"In the following pages I have tried to explain, as simply and concisely as possible, the historical significance of the feudal system. . . . My purpose has not been to give a comprehensive description of Europe in the feudal age, or even of feudal society. I have taken for granted that the reader will be familiar with the main political events of the Middle ages: the barbarian invasions, the formation of the Carolingian Empire, the establishment of the later monarchies, the Crusades, and the like. I have omitted all but cursory mention of the manorial system and the revival of commerce . . . . I have, in other words, restricted the discussion to the few institutions that may be said to have constituted feudalism proper, or to have been peculiarly associated with it."—from the Preface
This reprint of the first single-volume work in English (originally published in 1942) to treat the principles of feudalism gives a clear and concise account of the origin, growth, and decay of the feudal system. Special attention is paid to the principles of feudal tenure, chivalry, the military life of the nobility, and the workings of feudal government, as illustrated by actual cases.