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 attention.
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 personal freedom.
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
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