Just this past Spring 2012, the quarterly “Historic Nantucket,” published by the Nantucket Historical Association, presented a “Melville Issue.” It opens with an editorial overview by Nathaniel Philbrick, Historian and NHA Research Fellow, and features articles by two well-known Melvilleans — Mary K. Bercaw Edwards, University of Connecticut Maritime Studies Professor, and Hershel Parker, author of the definitive, two-volume Melville biography.
In “The Unemployable Herman Melville: ‘Nothing else to do’ but Sign on a Whaleship,” Hershel Parker offers up a detailed biographical narrative analysis of the years surrounding Melville’s decision on 3 January 1841 – at the young age of 21 – to sign on to the Acushnet. Mary K. Edwards provides a historical discussion of the publishing history of Moby-Dick that focuses on selected important editions – especially those featuring illustrations, including the famous 1930 Lakeside Press, Rockwell Kent edition. Both essays are richly illustrated with reproductions of contemporary portraits, contemporary art works, pages from selected illustrated editions of Moby-Dick, and a manuscript page of a 6 October 1840 letter written by Gansevoort Melville, Herman’s brother.
Inserted into Bercaw’s essay is a sidebar by Julie H. B. Stackpole, “A Special Container for the Lakeside Press Moby-Dick” – an account of Rockwell Kent’s involvement in the Lakeside Edition concluding with a description of the “slipcase” she created for the three-volume Lakeside edition she inherited from her patenal grandfather.
To visit the Nantucket Historical Association’s website, click here.
Something is changing, and changing fast, in the world of education and scholarship. The Open Education Resource (OER) movement is certainly part of the change and the fact that Harvard and MIT are involved is indicative of how rapidly accelerating is the fast arriving future of learning, research, teaching, and scholarship. If Melville were alive today he would likely include online, OER courses as part of his life-long quest to expand his knowledge and deepen his understanding of the world and universe that so fascinated him.
Enjoy this conversation between Ian Campell and Jake Heggie, composer of the Moby-Dick Opera. The opera had its premiere at the Dallas Opera in Dallas, Texas only two years ago on April 30, 2010. Since then it has been performed to enthusiastic audiences at the San Diego Opera, State Opera of South Australia, and the Calgary Opera. Moby-Dick will next be performed by the San Francisco Opera on October 10, 13, 18, 21, 23, 26, 30 and November 2, 2012.