July 13, 2003

Books: Reynolds: Fiefs and Vassals

Susan Reynolds (1994), Fiefs and Vassals (Oxford: Oxford: 0198206488).

Posted by DeLong at July 13, 2003 07:45 PM | TrackBack


There is a reason why this book has not revolutionized thinking about feudal law, and that is that it really isn't an accurate critique of the state of scholarship, and was not even at the time. It is an argument over a few hyper technical points which, because it rests on a fallacy of the excluded middle - she gives us the choice of subscribing to a useless overgeneralization or one particular interpretation of one particularly scholarly tradition, not even the main one, based on one particular set of sources.

While a reexamination of feudal economics would be welcome, it needs to rest on firmer substance than Reynolds is able to provide.

Posted by: Stirling Newberry on July 14, 2003 07:31 AM
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