The best quote in The Woman in White, so far

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Summary: The Woman in White is a pleasant enough read, with mild attempts at humor by way of personal attacks. This quote took it far enough that it made me laugh out loud. Which I suppose was the intent.

BLOT: (09 Jan 2013 - 04:58:09 PM)

The best quote in The Woman in White, so far

If you can't take the Victorian tendency towards melodrama, besotted-by-pretty-women young men, or madness as a mystery plot par excellence; then you might not want to pick up Wilkie Collin's The Woman in White, but overall it is a pleasant read, if full to the brim—in the early bits I'm currently reading, anyhow—of personal jabs as its humorous asides. However, none of the previous personal jabs prepared me for the directness of this one, which shows up when the first protagonist meets his new employers for the first time. Oh, how I laughed.

My first glance round me, as the man opened the door, disclosed a well-furnished breakfast-table, standing in the middle of a long room, with many windows in it. I looked from the table to the window farthest from me, and saw a lady standing at it, with her back turned towards me. The instant my eyes rested on her, I was struck by the rare beauty of her form, and by the unaffected grace of her attitude. Her figure was tall, yet not too tall; comely and well-developed, yet not fat; her head set on her shoulders with an easy, pliant firmness; her waist, perfection in the eyes of a man, for it occupied its natural place, it filled out its natural circle, it was visibly and delightfully undeformed by stays. She had not heard my entrance into the room; and I allowed myself the luxury of admiring her for a few moments, before I moved one of the chairs near me, as the least embarrassing means of attracting her attention. She turned towards me immediately. The easy elegance of every movement of her limbs and body as soon as she began to advance from the far end of the room, set me in a flutter of expectation to see her face clearly. She left the window—and I said to myself, The lady is dark. She moved forward a few steps—and I said to myself, The lady is young. She approached nearer—and I said to myself (with a sense of surprise which words fail me to express), The lady is ugly!

"Filled out its natural circle". Dang. Girl's a 10 in the back and a 3 in the front. Apparently there's a Japanese word—Bakku-shan—that means this exact same thing. That's awesome. I've taught you something today, gentle reader. Something useful.


Written by Doug Bolden

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