This is an important new interpretation of the development of land law in England during the century after the Norman Conquest. Norman society was based on land and lordship, and the relative power of lord and vassal was crucial to the control of the land. John Hudson exploits a wealth of surviving charter and chronicle evidence in this scholarly analysis. His approach integrates social, political, administrative and intellectual history.
Dr Hudson examines the uses to which lords and vassals put their lands, the relationship between them, and the constraints upon them. He traces the increasing sophistication of law and the changes in
royal reassessment of legal developments in the eleventh and twelfth centuries.
`Exploiting a wealth of surviving charter and chronicle evidence. Hudson integrates social, political, administrative, and intellectual history into his study.'
The Medieval World
`Hudson does many things well in this book. He is imaginative and plausible when speculating about why documents were drawn up or about the presence or absence of certain clauses in the documents...this is a stimulating book, and the broad framework in which Hudson's discussion is placed should increase its appeal beyond the obvious audience of Anglo-Normanists and legal historians.'
`Hudson's Land, Law, and Lordship is an important synthesis of these newer views, as well as a fine piece of original scholarship. The author draws on an impressive array of source material, and he is confidant enough to make generalizations on every page. The book is densely argued but readable ... insightful and persuasive.'
`He is ... concerned with the power relations between king, barons and vassals, arguing, refreshingly, that in reality it was these more than anything else which determined the outcome of actual disputes. With sources that are exiguous and frequently ambiguous, his task is by no means an easy one.'
Peter Coss, University of Northumbria, EHR, June 1996