The Eaton Portrait

Eaton portrait of Herman Melville
By permission of Houghton Library
Harvard University: 61Z-4

(Click to view a larger image)

Leviathan

whale-trp200Leviathan: A Journal of Melville Studies appears three times a year in March, June, and October. We welcome articles, notes, reviews, and creative writing on the life, works, and influence of novelist and poet Herman Melville (1819-1891). Click here for more information.

Melville Electronic Library

mel-thumb-crpd-3The Melville Electronic Library is an online resource for Melville texts. Housed on a Hofstra University server, MEL is being developed and maintained by a group of Melville scholars and digital specialists.

Johns Hopkins University Press

jhup-logoTo join the Melvillle Society and subscribe to Leviathan, visit Leviathan's Johns Hopkins University Press journal site by clicking here.

Melville Society Cultural Project

Melville Society and New Bedford Whaling Museum Cultural Project The New Bedford Whaling Museum in collaboration with The Melville Society is the established home of the Melville Society Cultural Project and Melville Society Archive. The Melville Society Archive is housed at the New Bedford Whaling Museum's Research Library, where significant works from this collection are also on display. The Melville Society Cultural Project also sponsors a book donation program and presents exciting annual events including the Moby-Dick Marathon and a Birthday Lecture.

Three New Melville Plays at Arrowhead: The Melville Trilogy


Arrowhead


"Melvilles & Morewoods"

by Sally Filkins

 

A new play based on the life and works of Herman Melville

 

"Melvilles & Morewoods" will be performed at Herman Melville's Arrowhead, 780 Holmes Road, Pittsfield, MA , Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings July 5th through July 21st at 7:30pm.

Tickets are $25 and include a pre-show reception at 7pm.

 

"Melville's Women"

by Sally Filkins

 

A new play based on the life and works of Herman Melville

 

"Melville's Women" will be performed at Herman Melville's Arrowhead, 780 Holmes Road, Pittsfield, MA on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings from August 9th through September 2nd at 7:30 pm. Pre-performance reception at 7pm. Tickets for "Melville's Women" are $25. Due to limited seating capacity, reservations are recommended. For reservations and information, contact Betsy Sherman, Arrowhead, 413-442-1793, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., web site mobydick.org or Sally Filkins, "VOICES," 413-442-1928, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

"Melville, Haunted"

 

"Voices" Theatre Company, in collaboration with Berkshire Historical Society, will present a new historic Pittsfield play, "Melville, Haunted," during October at Arrowhead, Herman Melville's home and museum on Holmes Road in Pittsfield. "Melville, Haunted" is the first in a series of three original plays being developed by "VOICES" for production at Arrowhead during the next twelve months. "Melville, Haunted" will be followed by "Melvilles and Moorewoods" and "Melville's Women." "VOICES" is currently the resident theatre company at Arrowhead. During the 2011 Summer Season, "VOICES" collaborated with Berkshire Historical Society to produce "Shades of the Revolution" and "Sentimental Journey" for Pittsfield's 250th Anniversary.

 

"Melville, Haunted" opens on Thursday October 18th at 7:30 pm and plays Friday October 19, Saturday October 20, Thursday, October 25, Friday October 26th and Saturday October 27th. All performances are at 7:30 pm at Arrowhead, 780 Holmes Road in Pittsfield.

 

------------------------------------------------

"Melvilles & Morewoods"

by Sally Filkins

 

A new play based on the life and works of Herman Melville

 

"Call me...Ishmael." At Arrowhead in the summer of 1851 young Herman Melville is feverishly writing the final chapters of his masterpiece "Moby Dick." Beset by publishers deadlines and financial problems, and beleaguered by embattled Melville relatives and fractious house guests, all resident at overcrowded Arrowhead, Herman Melville seeks refuge in the madcap entertainments created for him by his friend and neighbor, the captivating, indefatigably social Sarah Morewood.

Set in the grounds and farmhouse at Arrowhead where Herman Melville and Sarah Morewood actually entertained their summer houseguests, friends, and neighbors during the summer of 1851, "Melvilles & Morewoods" presents the mid-victorian social scene at a time when the Berkshires were on the cusp of becoming a summer resort for wealthy 19th century urbanites. The play culminates in Melville's study where Melville is frantically penning the Epilogue of "Moby Dick." The study, overlooking Mount Greylock, is the room where, inspired by "Greylock's Majesty," Melville really did write "Moby Dick."

 

"Melvilles & Morewoods" is a joint presentation of Berkshire Historical Society and "VOICES" Theatre Company. Written and directed by Sally Filkins, "Melvilles & Morewoods" features Kevin Wixsom as Herman Melville and Diane Arduini as Sarah Morewood. Anya Krawcheck is Melville's wife, Elizabeth Shaw Melville. Sally Filkins plays Melville's sister and transcriptionist, Augusta Melville. Brooks Sherman is Melville's publisher, Evert Duyckinck. Tony Corbett is Evert's young brother, George Duyckinck. Sudy Bell portrays Melville's mother, Maria Melville. Rodelinde Albrecht is Sarah Morewood's sister, Ellen Brittain. Will Demick and Lindsay Dewinkeeler play Melville's younger brother Alan Melville, and his wife Sophia Melville. In the study's dream sequence, Brooks Sherman plays Billy Budd from the Melville novel of the same name. Will Demick is Harry Bolton and Tony Corbett is Carlo, both characters from Melville's "Redburn." Costumes are by Jane Bove.

 

"Melvilles & Morewoods" will be performed at Herman Melville's Arrowhead, 780 Holmes Road, Pittsfield, MA , Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings July 5th through July 21st at 7:30pm.

 

Tickets are $25 and include a pre-show reception at 7pm. Due to limited seating capacity, reservations are recommended. Because "Melville's and Morewoods" contains scenes of mild, explicit sexuality and insanity, parental discretion is suggested for children under 12.

For reservations and information, contact Betsy Sherman, Arrowhead, 413-442-1793, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., web site mobydick.org or Sally Filkins, "VOICES," 413-442-1928, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

"Melville's Women"

by Sally Filkins

(A new play based on the life and works of Herman Melville)

 

"Melville's Women" is presented jointly by Berkshire Historical Society and "VOICES" Theatre Company. Performed at Herman Melvile's Pittsfield farm, Arrowhead, in the rooms where the Melville family actually lived, worked and wrote, "Melville's Women" explores the torturously entangled relationship between Herman Melville's family of women and his books.

 

In the autumn of 1851, strained and depleted by the impossible creative demands of writing "Moby Dick," Herman Melville's always disorderly genius is fragmenting into madness. At Arrowhead, the volatile author is surrounded by an adoring throng of strong-minded Melville women. Melville's mother, Maria Melville, wife, Elizabeth Shaw Melville, and sisters, Helen, Augusta, Kate and Fanny Melville are all living at Arrowhead, and all competing to serve Herman, around whose needs, moods and writing the household at Arrowhead revolves.

Melville, anguished by the critical reception of "Moby Dick," is channeling his nervous energies into writing a new novel, "Pierre." To the Melville women's great dismay, the emotionally autobiographical "Pierre" replicates themes of adultery, incest, suicide and murder which darken the Melville family history. Ultimately, "Pierre" compromises Melville's sanity and derails his literary career.

 

Melville is rescued from total physical and emotional collapse by the tender devotion of his gentle wife Elizabeth Shaw Melville - "Lizzie."

 

"Melville's Women" is written and directed by Sally Filkins. Veteran actor Kevin Wixsom returns to Arrowhead as Herman Melville. His wife, gentle "Lizzzie," is played by Diane Arduini. Sudy Bell is Herman's mother, Maria Melville. Melville's sisters are played by Sally Filkins as Augusta Melville, Lindsay Dewinkeleer as Kate Melville and Anya Krawchek as Fanny Melville. Rodelinde Albrecht is Eleanor Melville Thomas Metcalf, Melville's eldest grandaughter.

Jane Skorput is the Melville's Irish servant girl, Mary O'Brien. In the dream sequences from Melville's "Battle Pieces" and "Pierre," Tony Corbett plays the young Pittsfield Civil War hero General William Bartlett. Brooks Sherman is Colonel Thomas Plunkett and Will Demick is Sergeant Thaddeus Pomeroy. Sudy Bell portrays domineering dowager Mrs. Glendinning. Tony Corbett is her son, Pierre Glendinning. Anya Krawchek plays sweet Lucy Tartan and Lindsay Dewinkeleer dark-eyed temptress Isabel Blanford. Brooks Sherman is Glendinning Stanley, and Will Demick is Frederick Tartan. Costumes are by Jane Bove.

 

"Melville's Women" will be performed at Herman Melville's Arrowhead, 780 Holmes Road, Pittsfield, MA on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings from August 9th through September 2nd at 7:30 pm. Pre-performance reception at 7pm. Tickets for "Melville's Women" are $25. Due to limited seating capacity, reservations are recommended. For reservations and information, contact Betsy Sherman, Arrowhead, 413-442-1793, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., web site mobydick.org or Sally Filkins, "VOICES," 413-442-1928, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

"Melville, Haunted"

 

"Voices" Theatre Company, in collaboration with Berkshire Historical Society, will present a new historic Pittsfield play, "Melville, Haunted," during October at Arrowhead, Herman Melville's home and museum on Holmes Road in Pittsfield. "Melville, Haunted" is the first in a series of three original plays being developed by "VOICES" for production at Arrowhead during the next twelve months. "Melville, Haunted" will be followed by "Melvilles and Moorewoods" and "Melville's Women." "VOICES" is currently the resident theatre company at Arrowhead. During the 2011 Summer Season, "VOICES" collaborated with Berkshire Historical Society to produce "Shades of the Revolution" and "Sentimental Journey" for Pittsfield's 250th Anniversary.

"Melville, Haunted" will be presented within the context of a Candlelight Tour of Arrowhead. A dessert buffet, presided over by the ghost of Nathaniel Hawthorne, will follow the play.

 

Time and dimensions are fluid in "Melville, Haunted." Herman Melville is bedeviled and beguiled by ghostly visitations not only from his family and friends, but also by characters from his novels - Moby Dick, Typee and Billy Budd. Through a series of ghostly encounters played out against the backdrop of Arrowhead, "Melville, Haunted" explores the inextricably intertwined relationships that existed among Melville, his circle of intimates, and the people he created in his books. The play is introduced by a scenario from Billy Budd, Melville's last novel, and concludes with Melville in the throes of creating Moby Dick, which was written at Arrowhead in 1851.

 

"Melville, Haunted," incorporates original material as well as excerpts from Melville's novels. The play was written and directed by "VOICES" Artistic Director, Sally Filkins. Veteran Pittsfield actor Kevin Wixsom is featured as Herman Melville. Kevin most recently appeared with "VOICES" as Pittsfield Industrialist Lemuel Pomeroy in "Shades of the Revolution." Tony Corbett, who played the title role of "Crippled Billy" in Mixed Company's "The Cripple of Innisman," during Summer 2011, is Ishmael. Charles Wright of Dalton portrays Melville's beloved friend, Nathaniel Hawthorne, author of The Scarlet Letter. Diane Arduini, most recently seen as Irish Mill Girl Mary O'Hara in "Shades of the Revolution," is Melville's exotic island love, Fayaway. Sally Filkins plays Melville's sister Augusta Melville. Sudy Bell is Melville's mother, Maria Melville. Billy Budd is played by Tony Corbett of Lanesborough. Berkshire Historical Society Director Betsy Sherman will lead the Candlelight Tour of Arrowhead. Costume design is by Jane Bove of South Lee.

Tickets for "Melville, Haunted," which includes the Canlelight Tour, performance and dessert buffet, are $25. As a limited number of people can be accomodated in the museum rooms at Arrowhead, reservations are strongly recommended. For reservations and information, contact Betsy Sherman at Arrowhead at 413-442-1793, or "VOICES" at 413-442-1928 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

"Melville, Haunted" opens on Thursday October 18th at 7:30 pm and plays Friday October 19, Saturday October 20, Thursday, October 25, Friday October 26th and Saturday October 27th. All performances are at 7:30 pm at Arrowhead, 780 Holmes Road in Pittsfield.

Current Facebook Posts

Greg Lennes Today in Melvillean history: On August the 19th 1819, Melville is baptized at home by J. M. Mathews, a minister of the South Reformed Dutch Church in New York City.
2017-08-19T16:03:18+0000
Greg Lennes Melvillean Solar Eclipse: From Clarel: A Poem and Pilgrimage in the Holy Land (1876) - 3.5.60-65 "This change, this dusking change that slips (Like the penumbra o'er the sun), Over the faith transmitted down; Foreshadows it complete eclipse?" Footnote: "The "penumbra" is the Earth's shadow that falls upon the moon during a lunar eclipse, but Melville here is applying the term to a solar eclipse." (From "Herman Melville: Stargazer" By Brett Zimmerman) The first photo of a total solar eclipse, shown here, was a daguerreotype by the Prussian photographer Johann Julius Friedrich Berkowski. (July 28, 1851 - same year that Moby-Dick was published) :) 2017-08-19T15:30:17+0000
Greg Lennes Review: The Eleventh International Melville Society Conference (June 27 - June 30, 2017) by Hannah Murray.
Review: The Eleventh International Melville Society ConferenceKings College London baas.ac.uk Organised around the focus of ‘Melville’s crossings’, the event covered the breadth and depth of Melville studies and paid close attention to Melville’s dialogues with philosophy and aesthetic theo…
2017-08-17T17:53:53+0000
Colin Dewey All members of the Melville Society receive three print issues of our award-winning journal, Leviathan, per year. With membership rates beginning at only $25 this is an incredible bargain.
Leviathan: A Journal of Melville Studies | JHU Press press.jhu.edu EditorSamuel Otter, University of California, Berkeley Steven Olsen-Smith, Leviathan PODCAST: Steven Olsen-Smith, Leviathan Leviathan features a bounty of scholarly articles, notes, reviews, and creative writing of a critical, theoretical, cultural, or historical nature on the impressive body of wor...
2017-08-17T22:46:48+0000
Eileen Valentino Flaxman MOBY DICK - Ch. 16 – THE SHIP is about everything being ready for sail: the crew is on board, the larder is stocked. But no Captain Ahab. For days, the men are in limbo, waiting for their captain to arrive . . . A ship in the harbor a ship not at sea is no ship at all, strange and solitary. A ship with no captain, not anywhere seen is not yet alive but mere joints and beams. But when sails unfurl and Ahab walks the deck and the salt spray stings the back of my neck Then the Pequod will reign and come into its own With the ocean its kingdom and the waves its throne.
2017-08-18T17:54:45+0000
Greg Lennes From Providence Journal: The Berkshire County Historical Society's annual hike up Monument Mountain on August 6th:
Annual Berkshires hike marks a literary moment providencejournal.com A visit to western Massachusetts includes a stop at Monument Mountain and Arrowhead, the home of the great author Herman Melville.
2017-08-18T12:59:44+0000
Greg Lennes Melvillean Trivia: October Mountain Shelter along the Massachusetts Appalachian Trail is said to have been named by Melville, who wrote “One fine morning I sallied forth upon the errand I had much ado finding the best road to the shanty. No one seemed to know where it was exactly. It lay in a very lonely part of the country, a densely wooded mountain on one side (which I call October Mountain on account of its bannered aspect in that month), and a thicketed swamp on the other.” (From his short story - COCK-A-DOODLE-DOO ! OR THE CROWING OF THE NOBLE COCK BENEVENTANO" - 1853). Here is the present shelter in the October Mountain State Forest:
October Mountain Shelter youtube.com October Mountain Shelter
2017-08-17T19:12:17+0000
Colin Dewey Note to members: The Melville Society will now be communicating with members via email rather than snail mail. The Executive Committee has chosen "Survey Monkey" as our platform for official polling and elections, so we will no longer send paper ballots. Please accept Survey Monkey messages from the Melville Society and make sure when you renew your Society membership that your email and postal mailing addresses are up to date. If you have opted-out of Survey Monkey emails in the past you will not receive ballot or election materials. To opt-in visit https://www.surveymonkey.com/optin.aspx Note that this not affect our journal, Leviathan, which you will continue to receive just as you have been. Thank you!
SurveyMonkey: Free online survey software & questionnaire tool surveymonkey.com Opt in or out of receiving emails from SurveyMonkey.
2017-08-17T22:56:27+0000
Colin Dewey Visit http://melvillesociety.org/ to learn about the society and membership.
Home melvillesociety.org A society dedicated to the study and appreciation of the nineteenth-century American author Herman Melville
2017-08-17T22:43:41+0000
Colin Dewey Established in 1947, the Melville Society is one of the largest international single-author societies, dedicated to the study of the life and works of Herman Melville, and their cultural impact since the nineteenth century. The organization enjoys the fellowship of scholars, artists, teachers, writers, readers, and enthusiasts throughout the world. All members receive our award-winning journal Leviathan, which is published three times a year by Johns Hopkins University Press, and offers scholarly articles, book and art reviews, Society news, and Melville-related current events. With subscriptions starting at just $25 per year, our membership remains an incredible bargain. To join, or learn more, go to: http://melvillesociety.org/membership.
2017-08-17T22:41:04+0000

From Our Photo Collections

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click to start slideshow

Fellowships and Scholarships


Melville Society Archive
Walter E. Bezanson Fellowship
 
 
The Melville Society, under the auspices of the Melville Society Cultural Project in New Bedford, offers an annual fellowship to help a scholar undertake research on Herman Melville at the Society’s Archive in the Research Library of the Whaling Museum in New Bedford, Massachusetts.

 

Click here for more information and application details.

 

New York Public Library
Short-term Research Fellowships

 

Graduate students or other affiliated academics whose work would benefit from visiting the Manuscripts and Archives Division to view collections such as the Gansevoort-Lansing collection, and Duyckinck family papers are encouraged to apply.

 

Click here for more information and application details.

Woodlawn Cemetary

WoodlawnWoodlawn Cemetary - final resting place of Herman, his wife, Elizabeth, and other family members. Click here to view photos of the gravesites.

 

125th Anniversary Celebration

125th Woodlawn

A celebration of Melville's life at Woodlawn Cemetary on the 125th anniversary of his passing.

Lansingburgh Historical Society

Melville House

Melville lived for nine years in this Lansingburgh house. It was here that he wrote Typee and Omoo

Berkshire Historical Society

ArrowheadMelville's Arrowhead home and farm in Pittsfield, MA where he wrote Moby-Dick and lived for most of the 1850s.

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