Agatha Christie Wiki
Advertisement

Maud Dane Calthrop is the wife of the Reverend Caleb Dane Calthrop. She is an acquaintance of both Jane Marple and Ariadne Oliver.

She is very intelligent and knows a lot of people's natures. In The Moving Finger, Jerry Burton says that everyone in Lymstock is slightly afraid of Maud, including himself. This is because everyone has hidden chapters of their lives that they hope will never be known, but she knows them.

Maud feels that the anonymous letters being received by many people in Lymstock are wrong, because they do not seem to know any of the real shameful secrets. She is also of the opinion that the writer of the anonymous letters is "desperately, violently unhappy". Maud feels self-reproachful because someone was so unhappy, and she had no idea of it.

When murders occur in her home town Lymstock, Maud contacts her friend Jane Marple to help her with solving the crimes.

Maud had a cousin called Jasper Harrington-West who is mentioned in The Moving Finger.

Maud Calthrop appears again in the novel The Pale Horse. This time, years later, she has moved with her husband to the parish at Much Deeping. Mark Easterbrook is worried about what he has seen at of the women at The Pale Horse who claimed to be able to kill at long distance. Mark confides in Mrs Calthrop who is not at all surprised. "It's important to know all about the various ... sins that are going on," she tells him. Mark laid out for her all that he had noted, including the names on Father Gorman's list, where so many on the list had died. Like Mark, Mrs Calthrop felt that it was preposterous to be able to kill remotely but nonetheless felt everything sounded very bad. Whatever is behind it has to be stopped. She encourages Mark to get to the bottom of what is happening at the Pale Horse.

Mr and Mrs Calthrop are important crossover characters. Her presence in The Moving Finger puts them in the Miss Marple universe. Their presence in The Pale Horse puts them in the same universe as Rhoda Dawes, Hugh Despard and Ariadne Oliver, in other words, the Hercule Poirot universe.

Portrayals

In the BBC 1985 adaptation of the novel which formed part of the Miss Marple series, the character's name is changed slightly to "Maud Calthrop" and is played by Dilys Hamlett. She invites Miss Marple to Lymstock much earlier than in the novel, before the first death occurs.

In the ITV 2006 adaptation of the novel (Episode 2, Series of Agatha Christie's Marple), Maud Dane Calthrop is played by Frances de la Tour.

Advertisement