In this innovative and compelling book Nigel Saul approaches the world of the medieval gentry through the monuments they left behind them. The Cobham family left the largest and most spectacular collection of brasses in Britain in their church at Cobham, and other magnificent brasses inLingfield, and elsewhere. Medieval brasses have hitherto been studied chiefly from an antiquarian or technical perspective; Nigel Saul for the first time shows how they served as a link between the living and the dead. Commemoration was inseparable from the wider dynamics of society. Through thebrasses and through family history he takes us to the heart of gentry aspirations and fears, successes and disappointments. This extensively illustrated study offers a new paradigm for the study of medieval church monuments and makes a major contribution to our understanding of gentryculture.