Pennell, Joseph. THE GREAT STACK, SHEFFIELD. Wuerth 559. Etching, 1909. Edition of "probably" 40 according to Wuerth. Signed in pencil, and further inscribed to William Dean Howells (see below), making this a most interesting association copy. 12 3/8 x 9 3/8 inches (image), 16 1/4 x 10 3/4 inches (sheet). A crease across the sheet from prior folding, small well repaired edge tears, one into the image, else in very good condition. Inscribed in the margin at left is: "And - where do I/come in? J.P." to the right in the margin, immediately below Pennell's signature: "to/W. D. Howells/on reading page 31/of Seven English/Cities. Only please remember/this was first drawn by me and published in 1883/Second drawing in Harry (sic) James English Hours./This etching made Sept 1909 - before I/saw the article or book." The passage referred to in Howells' book reads as follows: "Between our hotel and the main part of the town there yawned a black valley, rather nobly bridged, or viaducted, and beyond it in every direction the chimneys of the many works thickened in the perspectives. It was really like a dead forest, or like thick-set masts of shipping in a thronged port; or the vents of tellurian fires, which send up their flames by night and their smoke by day. It was splendid, it was magnificent, it was insurpassably picturesque. People must have painted it often, but if some bravest artist-soul would come, reverently, not patronizingly, and portray the sight in its naked ugliness, he would create one of the most beautiful masterpieces in the world. On our first morning the sun, when it climbed to the upper heavens, found a little hole in the dun pall, and shone down through it, and tried to pierce through the more immediate cloud above the works; but it could not, and it ended by shutting the hole under it, and disappearing."
Inventory # 11963