November 22, 2021

MaudCast S02E01 Allison Hudson and How We Touch the Books We Read

MaudCast S02E01 Allison Hudson and How We Touch the Books We Read 

In this episode, host Brenton Dickieson sits down with Allison McBain Hudson, a Canadian-Irish writer and Montgomery scholar. Following an MA in Children’s and Young Adult Literature that focused on Montgomery’s rural Canadian romanticism in Anne of Green Gables and the Emily trilogy, Allison has moved on to PhD studies in literature at Dublin City University. Brenton and Allison discuss her research, how she moves from “metaphysical” ideas in Montgomery’s writings in her MA research, to the discovery of “physical” objects in her doctoral dissertation. In particular, Allison discusses her research in “material culture” in L.M. Montgomery’s novels--the tangible, tactile objects that make up the details of everyday life. These objects, like houses, books, portraits, mittens, and hanging hams provide atmosphere and setting in the novel, but they also provide connection points between the characters and carry other kinds of significance for the reader. While Allison and Brenton chat about the Emily trilogy throughout, their conversation about books ranges out into the fantastic, considering the “material culture” of objects like wardrobes, sewing machines, rings, and mundane portkeys in writers like C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, J.K. Rowling, Madeleine L’Engle, Ursula K. Le Guin, Katherine Paterson, and Annie Dillard.

Show Notes

The MaudCast is the podcast of the L.M. Montgomery Institute. In the MaudCast’s quest to discover cutting-edge scholarship about the life and works of Lucy Maud Montgomery, we welcome to the microphone leading academics, emerging scholars, local researchers, and imaginative readers and writers from around the world. Hosted by Dr. Brenton Dickieson, we broadcast from the beautiful campus of the University of Prince Edward Island. 

The MaudCast Team

Host and Founding Producer: Brenton Dickieson

Founding Co-Producer: Kate Scarth

Technical Director: Kristy McKinney

Researcher: Abbey McRoberts

Researcher: Alyssa Gillespie

Visual Design: Heidi Haering

Web Coordinator: Melanie J. Fishbane


Find the MaudCast on Twitter and Instagram @LMMIMaudCast

L.M. Montgomery Institute Website:

L.M. Montgomery Institute Twitter: @LMMI_PEI

Kindred Spaces Research Collection Online:

The Journal of L.M. Montgomery Studies:

Brenton Dickieson Twitter: @BrentonDana

Brenton Dickieson website: 


Guest Social Media Links:   

Twitter: @Nikiwan72

Facebook: Allison McBain Hudson

Instagram: @nikiwan72


Susato’s “Selection from The Danserye: III. Les Quatre Branle” performed by the UPEI Wind Symphony, directed by Dr. Karem J Simon, available for purchase here:


Closing quotation: 

“[Jane] had been away from Lantern Hill for nine months, but now it seemed to her that she had never been away at all. She had been living here all along. It was her spirit’s home” (L.M. Montgomery, Jane of Lantern Hill (Seal Books, 1988), p.169).


Other quotations: 

“Our lives are characterised by innumerable encounters with objects…Objects are routinely, mundanely, part of everyday existence. Moreover, beyond this pragmatic view, even the most commonplace object has the capacity to symbolise the deepest human anxieties and aspirations…in important ways objects have a type of power over us…people require objects to understand and perform aspects of selfhood, and to navigate the terrain of culture more broadly” (Ian Woodward, Understanding Material Culture, p. vi).


“Emily had never seen a kitchen like this before. It had dark wooden walls and low ceiling, with black rafters crossing it, from which hung hams and sides of bacon and bunches of herbs and new socks and mittens, and many other things, the names and uses of which Emily could not imagine. The sanded floor was spotlessly white, but the boards had been scrubbed away through the years until the knots in them stuck up all over in funny little bosses, and in front of the stove they had sagged, making a queer, shallow little hollow” (L.M. Montgomery, Emily of New Moon, ch. 6).


Special thanks to the Robertson Library at UPEI and all of our community partners.

The MaudCast is supported in part by funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.


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