This introduction presents an overview of key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of the book. The book provides the fruits of some fifteen years of researching the labour and social history of Manresa and environs in the later medieval period. It is an attempt to define and delineate, ideally in more detail than has ever been done by a single author before, the society of households and individuals resident in a particular town during the late medieval period. The book presents the history of two families in some detail. The first family is the de Talamancas, a castle-owning family who were members of the Catalonian 'castellanate'. The second family is the Sarta family. The book then presents a 'social geography' of the city, providing a portrait of how wealth was physically distributed in the city, and how neighbourhoods were populated. It provides a picture of Manresan society in aggregate. It deals primarily with family, social and labour history.