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:

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:

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:

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

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

  1. It’s so nice to see you in your official Janeite welcome to Vermont, Vera! Sorry to lose you as a Californian, but you are disporting yourself merrily on the Net from coast to coast, as ever. To those new to Vera’s work, it’s not the conventional side of Austenalia, for sure, but as Austen herself said, “Imagination is everything.” And humor, too.


    • Thank you Diana, and I am tearfully missing you already — if not for the blessed internet, we would be 3,000 apart! However Vermont is delightful and has fresh clean air and warm intelligent people, and everything is verdantly green, and… did I mention, green? YES!

      So, when are you relocating and bringing your amazing Jane Austen play “You are Passionate, Jane” here?

      *tapping fingers anxiously*


  2. “Pride and Platypus!!! have I got that right Deb?

    And Vera describes herself as a shameless harridan. Well, I always say it’s best to get in first yourself..Nobody can then call you anything worse. Or was that you calling her a harridan,Deb?


  3. Oh, we really have to figure this out! The play requires Syrie too, so perhaps we could figure out a way to combine it with doing it in another nearby city as well like Boston, as long as we’re crossing the country. Or if Syrie didn’t want to, I could come and give you my Jane Austen and the Seaside” talk which went over well in L.A. – or “You are Passionate, Jane” with another, local person as JA. We’re doing it again in L.A. Sept. 8 and it will be filmed, so I’ll be able to share at least part of that with you – and have I sent you the play? I guess it would have to be next spring or summer, as this one’s almost done. October after the AGM, when we’re already on your coast, would be a possibility, except that Syrie’s already bought her air tickets (I haven’t). Let’s continue discussing off list. By the way, I am so tickled that two people I like so much have connected in Vermont!


  4. “……in Vermont, where Harridans are warmly embraced!” Blimey!!!!!

    And so how do the men in Vermont cope with that situation,, Deb?

    I wouldn’t survive would I? ha! ha!

    If your husband wants a break he can come over to London. I’ll buy him a pint or two. He probably needs to talk!!!!!!!!!!!

    Diana, “You are passionate Jane.” sounds interesting. You should bring it over to one of the festivals here.Is it a series of readings or a play?

    All the best,


    • Oh, I’d love to, Tony. “You are Passionate, Jane,” is a comedy in which Jane Austen is the arbiter who decides which literary figures get into Heaven. Charlotte Bronte comes up against her, and the sparks fly. What’s really too bad is that there’s an Austen/Bronte conference coming up over there in September, but it’s too late to bring the play to their attention. Any ideas as to any festivals or conferences where I might try to bring it next spring or summer?


  5. Diana,
    Here are some festivals in Wales next Summer. My wife is Welsh, She comes from Tenby in Pembrokeshire so I have a soft spot for everything Welsh.

    Have you thought about The Edinburgh Fringe?

    OR,dare I say, the Haworth festival itself. I was in Haworth a couple of weeks ago and wrote a post about my experiences.

    All the best,


  6. One other suggestion, Diana.. Have you thought about taking your production into secondary schools in this country. We often get theatre groups into schools. A show about Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte would be welcomed by teachers teaching GCSE and A level English literature.A friend of mine teaches English literature in my daughters secondary school, The Ursuline Convent in Wimbledon.. I know she worked on women’s literature last year with her class. Admittedly she focussed on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein with her class..I think she did some work on Austen and the Brontes too.

    There is a going rate for theatre groups going into schools.I am not sure how much it is. I could make enquiries for you. It might mean committing to a few months here if you were to take in a lot of schools to make a bit of money..I could provide you with the addresses of schools in Surrey. My whole teaching career was in Surrey.

    All the best,


  7. Diana if you were to bring your production to English secondary schools they would expect you to be able to describe how you can help with progressing the Primary framework for literacy at secondary level. Here are some pointers. If you were seriously going to have a go. I could do this for you for FREE. i enjoy this sort of planning and preparation. I know a glutton for punishment!!!!!!!!! This link is for you to have a look at what might be required.
    It’s not as daunting as you might think. Only the dramatic presentation bit would be applicable..
    This is the bit of the strategy you would have to think about:

    and specifically this bit:

    4 Drama, role-play and performance

    4.1 Using different dramatic approaches to explore ideas, texts and issues

    4.2 Developing, adapting and responding to dramatic techniques, conventions and styles


  8. Tony, I am absolutely blown away by your kindness at giving this idea so much intelligent and thoughtful brainstorming! Thank you, ever so much. I really like the idea of the Haworth Festival, that sounds perfect, and now that you’ve got me started, I might look up some other literary festivals, see if there are a few of them fairly close together in time (as there might be in June/July). Literary festivals, or groups, or conferences, are just the thing. I have to say we have no interest in going to schools. We aren’t educators, and Syrie in particular wants to sell books! Also we couldn’t possibly stay longer than a couple of weeks – I have a JOB and a family, and Americans don’t get much vacation time! But you have definitely inspired me and got me going, and I can see that the time for me to start methodically investigating festivals and the like is – NOW. Thank you, again and again!


    • Love this conversation between Diana and Tony! – just let me know when and where you are booked into a UK festival or school and I shall be there! – but can you stop off in Vermont first?? – we can plan this if you are both game, and feel like coming across the country for a visit – you could book Boston, Montreal and NYC at the same time? – oh forgot about the JOB thing, but we can perhaps work around it with a whirlwind eastcoast tour! – what say you? I’m into planning mode already!


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