Sarah Waters Quotes

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Her corset was long, with a busk of steel; her waist, as I think I have said, was narrow: the kind of waist the doctors speak against, that gives a girl an illness. Her crinoline was made of watchspring. Her hair, inside its net, was fixed with half a pound of pins, and a comb of silver. Her petticoats and shimmy were calico. Underneath it all, however, she was soft and smooth as butter. Too soft, I thought her. I imagined her bruising. She was like a lobster without its shell. She stood in her stockings while I fetched her nightgown, her arms above her head, her eyes shut tight; and for a second I turned, and looked at her. My gaze was nothing to her. I saw her bosom, her bottom, her feather and everything and - apart from the feather, which was brown as a duck's - she was as pale as a statue on a pillar in a park. So pale she was, she seemed to shine.

-Sarah Waters


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