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Library Spotlight

Library Event

Darcy Was NOT Autistic (and neither was anyone else in 'Pride and Prejudice')

Date: July 7, 2013

Time: 1:00 PM

Location: 3rd floor apse, Kraemer Family Library

The Jane Austen Society of North America, Pikes Peak Region, and the Kraemer Family library present Karenleigh A. Overmann, MA, and Frederick L. Coolidge, PhD (both of the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs Department of Psychology), speaking on the following topics:

Cartesian Dualism, Real and Literary Madness in the Regency, and the Mind and Madness in Austen's Novels 

A critical appraisal of Phyllis Bottomer's 2007 hypothesis that eight of the characters in Pride and Prejudice had autism and that Austen's depiction of autism was intentional. The contrast between historic views of mental illness and modern science's understanding of autism is reviewed, along with what Austen knew of the mind and madness, as revealed by her novels, letters, and literary influences.

On Darcy's Character and the Methods of Modern Psychology

We assess whether Darcy had autism using the criteria and primary diagnostic method of contemporary psychiatric science, the standards in the new fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and the Coolidge Autistic Symptoms Survey, finding that the diagnoses of autism in eight characters in Pride and Prejudice are wildly inflated. Then, borrowing a literary device used by Austen in her novel, we conclude by revealing a much more likely ‘diagnosis' for Mr. Darcy.

The event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.


Posted: 06/26/2013