A Day Well Spent

Jane’s niece, Marianne Knight, once shared a charming peek into a visit with Jane when she was young: Marianne said her aunt Jane would “sit quietly working beside the fire in the library, saying nothing for a good while, and then would suddenly burst out laughing, jump up and run across the room to a table where pens and paper were lying, write something down, and then come back to the fire and go on quietly working as before.”

From this description, we see that while Jane sat and worked (needlework) quietly, lines, descriptions, and plot ideas for her novels came to her in delightful bursts. And it’s clear that she found her stories and characters just as amusing as we do! But this picture of Jane shows us something else: She had a rich inner life. She went about her daily tasks with a happy spirit. In fact, it was while she sat with her family and sewed that she sometimes found inspiration!

Jane prayed

May we now, and on each return of night, consider how the past day has been spent by us, what have been our prevailing Thoughts, Words and Actions during it, and how far we can acquit ourselves of Evil.

 

Considering your days, what is the prevailing focus of your thoughts, words, and actions? What consumes you?

 

Dodge, Rachel. Praying with Jane: 31 Days through the Prayers of Jane Austen. Baker Publishing Group.

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Rachel Dodge

Rachel Dodge is a Jane Austen scholar and the author of Praying with Jane: 31 Days Through the Prayers of Jane Austen. She teaches college writing and literature classes and gives talks at local book clubs, libraries, and literary groups. Rachel is a regular contributor to Jane Austen’s World blog, Write That Book, Regency World Magazine, and the award-winning Inspire Writers blog. She was the keynote speaker at the Sacramento Public Library’s “How Austentatious!” series, Notable Books series, and 2014 Jane Austen Birthday Tea. Rachel is a graduate of the University of Southern California (B.A. in English and public relations) and California State University, Sacramento (M.A. in English literature). She wrote her Master’s Thesis on etiquette in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and won the 2005 Dominic J. Bazzanella Literary Award in non-fiction for “Pictures of (Im)perfection: Jane Austen’s ‘Delightful’ Elizabeth Bennet.” She is an active member of Inspire Writers, JASNA, JASNA Greater Sacramento, the L.M. Montgomery Institute, Write that Book, Literary Life, and several Downton Abbey and Jane Austen fan clubs.