Fiefs and Vassals has changed our view of the medieval world. It offers a fundamental challenge to orthodox conceptions of feudalism. Susan Reynolds argues that the concepts of the fief and of vassalage, as understood by historians of medieval Europe, were constructed by post-medieval scholars from the works of medieval academic lawyers and tha they provide a bad guide to the realities of medieval society. This is a radical new examination of relations between rulers, nobles, and free men, the distillation of wide-ranging research by a leading medieval historian. It has revolutionized the way we think of the Middle Ages.