (UTC)

Title used in article[edit]

The book was written as ‘Ten Little Niggers’ and known as this for many years. In more recent years, the alternative title ‘And Then There Were None’ has been introduced by the Christie estate to cater for objections to the original title.

  • Part 1: Should the article title be ‘Ten Little Niggers’ or ‘And Then There Were None’?
  • Part 2: Should the novel be described throughout the page as ‘Ten Little Niggers’ or ‘And Then There Were None’? (talk) 01:04, 24 June 2014 (UTC)

Response to part 1[edit]

Response to part 2[edit]

Use of a slur[edit]

Why do we need to have the original cover depicting the book when it's not even printed like that anymore? I think we should have that cover somewhere else in the article, but definitely not as the main image. TheWompEditor (talk) 02:44, 18 September 2014 (UTC)

General John Gordon Macarthur[edit]

The term "life preserver" is ambiguous. Was he killed with a club or a lifebelt or a lifebuoy, all of which can have this name? (I am guessing not a lifejacket.) There is a link, but it would be better to have a non-ambiguous term in the first place. Chemical Engineer (talk) 16:11, 2 January 2015 (UTC)