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