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Big beasts from world of wildlife broadcasting read from Moby Dick

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: December 27, 2012

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Two of the nation's most celebrated naturalists will have their voices heard by literary fans across the globe thanks to a project led by Plymouth University.

Sir David Attenborough, who is this year celebrating 60 years in broadcasting, and Mark Carwardine, who starred in the BBC series Last Chance to See, have both recorded chapters for the Moby Dick Big Read.

The ambitious literary project, hosted by Peninsula Arts at Plymouth University, sees celebrities, scientists and members of the public reading a chapter from Herman Melville's famous 1851 novel.

Dr Philip Hoare, artist in residence at Plymouth University's Marine Institute, co-curated the project alongside artist Angela Cockayne, from Bath Spa University.

He said: "Moby Dick remains the most extraordinary book ever written on the subject of the whale. How fitting that two of our best known naturalists – Sir David Attenborough and Mark Carwadine – should contribute these intensely moving readings from Melville's book for the Big Read."

Since its launch at the Plymouth International Book Festival in September, those readings have been listened to almost 1.5 million times on the SoundCloud website.

The readers so far have included Prime Minister David Cameron and TV presenter and actor Stephen Fry.

The Moby-Dick Big Read has 136 chapters released alongside a piece of unique art at www.mobydickbigread.com

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