A Jane Austen Weekend! ~ Guest Post by Tess Quinn

Dear Readers, 

As many of you as Jane Austen in Vermont blog readers know, The Governor’s House in Hyde Park, Vermont offers Jane Austen weekends throughout the year (you can visit their website to see upcoming  events). This past August Innkeeper Suzanne B. held another of her annual Character Weekends, wherein participants are to choose an Austen character from any of her works [alas! only one of each character allowed – who could take an entire weekend with not only one but perhaps FIVE of a fawning Mr. Collins! And one chatty Miss Bates is certainly enough ….] and play the role all weekend, through all the various activities of reading, chatting, needlework, writing, eating, dancing, horse adventures, and sport [the likes of archery and fencing!] – perhaps only giving up the role for a few hours of contented sleep!

This year a full-weekend I could not do, so I went for several hours on the Saturday and had the pleasure of chatting with the various characters, practicing a bit of archery, watching fencing matches, eating a sumptuous Regency-era meal, and dancing the night away with Val and Tom of the Burlington Country Dancers.  I came home well-satisfied indeed, and in Jane’s own words,  “[I] smiled & whispered to [myself] ‘This [was] a day well spent.'” 

One of the guests was Tess Quinn, who recently wrote a post on this blog about her experience at the Jane Austen Festival in Louisville – Tess has kindly offered to write another post about her weekend here in Vermont, along with many fine pictures! Thank you Tess for sharing this with us! [and it was great to see you again!]


A fair prospect

How often have Jane Austen readers wished they could experience Regency life as her protagonists do – at least the romanticized notion of it we derive from her books?  I can’t be the only one, or there would not be such a market for the myriad books published that deal with Austen fans, disillusioned with modern society, who suddenly find themselves transplanted in time and place to inhabit the body of an Elizabeth Bennet (e.g. Lost in Austen) or some other early 19th century character – for a day, a month or an eternity.  These books and films appeal because, for a little while, they take us away from mortgage payments and term papers and our children’s math homework; they sweep us off into a world our imaginations sketch as more genteel, more polite, less frenetic – more romantic.

Yes, literary time travel has huge appeal, no matter the book genre or historical era in question.  Readers well versed in Jane Austen’s society as depicted in her books must ‘experience’ the Regency in their imaginations; for as far as I know, a working time travel machine has not yet been perfected.  We cannot practically turn the clock back two hundred years… or can we?

I recently vacationed in Vermont where we came close to doing just that!  The Governor’s House at Hyde Park formed a distinguished setting for a gathering of ladies to come together and experience Jane Austen’s era for themselves—or rather, by adopting the personas of her characters for a few days.  The Governor’s House (formerly belonging to the gentleman who provided its name, and now a bed and breakfast inn) was built in the Victorian era but as a reproduction of a Colonial house.  As such, it reflects both periods in its ambience, yet gives one enough of the ‘feel’ of bygone days to transport one’s mindset to Regency England.

Governor’s House in Hyde Park, Vermont,
the setting for a Jane Austen Character Weekend,
and the whole of the experience was delightful.

We gathered first on Friday evening for introductions, each participant in turn describing something of her background until correctly identified.  Most of the books were represented.  Present were Elizabeth Bennet and her aunt Mrs Gardiner, along with Miss Charlotte Lucas.  Anne Elliot attended in the company of her sister, Mary Musgrove and her friend, Lady Russell; as well as a recently-arrived tenant of Kellynch Hall, Mrs Croft.  Eleanor Tilney appeared quite affable in the absence of her father the General.  And Emma Woodhouse came, being in company with both her former governess, Mrs Weston and her nemesis, Mrs Elton; as well as a most entertaining trio – Miss Jane Fairfax, Miss Bates and the elder Mrs Bates, the latter making her presence felt all the weekend though she uttered not a word.

Lady Russell – Miss Tilney – Mrs Weston

Introductions accomplished, we became friends over refreshments, followed by moving to the card tables for an evening of Whist.  I was grateful to find myself at one of the less competitive tables; we did not play deep, but we laughed deeply.

At the Whist table

As most of us had travelled long that day, we retired after a few rounds, but gathered early on Saturday for breakfast in order to make the most of the day’s activities.  We began with a most excellent fencing master, Vivica Fox, who after providing us some historical information on the sport, led the group through the proper positions and stretching exercises.

Viveca Fox

Throughout the morning, then, Miss Fox gave private lessons to each of us who ventured so boldly.   The moves appear so graceful and natural when one observes accomplished fencers; but after many attempts to combine form, technique and strategy all at once in lunges, parries and ripostes, my best accomplishment was a greater appreciation for the skill and difficulty involved.  I was highly intrigued by my session, however, and would love to continue my training.

While several took advantage of the individualized fencing lessons, others of us moved to the back garden to take up bows for archery.

Archery lessons for Lady Russell and Emma Woodhouse

I am delighted (relieved) to report that a grand time was had by all, the target often was struck, and no dogs were dispatched.

Miss Fairfax, archer

The morning had begun with a fine hot sun which continued throughout our activities; fans and parasols were employed assiduously.  A number of our party, after archery, chose to retire to the shade of a large porch with their books or embroidery, rather than be kept in a continual state of inelegance.

Mary Musgrove driving Judge

But for some, a short journey to a horse farm brought the next adventure: learning to drive a gig!

The head groom very graciously allowed us to assist in harnessing Judge, an extraordinarily gentle animal (one could hardly call him a beast) – although of course, as ladies we would never perform this task for ourselves in the usual manner of things.  We then began by walking Judge around the paddock.  This was to become accustomed to working with him, especially for any of us who were no horsewomen.  Once each had achieved some comfort with the reins, a lovely small carriage was attached and off we went through a park land of varied prospects.  (I must confess that I saw little but the posterior of the horse in my turn, so concerned was I lest I steer poorly and hit a post which might have overturned us.)

Just as we bid adieu to our mount and made to leave, another group from our party arrived for a carriage ride.  We bade them a lovely tour and made our way back to the Governor’s House.  There we enjoyed a light fare set out by our hostess – since we had breakfasted so early – to tide us over until the dinner hour.

The last hours of our morning were passed again in satisfying retirement on the back porch; for as we all know, to sit in the shade on a fine day, and look upon verdure is the most perfect refreshment.  Some ventured to trundle a hoop, or play the Graces.  Most found contentment in a cool libation and the company of clever, well-informed people who had a great deal of conversation – the best company!

Finding shade

Charlotte Lucas

Reading Jane Austen

Lawn Ladies


Quite soon, it seemed, the time came to dress for dinner and we dispersed to don our fashions.

Mrs. Elton in full fashion!

Jane Fairfax – Mrs Bates [there in spirit!] – Miss Bates

Our repast for the evening was a full course, enlivened by so much entertaining discourse and laughter that we all remained at the table right up until the arrival of visitors who had been invited to join us for the hour of tea!   Mr and Mrs Bennet with their daughter Lydia were presented, the latter immediately pronouncing that what the party required for success was… dancing!

Of course, all were amenable to this particular proposal! Immediately, furniture was shifted and carpets rolled and removed, the music struck up and Mrs Bennet, an accomplished English Country Dance caller (sometimes peculiarly addressed as Val Medve), led us through an evening of dances with only a short ‘supper break’ to regain our breath.  Most invigorating, indeed!

When finally the night ended, few I think did not drift into sleep the moment they fell into their beds.


A Turn about the Estate

Sunday dawned as bright and promising as had the previous day.  Following our breakfast, some of the party went off to ride, others for a lengthy turn about the estate (such prospects to enjoy) and still others preferred the sedentary nature of their work in the elegant parlour.   But soon activity called once more.

Walking Ladies

Since letters are the lifeblood of communication in the world we were visiting, we learned to cut our own quill pens and then practice our hand, writing letters on parchment.  No blotting here!  And following this, we employed our fingers in an alternative manner – in learning to tat with yet another master of the art.  I should like to boast of having made the sample you see below; but in truth I had not the talent.  My fingers did not fly through the string with anything like accomplishment.  This is indeed one art in which no excellence can be achieved without constant practice.

Instruction in tatting for Miss Lucas, Mrs Weston, and Emma

Tatting sample

Sunday noon found us gathering around the dining table for the last time together.  A lovely luncheon may have passed serenely but for the introduction of one final pastime, one perhaps not quite of the Regency period but relating to it.  It was a Quiz!  Questions to test our newly-experienced knowledge of Regency life.  Our hostess had gone to some effort to challenge us and had risen admirably to the occasion.  I would like to say we responded in kind; and so I will.  Our answers as a rule, when we discussed them collectively, were creative, humorous, clever and entertaining.  What matter if they were seldom correct?

This capstone event marked the end of our journey to Jane Austen’s time.  When we had laughed our fill, ladies slowly drifted off to supervise the packing of their trunks by their maids.  All ventured fare wells to friends old and new amid the exchange of addresses and promises to post pictures at facebook.  (Whatever can they have meant by such strange speech?)

I retired to my room as I would not leave until the following morning.  There my mind was most agreeably engaged in meditating on the very great pleasure which a gathering of fine characters from the pages of Miss Austen’s novels can bestow.

Emma Woodhouse – Lizzy Bennet

Lady Russell

Mary Musgrove – Charlotte Lucas – Mrs Elton

Miss Bates – Mrs Bates – Miss Fairfax

Miss Tilney – Mrs Croft – Miss Lucas

Sunday morning parlour


About the Author: Tess Quinn (a nom de plume) read Pride and Prejudice years ago at the age of thirteen, and has been hooked on Jane Austen – and Mr Darcy, unsurprisingly – ever since. She has read all the novels multiple times and doesn’t plan to stop any time soon. Some time ago she was introduced to Austen-based fan fiction and, unsatisfied with some of the depictions and approaches, took up her own pen to try to carry on beloved characters in a manner consistent with Miss Austen’s originals. In 2011, her first short story was published in an anthology called A Road to Pemberley. With that encouraging milestone she is hoping shortly to publish another anthology, all her own stories, tentatively titled Pride Revisited. She has two completed P&P based novels (awaiting final edits and a willing publisher); and is nearing completion on her own darling child, a retelling of P&P from Georgiana Darcy’s perspective.

Descending into dinner

Tess, in her lovely evening dress, is on the left; do you agree that Mrs. Elton is looking rather miffed?? – perhaps we have caught her unawares displaying her displeasure at not being first into the dining room …

c2012 Jane Austen in Vermont

JASNA-Vermont ~ An Afternoon with Jane Austen! ~ September 23, 2012

You are Cordially Invited to JASNA-Vermont’s September Meeting 

~ An Afternoon with Jane Austen! ~ 

~ Former JASNA President Elsa Solender ~
“Channeling Jane Austen”
in Jane Austen in Love: An Entertainment

~ Rare bookseller Stuart Bennett ~
“Imagining Jane Austen”
in The Perfect Visit 

~ JASNA-VT’s Hope Greenberg ~
 “Dressing Jane Austen”
n the proper Regency fashion of her day 


Sunday, 23 September 2012, 1 – 5 p.m. 

 Champlain College, Hauke Conference Center, 375 Maple St Burlington VT  

~Free & Open to the Public~  

Details? Visit our blog at: http://JaneAustenInVermont.wordpress.com
Email:  JASNAVermont [at] gmail ]dot] com


We are pleased to welcome our two Distinguished Authors and one Regency Fashionista for a
full Afternoon with Jane Austen!
The event is co-sponsored by JASNA-Vermont and Bygone Books as part of the Burlington Book Festival.

There will be Door Prizes!
Books will be available for purchase and signing!
Light Refreshments will be served!
Regency dress encouraged!


Join us for an afternoon of ‘Channeling’, ‘Imagining’, and ‘Dressing Jane Austen’. Presentations by authors Elsa Solender (Jane Austen in Love: An Entertainment) and Stuart Bennett* (The Perfect Visit) will take us back in time to meet our favorite author! These two sessions will be linked with a talk by our very own Hope Greenberg as she takes us through the stages of “Dressing Jane” in the proper Regency clothing of her day.

[*no relation to the esteemed Mr. Bennet…]

We will meet at the Hauke Conference Center of Champlain College on Sunday 23 September, 2012, from 1-5 pm; the visiting authors’ books will be available for purchase and signing; other books relating to Jane Austen and her times will also be offered for sale; and light refreshments will be served. Regency dress is encouraged!                    

1-2 pm:  Elsa Solender:  “Channeling Jane Austen”

Who was Jane Austen – really? Was she the chaste, unworldly spinster, mild and religious, who miraculously created six of the world’s most beloved love stories? Or a sharp-eyed ironist whose engaging plot and characters disguise the splinter of ice in her heart that transformed what she saw and heard into subversive criticism of her world that resonates to this day? In her novel, Jane Austen in Love: An Entertainment, Elsa Solender retells the novelist’s own life story, blending missing aspects of her “romantic career” with the sparse known facts. She will describe her search for a voice and style not unlike Austen’s to explore Jane’s inner life as the heroine of her own bright tale.

About the author:

Elsa A. Solender, a New Yorker, was president of the Jane Austen Society of North America from 1996-2000.  Educated at Barnard College and the University of Chicago, she has worked as a journalist, editor, and college teacher in Chicago, Baltimore and New York. She represented an international non-governmental women’s organization at the United Nations during a six-year residency in Geneva. She wrote and delivered to the United Nations Social Council the first-ever joint statement by the Women’s International Non-Governmental Organizations (WINGO) on the right of women and girls to participate in the development of their country. She has published articles and reviews in a variety of American magazines and newspapers and has won three awards for journalism. Her short story, “Second Thoughts,” was named one of three prizewinners in the 2009 Chawton House Library Short Story Competition, chosen from over 300 writers who submitted stories inspired by Jane Austen or the village of Chawton. The story was published in Dancing with Mr. Darcy, an anthology of the twenty top-rated stories of the contest, and is part of her new work Jane Austen in Love.

Ms. Solender’s story “A Special Calling” was a finalist in the Glimmer Train Short Short Story Competition, and of more than 1,000 stories submitted, was ranked among the top fifty and was granted Honorable Mention. She has served on the boards of a non-profit theater, a private library and various literary and alumnae associations.  Ms. Solender is married, has two married sons and seven grandchildren, and lives in Manhattan. 

More information:


 2:30 – 3:30 pm: Stuart Bennett: “Imagining Jane Austen”

Stuart Bennett’s foray into historical fantasy/fiction, The Perfect Visit, follows his long career in the world of antiquarian bookselling and scholarly publications on bookbinders and publishers in Jacobean, Augustan, and Regency England.  He will ask the audience to consider how much scholarship properly belongs in an historical novel, and what is the right balance between fact and fiction?  “Imagining Jane Austen” will focus on these topics, illustrated by short passages from The Perfect Visit.  Audience participation is invited.

About the Author:

Stuart Bennett was an auctioneer at Christie’s in London before starting his own rare book business. He is the author of the Christie’s Collectors Guide How to Buy Photographs (1987), Trade Binding in the British Isles (2004) which the London Times Literary Supplement called “a bold and welcome step forward” in the history of bookbinding, and many publications on early photography, auctions and auctioneers, and rare books. He currently lives and works near Boston, Massachusetts.

The Perfect Visit, Longbourn Press, 2011 

For more information:


4:00- 5:00: Hope Greenberg: “Dressing Jane Austen”

Can one dance comfortably in a corset? Is it true that some ladies dampen their gowns to make them cling revealingly? Must one wear white all the time? Jane Austen’s novels and letters contain many fashion tidbits. Modern films offer their own take on the fashions of the period, but do they get it right? Through a collection of over 400 fashion images we will explore the revolutionary changes in fashion during Austen’s lifetime. Shifts, trains, petticoats, apron gowns, pelisses, spencers, narrow backs, high waists–we’ll see them all. Then together, we will try to solve a fashion mystery.

About the Speaker:

Hope Greenberg holds an MA in History from the University of Vermont where she is currently an Information Technology Specialist in the Center for Teaching and Learning, promoting and supporting the use of technology to further research and education. She is also an avid English Country Dancer. Her fascination with the creation and wearing of historic clothing as a way of gaining insight into the past predates all of these. Her absolute joy at the willingness of historic clothiers to share their insights is matched only by her gratitude to the museums and collectors that increasingly publish examples of extant clothing and fashion plates online so that we may continue to develop our understanding of clothing of all periods.

Hope you can join us for this Afternoon of All Things Austen!

c2012 Jane Austen in Vermont

Hot off the Press! ~ Jane Austen’s Regency World Magazine No. 59

In the new issue of Jane Austen’s Regency World
(September/October 2012, No 59):

  • Mansfield Park on tour: a new stage adaptation tours the UK – we speak to the director Colin Blumenau
  • Prime Minister killed: marking the bicentenary of the assassination of Spencer Perceval
  • Enigma of the Orient: the remarkable tale of Marian Hastings, wife of the British ruler of India
  • Brooklyn preview what’s coming up at the JASNA  AGM in New York
  • Festival experience: regular visitors to the Bath Jane Austen Festival describe their time in the city

Plus … all the latest news from the world of Jane Austen, your letters, round-ups from the Jane Austen Society of the UK and the Jane Austen Society of North America, book reviews and quiz.

To subscribe visit here.

STOP PRESS… Watch out for our new book to mark the bicentenary of the first publication of Pride & Prejudice. Full details will be revealed next week!

[Text and image courtesy of JARW Magazine]

@2012 Jane Austen in Vermont

Guest Post ~ Pride and Prejudice RPG with Vanessa Paugh

Gentle and Fun-Minded Readers: today I welcome Vanessa Paugh, creator of Pride and Prejudice RPG*, a mind-challenging Jane Austen-related game for your iphone. I have downloaded it, but alas! have not had the time to really become “accomplished” [one must practice as Elizabeth so wisely reprimands herself and Mr. Darcy] – but I invite you to read what Vanessa has to say about why she created this game – you can find it at the iTunes store for 99c – try it out and let me know how you fare! – and Thank You Vanessa for sharing your game with us today!

[*for the uninitiated: RPG = role-playing game]


Pride and Prejudice RPG is a musical, fashion role playing game based on the first part of Jane Austen’s novel. The player becomes Elizabeth Bennett and strives to complete the accomplishments that will lead her to Mr. Darcy. There are four sections in the game: Pianoforte, Hertfordshire, Shoppe and Closet.

  • In the Pianoforte section, the player earns musical note points by practicing classical songs.
  • The player uses the notes in the Hertfordshire section to complete accomplishments such as “suffer Mother’s nerves” and “ascertain a blue coat” and to earn fortune points.
  • The Shoppe section allows the player to buy parts with her fortune that can be used to make gowns in…
  • …the Closet section. The more gowns the player makes, the more accomplishments she can do and finishing all the accomplishments wins the game.

With Pride and Prejudice RPG, the player can enjoy literature, fashion and music, and painlessly improve her math skills at the same time.

Pianoforte section

            The primary reason that I created Pride and Prejudice RPG was to ultimately increase the numbers of women in Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM). As Ghandi said, “be the change you want to see.” Studies have shown that many gamers become interested in STEM from curiosity about the inner workings of the games they play. Subsequently, they want to make games themselves and eventually choose programming or other STEM fields as careers. In addition, when many women see how technology can solve problems which interest them, they realize that STEM fields don’t have inherent gender association.

Currently, many concerned woman are debating the best methods to increase the numbers of women in STEM. Some say that gender neutral toys, clothes, media and attitudes are the only way to go. Others are trying the girly geek route with perfume chemistry sets, pink Legos, computer engineer Barbie and glamourous magazine style math books. The problem comes when these groups forget the goal and end up fighting each other. STEM fields don’t have to be limited by gender and cultural gender norms don’t have to limit careers in STEM fields. According to Kim Tolley’s research, in the 1830’s, Americans debated whether women could study classics, because many “experts” thought they should continue to study science. In 2005, Americans debated whether woman could study science because some “experts” thought they should continue to study classics. It’s time to take the gender limitations out of academics, period. I hope Pride and Prejudice RPG is one step in that direction. It includes literature, musical math, historical fashion and creative experimentation. These are the four main subjects that we require all students to learn: Language Arts, Mathematics, History and Science. When roadblocks are removed and encouragement is not withheld, woman can learn all of them.

Although I had played many computer games, I never considered becoming a game designer until I heard about Brenda Laurel and Purple Moon’s “Rocket’s New School.” Janet H. Murray’s “Hamlet on the Holodeck” inspired me to read all of Austen’s work and start turning “Pride and Prejudice” into a game. I was enlightened by Sherri Graner Ray’s “Gender Inclusive Gaming” and investigated redesigning traditional violent gameplay into other game playing mechanisms. Talking with Julienne Gehrer, the developer of the Pride and Prejudice board game, inspired me to focus on selecting the genre of the game first. Emma Campbell Webster’s “Lost in Austen” confirmed my research that a role-playing game would be the most appropriate genre. I was also inspired by the mommy iPhone game company Appsnminded and intrigued by some iPhone task based RPGs, which led me to discover the right game mechanisms to trade narrative accomplishments for violent acts. A post on Balancing Jane’s blog gave me the idea to combine music and math. And after reading Peggy Orenstein’s “Cinderella Ate My Daughter” and debating on Reel Girl’s blog, I refined Pride and Prejudice RPG’s presentation, so that it was more about accomplishment and less reflective of cultural gender biases.

Hertfordshire section

I started designing my Pride and Prejudice game in 2004 with girls in mind, continuing in the footsteps of the girl games movement from ten years before. However, at the Women’s Game Conference in 2004, I heard a woman ask when games that reflected her fantasies would be addressed by the game industry. A man on the panel dismissed her question, so I started focusing on software for women. My research predicted that Jane Austen readers who hadn’t played games might try my game if the text was fairly literal. It also indicated that gamers who hadn’t read Austen might read her work as a result of playing a literal Pride and Prejudice game. Realizing that there had been a lot of debate among women over video game violence, I excluded weapons, stereotypes, and moving targets from my game. I also left out timed challenges, timed energy replacement, and long written passages from Pride and Prejudice RPG to make it more fun for novice gamers.

Shoppe section

 Closet section

The current version of Pride and Prejudice RPG covers the first part of Jane Austen’s novel up to the end of the Meryton Assembly. In future updates, I want to add accomplishments for Elizabeth’s adventures in Kent and Derbyshire, and important events such as refusing Mr. Collins and Mr. Darcy. I also plan to include more challenging songs, and of course, Elizabeth will need more shoes, gowns and bonnets. If women who play my game and love it let me know, I will be very glad to hear from them. However, I really challenge anyone who wishes Pride and Prejudice RPG were different to seriously consider making her own game. There are only three other electronic Jane games out there so far: Matches and Matrimony, Rogues and Romance, and Hidden Anthologies. There are millions of Jane Austen fans and thousands of openings in STEM fields waiting.

About the Author: 

Dr. Vanessa Paugh is a college professor and indie game developer in Dallas, Texas.
She holds a Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering,
an MFA in Arts and Technology and a Ph.D in Aesthetic Studies.

Images and text courtesy of Vanessa Paugh, with thanks!

You can find the game at the iTunes store here:  http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pride-and-prejudice-rpg/id510978515?mt=8

and please comment if you have any questions or thoughts for Vanessa about her game!

c2012 Jane Austen in Vermont

Guest post ~ Vera Nazarian on her Pride and Platypus: Mr. Darcy’s Dreadful Secret

Hello all! Today I have invited Vera Nazarian, now a Vermonter!, and author of a series of supernatural novels that expand upon Jane Austen, to write a little something about her latest book Pride and Platypus: Mr. Darcy’s Dreadful Secret – whatever would Jane think you might ask? – well for the next two days you can download Vera’s latest book onto your kindle for free [details below] – so give her a try, the least one Vermonter can do for another!  I look forward to having Vera speak to us at one of our future gatherings, so stay tuned!


Greetings, Gentle Vermont Janeites!

I am thrilled to be here, and to be able to say that I am now a proud Vermont resident. I would like to introduce myself as the Harridan—ahem—the author and illustrator of the Supernatural Jane Austen Series of books, which are witty and hilarious (and slightly insane) fantasy parodies of our beloved Austen classics.

The books in the series so far are Mansfield Park and Mummies, Northanger Abbey and Angels and Dragons, and, my most recent release this June—the third book, Pride and Platypus: Mr. Darcy’s Dreadful Secret.

I look forward to getting to know you better and sharing all kinds of things (such as the true nature of the Brighton Duck—you do know about this infernal and mystical duck, right? No? Aha! Stay tuned!). But today I will be brief and just let you know that if you’ve never had a chance to read any of my books yet, and have no idea who I am, well, this is your lucky day. . . .

Because you can try one of my books for free!

Yes, absolutely free on Amazon Kindle all this weekend, and until midnight on August 12th, is none other than Pride and Platypus: Mr. Darcy’s Dreadful Secret!

You can download your free ebook here:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008D303J4/

And even if you do not own a Kindle, you can easily grab a free Kindle Reader App for your PC, Mac, smartphone, or other online device here, and then read the novel on pretty much anything short of an Etch-a-sketch!

Free Reading Apps:  http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html/ref=sv_kstore_1?ie=UTF8&docId=1000493771

Enjoy the free book with all my compliments! And be sure you are sufficiently equipped (and properly attired) to survive the effects of unbridled laughter!

You can visit the books’ website here: http://www.norilana.com/pap.htm

Book description:

When the moon is full over Regency England, all the gentlemen are subject to its curse. 

Mr. Darcy, however, harbors a Dreadful Secret…

Shape-shifting demons mingle with Australian wildlife, polite society, and high satire, in this elegant, hilarious, witty, insane, and unexpectedly romantic supernatural parody of Jane Austen’s classic novel.

The powerful, mysterious, handsome, and odious Mr. Darcy announces that Miss Elizabeth Bennet is not good enough to tempt him. The young lady determines to find out his one secret weakness—all the while surviving unwanted proposals, Regency balls, foolish sisters, seductive wolves, matchmaking mothers, malodorous skunks, general lunacy, and the demonic onslaught of the entire wild animal kingdom!

What awaits her is something unexpected. And only moon, matrimony, and true love can overcome pride and prejudice!

Gentle Reader—this Delightful Illustrated Edition includes Scholarly Footnotes and Appendices.


And now, here is a bit more word-of-mouth about the novel, including “authentic testimony” from the splendid mouth of Mr. Darcy himself:


Pride and Platypus: Mr. Darcy’s Dreadful Secret

“A sufficiently pleasing literary trifle. Only, might one be kind enough to explain why a certain gentleman constantly finds himself in wet shirtsleeves for no apparent reason?”  A Gentleman of Impeccable Attire

“I require an introduction to this Mr. Darcy, in all haste. Does the gentleman possess a male unattached sibling? Preferably, with a proper beastly Affliction, in place of what the gentleman himself suffers?”  A Lady of Elegance

“An outrage indeed! My own person and relations, to be thus referenced in this vile compendium of vulgarity! Why, this is not to be borne! Also, I recommend emu oil for polishing wooden surfaces.”  A Certain Lady of Rosings 

“I would have it known that, in my present condition, I am not altogether concerned with pollution.” A Shade of Pemberley

“There is entirely no excuse for the unseemly public behavior of some people’s gauche relations. I have returned this distasteful tome to the Lending Library, and shall henceforth endeavour to forget all of which I have inadvertently read in one sitting.” A Gentleman of Distinction

“I have been placed in numerous sequels, adored and worshiped by millions, scrutinized, analyzed, satirized, undressed, dressed again and soaked in various water reservoirs, and parodied in every manner possible, but never quite so audaciously as in this tome!”  —Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy

“The gentleman with the satirical eye is being entirely too modest. Furthermore, for inexplicable reasons, he has also been seen in more wet shirtsleeves than all the Royal Navy on the high seas and the House of Lords after a London downpour, and I am yet to understand the mystery behind it.”  —Miss Elizabeth Bennet

“QUACK!” The Brighton Duck


Pride and Platypus: Mr. Darcy’s Dreadful Secret
by Jane Austen and Vera Nazarian
Trade Paperback (First Edition): Curiosities (an imprint of Norilana Books) June 15, 2012
Retail Price: $16.95 USD – £12.50 GBP
ISBN-13: 978-1-60762-078-5 ISBN-10: 1-60762-078-2
500 pages


About the Authors:

Jane Austen is an author of classic immortal prose.

Vera Nazarian is a shameless Harridan who has taken it upon herself
to mangle Jane Austen’s classic immortal prose.

She is also a two-time Nebula Award Finalist, an award-winning artist,
and the author of Mansfield Park and Mummies and Northanger Abbey and Angels and Dragons.

Images and text courtesy of Vera Nazarian with thanks!

c2012 Jane Austen in Vermont