Redeeming The Time

Mrs. John Dashwood in Sense and Sensibility is perhaps the greediest and most self-centered character in Jane Austen’s novels. When her father-in-law dies, leaving his fortune and estate to her husband, she manipulates her husband so thoroughly that instead of giving his stepsisters “a thousand pounds a-piece,” he decides to give them no financial help whatsoever. When the funeral is over, she arrives at Norland, “without sending any notice of her intention to her mother-in-law,” with her son and their servants.  She “install[s] herself mistress,” while “her mother and sisters-in-law” are “degraded to the condition of visitors.”  Her only regret: that her mother-in-law gets to keep the “china, plate, and linen.”

Jane prayed

Another day is now gone, & added to those, for which we were before accountable. Teach us Almighty Father, to consider this solemn Truth, as we should do, that we may feel the importance of every day, & every hour as it passes, & earnestly strive to make a better use of what Thy Goodness may yet bestow on us, than we have done of the Time past.

Do you want to build your life on a foundation of “gold, silver, precious stones” and “lay up treasure in heaven”?


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.