Susan Reynolds (1929-2021) was one of the leading figures in medieval history over the past forty years.
Susan changed the way historians think about the middle ages. She believed the typical description taught in primary schools – a vertical diagram descending from king to barons to knights to peasants – was misleading.
This symposium event will bring together a diverse range of scholars to reflect upon Susan’s career as a historian, her impact upon medieval history. Her most famous book, Fiefs and Vassals: the Medieval Evidence Reinterpreted (1994) influenced the teaching of medieval history, and academic discussions of ‘Feudalism’ (or the ‘F’ word, as her colleagues came to call it), punctuated a varied career. This career began with the Victoria County History of Middlesex and encompassed secondary school teaching, research and teaching at Oxford, as well as a key role in the life of the Institute of Historical Research following her early retirement from Oxford in 1986.
Making history: the discipline in perspective- an interview with Susan Reynolds took place on 27 March 2008. You can listen to and read the interview here.