beaming [full over] him

< Previous | Next >


Senior Member
The quotation comes from Jane Eyre Chapter 18

Quotation: As I sat in my usual nook, and looked at him with the light of the girandoles on the mantelpiece beaming full over him—for he occupied an arm-chair drawn close to the fire, and kept shrinking still nearer, as if he were cold, I compared him with Mr. Rochester. I think (with deference be it spoken) the contrast could not be much greater between a sleek gander and a fierce falcon: between a meek sheep and the rough-coated keen-eyed dog, its guardian.
Hi everyone! I don't quite understand the bold part. I think "full" suggests the brilliance of the fire, and "over" suggests the flame shone up to down to his body (maybe his huddled body was dwarfed by the fierce fire). Is it correct?
  • velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    The man is sitting very close to the fire, so he is sitting right under the light given out by the candles on the mantelpiece. I'd never heard of a "girandole " either. The candlesticks might have been of this type:

    < Previous | Next >