I would imagine that if it were possible to talk to a reasonably well-educated twelfth-century person about his society, and to assure him that he lived in a feudal age, he might well have been confused. Not that he would have any difficulty with the concept itself. He knew that he lived in troubled and transitional times. He also knew that land could be translated into power. If he were of a legal turn of mind, he would know that customs relating to the knight’s fee were an important part of property law, even if they were less important in the raising of armies. His confusion would arise from the fact that – if he were talking to a traditional British historian – he would find that the fee was being used as the central organising principle for his society. As we have seen, late-twelfth-century people knew well that there were such things as human societies and social classes. But they also knew that their society and class structure was rather more complex than the feudal construct allowed in any of its manifestations. There was no one single organising principle in their world, outside its theology.