Burned her fire in her own grate


Senior Member
Hi everyone.
Could you help me understand the following paragraph from Goodbye, Mr Chips by James Hilton? When I was reading I couldn't understand what the writer meant by " England had burnt her fire in her own grate again". <...>

During the General Strike of 1926, Brookfield boys loaded motor vans with foodstuffs. When it was all over. Chips felt stirred emotionally as he had not been since the War. Something had happened, something whose ultimate significance had yet to be reckoned. But one thing was clear: England had burned her fire in her own grate again.

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  • se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    As far as I am aware, "burn one's fire in one's own grate" is not a standard idiom or conventional metaphor.

    My reading is that Britain gained in prestige by resolving a deep internal conflict without any lives being lost; but there may be other possibilities.


    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    I think it probably means that things didn't really get out of control. There was a conflagration, but it was contained.


    Senior Member
    English - England
    My take on it was England finally getting back to normal – and particularly to normal domestic affairs – after WWI.


    Senior Member
    USA - English
    I think it means that England had once again started depending on her own resources.
    I'm sorry, but you are mistaken, as such an interpretation has nothing to do with the General Strike of 1926. Read in context, it is clear that Chipping believes that had the General Strike taken place in other countries, it could have produced a revolution, but because England and the English are the way that they are, it did not get out of control, and ended peacefully.
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