Everybody's heart is open, you know, when they have recently escaped from severe pain,

Category: Writing & Reading | Type: Discussion | Title: Persuasion (in Context) | Author: Jane Austen | Ch: Chapter 17

Nurse Rooke belongs to a stratum of society to which Austen has not descended before. That Nurse Rooke can be compared favorably with those who have received "'the best education in the world'" is further testimony to Austen's growing interest in working women. Indeed, she, herself, is one now. 

She in fact suggests a connection between Nurse Rooke and her own vocation. She describes Nurse Rooke's conversation in the terms one would the work of a fine novelist. "[S]he is sure to have something to relate that is entertaining and profitable: something that makes one know one's species better." Anne remarks that what Nurse Rooke has seen of human nature in its extremity and of all "the conflicts and sacrifices that ennoble us most...may often furnish the worth of volumes." There are many women in the novels who resemble Austen but none but Nurse Rooke and perhaps Emma, a creator of fictions, albeit a somewhat dangerous one, come so close to sharing her vocation. 

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