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Fee tails were a basic building block for family landholding from the end of the thirteenth to the beginning of the twentieth century. The classic entail was an interest in land which was inalienable and could only pass at death by inheritance to the lineal heirs of the original grantee. Biancalana's study considers the origins, development and use of the entail in later medieval England, and the origins and early use of a reliable legal mechanism for the destruction of individual entails, the common recovery. He untangles the complex history surrounding medieval landholding in this first detailed study of the fee tail, the product of extensive research in original sources. This book includes an extensive index of over three hundred common recoveries with discussions of their transactional contexts. A major work which will interest lawyers and historians.