HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

A Country Doctor by Sarah Orne Jewett
Loading...

A Country Doctor (1884)

by Sarah Orne Jewett

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1716103,052 (3.95)10

None.

Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 10 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
Somehow I had never read a book by Sarah Orne Jewett, so I was glad to be introduced to her through a book group as this book is a remarkable feminist novel for being written in 1884.

Anna Prince is brought to her grandmother's house in Maine by her dying mother, and then is taken to live with the town doctor when her grandmother dies. She is a charming little girl, but serious and bookish and becomes interested in medicine at an early age.

Her interest in medicine increases as she grows older. Although the ladies in the town do not approve of her pursuing such an unladylike profession, she remains adamant in her choice of a vocation and goes off to medical school after high school.

Halfway through her studies, she receives an invitation from her her father's sister, Nancy, to visit in the seaside town of Dunport. Her aunt, who has been sending the doctor checks for her support her whole life has never shown any interest in her niece, but now seems to want to connect with her only living relative. Aunt Nancy is stern and austere, but is quickly charmed by Nan's generous spirit and begins to hope that Nan will marry her protege, George Gerry and settle down in Dunport.

Nan, however, has other ideas. and how she stands up for what she wants would make any feminist today very proud. ( )
  etxgardener | Mar 2, 2019 |
Nan Price is adopted by a doctor as a young orphan (there's a lot of them around in nineteenth-century women's literature) and grows up to become a doctor herself. Despite the title, which might make you think this book is about a country doctor, this actually happens in the last chapter. So is it about her going to medical school? Not really, as that all transpires "off camera" so to speak. Mostly it's about her adoptive father the doctor, who is admittedly fairly cool, but tends to talk a lot about the dangers of medical science. I do not think I have ever read a book where so many pages went by yet so little happened-- but inexplicably I was almost never bored! The pages just rolled by, and I read them. On the other hand, I never got excited either. There's some interesting, if muddled, discourse about inheritance here: Nan has to have negative, unmotherly traits because of her mother, but she also has to be a doctor because of her environment... and yet her being a doctor is also a calling from God. Nature, nurture, or divine influence? Who knows.
  Stevil2001 | Dec 4, 2009 |
Nan Price was orphaned in infancy, then raised by her grandmother, until her upbringing is finished by Dr. John Leslie. A case can certainly be made that the eponymous doctor is our Dr. Leslie, rather than the heroine. But I won't make that case now.

Definitely a product of its time, "A Country Doctor" recounts the massive 19th Century roadblocks standing the the way of a young woman ambitious to be a doctor, and how she overcomes them. Jewett unfolds her story with abstract expositions that deal with specific emotional and interpersonal interactions. It reminds me (on one level) of Henry James, except that Ms. Jewett's way is plainer and clearer, and just as deep. The author portrays Nan's choice as a test of not only perserverance, but also of conscience, in a way that simply would not apply today. That is one of the reasons, obviously, to read this book.

The other reasons are that the author's descriptions are full, her characters are deep and well-shaded, and she delivers a life-affirming outcome. I don't know that I would necessarily term this book a classic, but it's certainly worth your while, not only for the historic interest, but also the simple appreciation we take in a well-told, satisfying story. ( )
  LukeS | Apr 16, 2009 |
Through the dialogue and incidental plot progression, even through the characterization of major and minor characters, it is easy to see Jewett's great influence on the Canadian writer Lucy Maud Montgomery. As we read the opening chapters of Anne of Green Gables, we see so much of Jewett's small northern world coming through in the guise of Prince Edward Island. Dr. Leslie's maid (interestingly enough named Marilla) is concerned one day over the doctor driving in to town, although the "leisurely way" has "assured her of safety." We see this charmingly busy-body attitude with Montgomery's Rachel Lynde. When shy, taciturn Matthew Cuthbert is all dressed up, driving his buggy, Mrs. Rachel Lynde will not have a moment's peace until she has wrung the truth from her neighbor, the good man's sister, Marilla Cuthbert. "Oh, my afternoon is spoiled!" she exclaims.

Through both Dr. Leslie and Marilla Cuthbert we eventually see the hopes and dreams they harbor for Nan and Anne, respectively. These are cherished aspirations which go far beyond their tiny societies. Both Jewett and Montgomery were keenly aware of the roads they were paving for future female writers and thinkers. Both authors loved their heroines and sent them out in to the world to succeed. Marilla had no qualms about Anne studying to be a teacher, for "it is an uncertain world." She was of the opinion that a girl should be able to earn a living. Dr. Leslie, likewise stated, "It's a cold, cold world....only one thing will help [Nan] through safely, and that is her usefulness. She shall never be either a thief or a beggar of the world's favor if I can have my wish."

Praise are due both to Jewett and Montgomery. Neither heroine has weakened and paled with time. Neither writer has become less significant to women's studies. ( )
  vesnaslav | Apr 8, 2008 |
Not as good as the Pointed Firs, but still very readable. ( )
1 vote majorbabs | Apr 4, 2008 |
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
It had been one of the warm and almost sultry days which sometimes come in November; a maligned month, which is really an epitome of the other eleven, or a sort of index to the whole year's changes of storm and sunshine.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553214985, Mass Market Paperback)

Though not as well-known as the writers she influenced, Sarah Orne Jewett nevertheless remains one of the most important American novelists of the late nineteenth century. Published in 1884, Jewett’s first novel, A Country Doctor, is a luminous portrayal of rural Maine and a semiautobiographical look at her world. In it, Nan’s struggle to choose between marriage and a career as a doctor, between the confining life of a small town and a self-directed one as a professional, mirrors Jewett’s own conflicts as well as eloquently giving voice to the leading women’s issues of her time. Perhaps even more important, Jewett’s perfect details about wild flowers and seaside wharfs, farm women knitting by the fireside and sailors going upriver to meet the moonlight, convey a realism that has seldom been surpassed and stamp her writing with her signature style. A contemporary and friend of Willa Cather, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Julia Ward Howe, Sarah Orne Jewett is widely recognized as a pathfinder in American literary history, courageously pursuing a road less traveled that led the way for other women to follow.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:02 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Though not as well-known as the writers she influenced, Sarah Orne Jewett nevertheless remains one of the most important American novelists of the late nineteenth century. Published in 1884, Jewett's first novel, A Country Doctor, is a luminous portrayal of rural Maine and a semiautobiographical look at her world. In it, Nan's struggle to choose between marriage and a career as a doctor, between the confining life of a small town and a self-directed one as a professional, mirrors Jewett's own conflicts as well as eloquently giving voice to the leading women's issues of her time. Perhaps even more importantly, Jewett's perfect details about wild flowers and seaside wharfs, farm women knitting by the fireside and sailors going upriver to meet the moonlight convey a realism that has seldom been surpassed and stamp her writing with her signature style.… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.95)
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
3 2
3.5 3
4 12
4.5 1
5 2

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 134,124,218 books! | Top bar: Always visible