The reading is scheduled to start at noon Saturday at the New Bedford Whaling Museum with a reader costumed as Ishmael standing at the stern of an 80-foot whaling ship model. Other parts of the novel will be read in appropriate settings such as the Seamen's Bethel chapel (called The Whaleman's Chapel in the novel) and in the life-size replica of a whaling crew's living quarters at the museum. The event will continue into Sunday at various venues.
Much of the event will take place under hanging whale skeletons, a major museum exhibit. The port of New Bedford was one of the most important whaling centers in the nation in the first half of the 19th century.
Melville made his first voyage out of New Bedford to the South Seas in 1841 and was made famous by his novels "Typee," "Omoo" and finally "Moby Dick," published in 1851.