Sarah Orne Jewett House

A Country Doctor (1882)

Written two years into her decades-long relationship with Annie Fields, Jewett wrote a candidly feminist novel about a young woman pursuing a medical career.

In a scene in which the protagonist, Nan Prince, must defend her choice, she says, “God would not give us the same talents if what were right for men were wrong for women.” (Chapter XVIII, “A Serious Tea-Drinking)

In a recurring Jewett motif, the character of Mrs. Meeker is the woman sitting inside the house, by the front window, looking out at the world, the woman confined to the small sphere of home and garden.

In the novel’s final chapters, Nan Prince has, having successfully pursued a medical career, an offer of marriage—she declines it, deciding instead to devote her life to her profession.