Agatha Christie Wiki
Advertisement

In the novel At Bertram's Hotel, Lady Selina Hazy is a friend of Jane Marple. They had tea at Bertram's Hotel. Since she isn’t very well off, Derek Luscombe wondered how she could afford to stay at the hotel.

She is 65 years old and lives in Leicestershire. Her address, as recorded in the register at Bertram's Hotel, is Little Cottage, Merryfield, Hants. For a while she had lived in St. Mary Mead, when her second son was stationed at an airfield nearby.

At the beginning of the novel, Lady Selina mentions that she is in London to see her dentist, and since she is there, she intends to see a man in Harley Street about her arthritis. She had been to see this man previously, and he had taken her by the neck when she was not expecting it, ad wrung it like a chicken. As a result, she was able to look over her right shoulder for the first time in years.

Miss Marple mentions to Lady Selina that her niece, Joan West, is a painter. However, Lady Selina has little interest in painters or anything artistic. She regards writers, artists, and musicians as "a species of clever performing animal", and while she is prepared to feel indulgent towards them, she privately wonders why they want to do what they did.

Lady Selina has known Bess Sedgwick ever since she was a girl, and tells Miss Marple about how Bess ran away with an Irish groom when she was sixteen, and the men she married after that.

Lady Selina thinks that she recognises various friends and acquaintances at Bertram's Hotel, but she is often mistaken. She is short-sighted and optimistic, and since the thing she enjoys most is meeting old friends and acquaintances, she often makes such mistakes.

Miss Marple is at first amused by how anxious Lady Selina is to recognize people she knows, and how often she is wrong. She also notices other people making similar mistakes. This happens so often that Miss Marple later realizes that many of the people at Bertram's Hotel are not who they claim to be.

Portrayals

BBC's Miss Marple

In the BBC 1987 adaptation of the novel, Selina Hazy is portrayed by Joan Greenwood. This portrayal is fairly close to the original novel. As in the novel, her role here is mainly to supply various items of gossip and background information for the benefit of Miss Marple and the audience. She also mentions how a doctor wrung her neck like a chicken (which she found very beneficial) but does not mention going to the dentist.

ITV's Marple

In the ITV 2007 adaptation of the novel, Selina Hazy is portrayed by Francesca Annis. She continues to play the role assigned in the original novel, as a conversation partner for Miss Marple and supplier of gossip but here she has a slightly different backstory. She is the third cousin once removed of Sir Richard Blake, the father of Elvira Blake. Selina did not come up to London for medical treatment. Here, Sir Richard had just been legally declared dead and she had come to the hotel to attend the reading of his will, as a potential beneficiary. She inherited a lithograph of Sir Richard's mansion Mayfield's House, a place where she spent many summers. However she was named as a potential suspect in what was thought to be the attempted killing of Elvira Blake, since she stood to inherit the house itself should Elvira and Bess Sedgwick be dead.

Like in the other adaptations, Selina here is also of high social status but impoverished. At one point, she told Miss Marple her last option was to sell her mother's jewel necklace. She was thus involved in a sideplot concerning the theft of her necklace from her in-room safe. During the denouement, Miss Marple and Jane Cooper identified the jewel thieves as the Britten twins and the necklace was returned to Selina.

Advertisement