“It is indeed mon ami Hastings!” Hercule Poirot – The Mysterious Affair at Styles
Captain Arthur Hastings first appeared with Poirot in The Mysterious Affair at Styles. Christie described Hastings as Poirot’s ‘Watson’ - and he does indeed chronicle some of Poirot's most famous cases. This upper class, British Officer, with a penchant for women with auburn hair, was nowhere near as clever as his ‘Sherlock Holmes’. However, his presence is sometimes crucial as in The ABC Murders when his off the cuff remark leads Poirot to the killer. At the beginning of Christie's career she felt that the ‘eccentric detective’ needed a solid British sidekick to make her creation more accessible. Although Christie enjoyed writing Hastings, she was happy to admit he was a ‘stereotyped creation’.
Though Hastings appears in a number of Poirot short stories he would appear in only eight novels. As Christie’s confidence in her writing grew, she no longer felt he was necessary. In Murder in the Links she decided to marry Hastings off: “I think I was getting a little tired of him. I might be stuck with Poirot, but no need to be stuck with Hastings too.”
He would appear in a further six novels when visiting Poirot from his new home of Argentina. It was also only fitting that he would appear in Curtains: Poirot’s Last Case, where the two friends are reunited at Styles, the scene of their first introduction.
Despite his few appearances in the novels, Hastings is a much loved character. His popularity is in part due to the wonderful performance of Hugh Fraser who portrayed him in the ITV adaptations.
Find out more about him in The Complete Battles of Hastings published by HarperCollins.
Masthead Photography: Joan Hickson image © BBC
MURDER MOST FOUL © Turner Entertainment Co. A Warner Bros. Entertainment Company. All Rights Reserved.
AGATHA CHRISTIE® POIROT® MARPLE® Copyright ©2009 Agatha Christie Limited. All rights reserved.