A READING AND BOOK SIGNING WITH MARK BEAUREGARD, AUTHOR OF THE WHALE: A LOVE STORY
In the summer of 1850, Herman Melville finds himself hounded by creditors and afraid his writing career might be coming to an end—following early literary acclaim, his last three novels have been commercial failures and the critics have turned against him. In despair, Melville takes his family for a vacation to his cousin’s farm in the Berkshires, where he meets Nathaniel Hawthorne at a picnic—and his life turns upside down.
Melville dedicated Moby Dick to Hawthorne, and Mark Beauregard’s novel fills in the story behind that dedication with historical accuracy and exquisite emotional precision, reflecting his nuanced reading of the real letters and journals of Melville, Hawthorne, Oliver Wendell Holmes and others. An exuberant tale of longing and passion, The Whale captures not only a transformative relationship—long the subject of speculation—between two of our most enduring authors, but also their exhilarating moment in history, when a community of ambitious writers was creating truly American literature for the first time.