The New Bedford Whaling Museum's Moby-Dick Marathon is an annual non-stop reading of Herman Melville's literary masterpiece. The multi-day program of entertaining activities and events is presented every January. Admission to the Marathon is free.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Tales of the Seamen's Bethel, Part 1

According to Hershel Parker's Herman Melville: A Biography (vol. 1), the New Bedford Seamen's Bethel in which marathoners foregather to hear Chapter IX ("The Sermon") is not the same Seamen's Bethel that Herman and his brother Gansevoort attended a few days before Herman sailed on his first whaling voyage in January 1841.  The original structure was built in 1831 ... and burned in 1866.  As Prof. Parker goes on to explain, "many of the marble cenotaphs were saved from the fire and masoned into the walls of the replacement chapel, built at the old site on Johnny-Cake Hill."  (See pages 184-85 of vol. 1.)

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