Every Good And Perfect Gift

Jane was surrounded by the beauty of Hampshire’s lush green countryside for most of her life. In his book Memoir of Jane Austen, James Edward Austen-Leigh (Jane’s nephew) describes the idyllic paths, hedgerows, fields, and scenery Jane knew at Steventon, her home for the first 25 years of her life: “This was the cradle of her genius. These were the first objects which inspired her young heart with a sense of the beauties of nature. In strolls along those wood-walks, thick-coming fancies rose in her mind, and gradually assumed the forms in which they came forth to the world.”

As an adult, Jane traveled to visit friends and family, spent time at her brother Edward Austen Knight’s Godmersham estate in Kent, and lived with her family in Bath for a brief period. Several years after Reverend Austen passed away, Mrs. Austen, Cassandra, and Jane returned to the quiet Hampshire countryside when Edward offered them a small house, rent-free, on his scenic Chawton estate. Though Jane surely had her own share of troubles and sorrows, her everyday life was filled with family, friends, books, visiting, and church.

Jane prayed

Give us a thankful sense of the Blessings in which we live, of the many comforts of our Lot; that we may not deserve to lose them by Discontent or Indifference.


Is there any area of your life where you detect discontentment or indifference? Do you sometimes forget thanksgiving?


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.