Title Page || 1: The Land and the People
At the time this book was
written, the questions of the influence of the frontier, in the
American sense of the term, and whether "feudalism," as the term was
then generally defined, actually existed in Medieval Europe. This work
was an attempt to consider both questions through the study of the
effect that a frontier had upon a feudal society planted within it.
Although defined somewhat differently, these questions still concern
medieval historians, so this book may not be entirely unworthy of
The reader should be warned, however, that it was not intended to be a
history of Wales or even of the Marcher Lordships. It was an attempt to
see to what extent, if any, this specific frontier exerted the
influences that Frederick Jackson Turner and those who followed him
said that all frontiers exerted at all times on all societies.
Consequently, attention was focused on matters such as the increased
importance and value of the individual, the devolution of social
institutions toward the nuclear family, the emergence of a pragmatic
approach to the challenges of the environment, and the growth of
I would like to thanks The University of Texas Press for agreeing with
me to relinquish copyright protection for this work and to place it
on-line for free public access.
Lynn H. Nelson
23 February 1999