Category Archives: Marathon

Moby-Dick events on board the Kathleen and May

Over the Moby-Dick festival weekend events are taking place at the Merseyside Maritime Museum, at the Museum of Liverpool, and on board the Kathleen and May, the schooner moored in the Canning Half-Tide Dock. The historic ship will be the atmospheric setting for the first and last sessions of the marathon reading of Moby-Dick (reading schedule is here), and for Terror on the High Seas (Sunday May 5th, 2pm-3pm and 3.30pm-4.30pm Merseyside Maritime Museum), a storytelling by children’s author Jon Mayhew, who reveals his love of the sea and what lurks beneath! Expect spooky tales of the Mersey, terrible smells and shocking sights! Also a sneak preview of Jon’s about-to-be-published book, Monster Odyssey.

If you go on board the Kathleen and May and take some pictures, why not share them on the Kathleen and May Flickr group?



Caroline Hack, who will be reading in the marathon weekend (4-6 May 2013), is a long-time Moby-Dick fan, and has used the novel in many of her artworks over the years. She has kindly offered to let us use some bunting she made from her custom Moby-Dick themed fabric. It will be used to decorate the table of the Kathleen & May, the schooner on which some of the reading will take place.

Caroline has produced some lovely limited-edition fabric whales, and acrylic ‘worry whales’ one of which was a great help before my public lecture last week.

There is still time to sign up to read in the Moby-Dick marathon, but places are limited, so go here and sign up for a 10-15 minute slot as soon as possible.

Cyrus Patell’s Summary of Moby-Dick

New York University Associate Professor Cyrus Patell spent most of last autumn summarising each chapter of Moby-Dick as it came up in the Moby-Dick Big Read. His chapter summaries are online at his blog and are well worth reading if you are participating in the live marathon read in Liverpool this May. What’s that, you haven’t volunteered yet? Well what are you waiting for?

Marathon Weekend: Events for Families and Children

In the build-up to the Moby-Dick festival weekend I’m focussing on events taking place at the Maritime Museum and Museum of Liverpool. Besides the marathon reading of Moby-Dick (and if you haven’t already signed up, be quick before all the chapters go) and the lecture series running in April and May, there are some great events taking place over the weekend of May 4th-6th. Last week I wrote about two public talks, on scrimshaw and Herman Melville, which are for adults, but there are also lots of things going on to keep families with children occupied.

At the Maritime Museum there are Model Magic workshops on Saturday and Sunday afternoons (1-4pm), and on Monday 6th there’s a look at endangered species from the point of view of customs officers. What whale-related items will you find on the Whale Trail? At the nearby Museum of Liverpool there are tales of whales and whaling, and performances by the Shanty Kings to get you in a nautical mood. On Sunday afternoon (2pm-3pm and 3.30pm-4.30pm) children’s author Jon Mayhew will be reading tales of terror on the high seas on board the historic schooner Kathleen & May, moored outside the Maritime Museum entrance.

The weekend offers all kinds of great whale-related events for adults and children in a celebration of Liverpool’s whaling past, and the most famous literary whale of all, Moby Dick.

How to take part in the Moby Dick on the Mersey Marathon Reading

The Moby Dick on the Mersey marathon reading over the weekend of May 4th-6th, 2013 will bring together readers from across the Merseyside, the Northwest, and further afield to take part in what promises to be a challenging and highly enjoyable event. Drop in and listen to a chapter or two, stick around for the whole thing, or even volunteer to read. Volunteers will each read a short chapter or part-chapter, and the reading will take approximately 26 hours, spanning all three days. If you would like to volunteer, take a look at the  reading schedule, which you can find here, then go over to the sign-up page and let us know when you would like to read.

Moby-Dick on the Kathleen and May

The Kathleen and May is a wooden three-masted topsail schooner built in 1900 and the last survivor of its kind. The ship spent its working life plying the Irish sea and the coasts of Ireland and  Great Britain, and is now based in Liverpool. I am delighted to announce that the beginning and end of each day of our Moby-Dick marathon will take place on board. And here’s an odd little coincidence. From 1908 to 1931, the Kathleen and May  was based in Youghal (pronounced Yawl) in County Cork, Ireland, the very town that features in the harbour scenes of John Huston’s film adaptation of Moby-Dick.

Do you have pictures of this beautiful old ship? If so, why not add them to the Kathleen and May group on Flickr?