The Pens of Victorian Ladies

Witches_Ritual

“It was a human head, severed at the neck, but fresh and unfaded as if but newly dead. It bore the features of a woman – of a woman of more perfect loveliness than was ever told of in tale, or sculptured in marble, or painted on canvas. Every feature, every line was of the truest beauty, cast in the noblest mould – the face of a goddess. But upon that perfect countenance was the mark of eternal pain, of deathless agony and suffering past words. The forehead was lined and knit, the death-white lips were tightly pressed in speechless torment; in the wide eyes seemed yet to lurk the flame of an unquenchable fire; while around the fair brows, in place of hair, curled and coiled the stark bodies of venomous serpents, stiff in death, but their loathsome forms still erect, their evil heads yet thrust forward as if to strike.”

~ ― Gertrude Bacon, The Gentlewomen of Evil: An Anthology of Rare Supernatural Stories from the Pens of Victorian Ladies

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