Charles Lynn Batten, Syrie James, Laurie Viera Rigler and Margaret Horvitz

Regional Coordinator Nancy Gallagher welcomed guests.

Margaret Horvitz

Syrie James

Spring 2009

A Day of Pride, Prejudice and Politics

May 2, 2009

UCLA Faculty Center


Charles Lynn Batten, UCLA — Jane Austen: Conservative or Liberal
Syrie James — The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronté
Margaret Horwitz, JASNA Traveling Lecturer — The Legacy of Her Voice: Ethics and Wit in Pride and Prejudice and Its Filmed Adaptations
Laurie Viera Rigler — Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict


Jane Austen disliked the Prince Regent, George IV, especially for the cruel way he treated his wife, Caroline. But Austen was a political and behavioral conservative. Shaken by the violence of the French Revolution, Austen favored preserving the social order at any cost.

That’s the view of Charles Lynn Batten, a UCLA English professor who addressed the question, “Jane Austen, Liberal or Conservative?” at the Spring 2009 meeting of JASNA-Southwest. Batten, a popular lecturer with Los Angeles Janeites, said he was not swayed by contemporary literary critics who see Austen as a feminist or even as a progressive.

Margaret Horowitz, the JASNA 2009 traveling lecturer, analyzed three film adaptations of Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, focusing on how screenwriters brought the epigrammatic qualities of her novel to life. The JASNA grants committee provided a $1,500 grant to JASNA-SW to cover costs of bringing speakers to a regional chapter.

Laurie Viera Rigler read from her upcoming novel Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict, a sequel to her Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict. In her new novel, a young woman named Jane Mansfield is transported to the 21st century, where she struggles to comprehend television, iPhones and rock concerts.

Syrie James, author of The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen, read from her new book, The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Brontë.

JASNA-SW board member Carla Washburn organized the day. A sale of Austen-related books from the estate of Vivian Hall and made possible by Viki Barie raised more than $600. The proceeds will be used to sponsor future JASNA-SW events.

The UCLA Faculty Center

Lynn Batten flanked by former Regional Coordinators Claire Bellanti and Mimi Dudley