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They lay as if paralyzed by what they had done. Congealed in sin, frozen with delight. Charles--no gentle postcoital sadness for him, but an immediate and universal horror--was like a city struck out of a quiet sky by an atom bomb. All lay razed; all principle, all future, all faith, all honorable intent. Yet he survived, he lay in the sweetest possession of his life, . . . but already the radioactivity of guilt crept, crept through his nerves and veins.

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This quote is linked to the event -€“ First Sex

Source Notes: The French Lieutenant's Woman (chapter 47) (1969). The passage describes the mixed feelings of Charles after having his first sexual encounter, with Sarah Woodruff, a woman he believed to be experienced and discovers to be a virgin. Although the novel is set in Victorian times, the passage's reference to atomic explosions reflects the anachronistic imagery that characterizes the work.

A bit about John Fowles ...

John Robert Fowles (March 31, 1926 November 5, 2005) was a British novelist and essayist.

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