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The Growth of the Manor (1905) is one of the key works of the eminent expatriate Russian jurist, Paul Vinogradoff (1854-1925). Expanding on his Oxford lectures, this book attempts to re-establish coherence within English medieval history after the critiques of scholars including Frederic Maitland had supposedly obscured the historical narrative. Tracing the evolution of the manor, Vinogradoff demonstrates how feudal law and tenurial relationships evolved out of more primitive systems of male descent. He claims there was demonstrable progress from a system of communal action and responsibility to one of personal rights and subjection that can be traced through what he calls the 'Celtic', 'Old English' and 'Feudal' periods. The latter system was secured in the Norman Conquest of 1066, although the former continued to exist underneath it. Of particular interest to those studying the Domesday Book, this is also an important text for medievalists and legal historians.
Russian historian and jurist Sir Paul Vinogradoff (1854-1925) maintained throughout his life a serious scholarly interest in the history of Great Britain, his adopted country. Elected to a professorship at Oxford in 1903, to the British Academy in 1905, and knighted for services to the realm in increasing Anglo-Russian understanding during the war (1917), Vinogradoff demonstrates in this book of 1892 both his interest in feudal England and his historiographic approach, which relied on detailed research using primary sources to examine individuals, communities, and social structures. Divided into two essays - 'The Peasantry of the Feudal Age' and 'The Manor and the Village Community' - the work used England's extensive feudal records to draw a general character of the period. Villainage will interest students of English or European mediaeval history and scholars of mediaeval legal history and of developments in nineteenth-century historiography.