till they had a good crackling chimneyful of blaze

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longxianchen

Senior Member
chinese
Hi,
Here are some words from the novel Lady Chatterley's Lover(page 302, chapter 14) by Lawrence (planetebook,here):
(background: Mellors told Connie that he didn't want to have sex with Connie, so Connie replied that she didn't either. And she slide away……)

‘Ugh! Cold!’ she shuddered.
He put the sticks on the fire, and fetched more, till they had a good crackling chimneyful of blaze. The rippling running yellow flame made them both happy, warmed their faces and their souls.


I understand good means good-looking and grand, crackling refers to the sharp sound of the sticks. And I feel a chimneyful of is a phrase, but what's the meaning of a chimneyful of blaze? I don't think a chimney can let out fire(=blaze), because that's not safe.
Could you please tell me the meaning of a good crackling chimneyful of blaze?
Thank you in advance
 
  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    a chimneyful of blaze seems to be a term that Lawrence has used (perhaps it was current in his day and in his area - I have never heard it used.) It simply means that the fire was big and the flames filled the fireplace. To me, it has a "happy and comfortable" nuance to it.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    I don't think a chimney can let out fire(=blaze), because that's not safe.
    You would have got on well with my mother, long. When I read the DHL line, I could hear her voice in my ear saying "For God's sake Mellors, you'll have the chimney on fire in a minute." Maybe the feeling of risk or danger is deliberate.

    Lawrence's father was a coal miner, and a good hot fire (even if only in one room of the house) was a necessity in the often cold and damp English climate. Here, "crackling" and "sticks" tells us that it was a wood fire, which creates much more of a blaze, but it's more short-lived than a good coal fire. Symbolic of passion, perhaps?
     
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