Re-Thinking Kinship and Feudalism in Early Medieval Europe: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Re-Thinking Kinship and Feudalism in Early Medieval Europe

1st Edition

By Stephen D. White


280 pages

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New in Paperback: 9781138375673
pub: 2018-09-27
Hardback: 9780860789604
pub: 2005-12-28

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This is the second collection of studies by Stephen D. White to be published by Variorum (the first being Feuding and Peace-Making in Eleventh-Century France). The essays in this volume look principally at France and England from Merovingian and Anglo-Saxon times up to the 12th century. They analyze Latin and Old French discourses that medieval nobles used to construct their relationships with kin, lords, men, and friends, and investigate the political dimensions of such relationships with particular reference to patronage/clientage, the use of land as an item of exchange, and feuding. In so doing, the essays call into question the conventional practice of studying kinship and feudalism as independent systems of legal institutions and propose new strategies for studying them.

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction; Maitland on family and kinship; The invention of English individualism: Alan Macfarlane and the modernization of pre-modern England (with Richard T. Vann); Clotild's revenge: politics, kinship, and ideology in the Merovingian blood feud; Kinship and lordship in early medieval England: the story of Sigeberht, Cynewulf, and Cyneheard; The discourse of inheritance in 12th-century France: alternative models of the fief in 'Raoul de Cambrai'; English feudalism and its origins; Stratégie rhétorique dans la Conventio de Hugues de Lusignan; The politics of fidelity in early 11th-century France: Fulbert of Chartres, William of Aquitaine, and Hugh of Lusignan; Book review: Susan Reynolds, Fiefs and vassals: the medieval evidence reinterpreted; The politics of exchange: gifts, fiefs, and feudalism; Giving fiefs and honor: largesse, avarice, and the problem of 'feudalism' in Alexander's testament; Service for fiefs or fiefs for service: the politics of reciprocity; A crisis of fidelity in c.1000?; Index.

About the Author

Stephen D. White is the Asa G. Candler Professor of Medieval History and Director of the Medieval Studies Program at Emory University, USA.

About the Series

Variorum Collected Studies

The first title in the Variorum Collected Studies series was published in 1970. Since then well over 1000 titles have appeared in the series, and it has established a well-earned international reputation for the publication of key research across a whole range of subjects within the fields of history.

The history of the medieval world remains central to the series, with Byzantine studies a particular speciality, but the range of titles extends from Hellenistic philosophy and the history of the Roman empire and early Christianity, through the Renaissance and Reformation, up to the 20th century. Islamic Studies forms another major strand as do the histories of science, technology and medicine.

Each title in the Variorum Collected Studies series brings together for the first time a selection of articles by a leading authority on a particular subject. These studies are reprinted from a vast range of learned journals, Festschrifts and conference proceedings. They make available research that is scattered, even inaccessible in all but the largest and most specialized libraries. With a new introduction and index, and often with new notes and previously unpublished material, they constitute an essential resource. 

For further information about contributing to the series please contact Michael Greenwood at

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General