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?

‘Sailors love this Liverpool’ Herman Melville and Liverpool in Fact and Fiction (Monday May 6th, 2pm-3pm Museum of Liverpool)

Katie McGettigan’s talk at the Museum of Liverpool on Monday May 6th (2pm-3pm) already promises fascinating insights into Melville’s time in Liverpool and the city’s influence on his work. But Katie has also been working with Dr. Diana Powell on a project to map landmarks from Melville’s visits onto the current map of Liverpool. Using Google Earth, and a map of the city published in 1808, the result is an interactive map that can be viewed in a web browser or even downloaded to a smartphone for use by anyone interested in visiting some of the locations themselves.

The map, and more details about the project can be seen here: Melville’s Liverpool.

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

Moby-Dick Lecture Series Begins April 17th

The Moby-Dick lecture series begins on Wednesday April 17th, 1-2pm, at the Merseyside Maritime Museum 4th Floor Lecture Theatre with a talk entitled ‘From Liverpool’s Greenland Street to Greenland’s Liverpool Coast: William Scoresby Jr., Whaling, and Exploration’ by Dr. Chris Routledge. The talk will offer a brief history of whaling in Liverpool and consider William Scoresby Jr.’s short career as a Liverpool whaler. Snubbed by the Admiralty, Scoresby attempted to explore and document the Arctic regions alongside his commercial duties as the commander of a whale ship.

More information about the lecture series is here. It is still not too late to volunteer to read in the Moby-Dick marathon. For more information, visit this page.