Category Archives: Moby-Dick

The Chester Noah Play

One of the events going on at the Merseyside Maritime Museum over the Moby-Dick  weekend on May 4th was a production of The Chester Noah (with a modern twist), performed by The Liverpool University Players. Directed by Dr Sarah Peverley, with assistance from Andrea Young. Here is a video of the production:


I am Ishmael Workshop

Besides the marathon reading last weekend there were all kinds of other Moby-Dick related events and activities going on at the Merseyside Maritime Museum and at the Museum of Liverpool. One of these was a poetry workshop run by Nathan Jones, where children and their parents took pages from the novel and created poems from them. Nathan has a write-up on his blog, Syntax Factories

Thanks to Oxford World’s Classics

I’m pleased to announce that Oxford World’s Classics have agreed to help out with the  Moby-Dick marathon by providing copies of the novel we can use over the weekend. These will be available for readers and audience members so they can follow along with the reading over the weekend. They will also be very helpful for the timekeepers and other volunteers. The OWC edition includes a helpful introduction by Tony Tanner and extracts from Melville’s correspondence with his literary mentor, Nathaniel Hawthorne, in which they discuss many of the ideas Melville explores in his novel.

These books will be a great help to us over the weekend so the support of OWC is much appreciated.


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.

From Whaling to MacFisheries. Free public lecture 24 April, 2013

The second in our series of free public lectures, by Gavin Hunter, takes place on Wednesday April 24th entitled From Whaling to MacFisheries: Leverhulme, Soap & the Outer Hebrides. This lecture will explore the involvement of the Lever Brothers soap manufacturing empire in whaling and fishing on the islands of Lewis and Harris.

The lecture is part of the Moby Dick Lecture Series at the Merseyside Maritime Museum and is free to attend.

Picture of the whaling station on Harris is from Virtual Hebrides

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.