This print is after the poem of the same title by Thomas Hardy. One night in 1914 Hardy hears the British Navy practising gunnery in the English Channel. Writing in the April, he foresees that the Nations are on the brink of the bloodiest war yet. The roar of the guns carries inland ‘As far as Stourton Tower…’ Loud enough, as Hardy imagines, to wake the dead, and he pictures them in their coffins being shaken out of their sleep. The church chancel window-squares smash in the blast, and the dead sit up, presuming Judgement-day has dawned. One of those so awakened, Parson Thirdly, surveys the scene and in dismay comments, ‘Instead of preaching forty year, I wish I had stuck to pipes and beer.’
This print is pulled from an engraving cut from a sheet of rubber, a variation of letterpress. After removal of areas that are to be left as white paper, the rubber sheet is then rolled up with ink and pressed to paper, producing the print. The technique does not accommodate reprinting, so the edition is forever fixed at 5 copies.
oil based black printing ink, Heritage Bookwhite 160gsm