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Opening with the powerful imagery of incarceration as evoked by an anonymous letter-writer in fifteenth-century Italy, this analysis foregrounds the importance of sustained scholarly attention to how the states of exile and imprisonment were experienced, recorded, and endured in medieval and early modern Europe. On the face of it, these two states seem diametrically opposed. However, this approach argues that they were intertwined and discrete experiences. An overview of select relevant scholarship contextualises the contributions to this Special Issue which, together, illuminate the subtleties and complexities in the interaction of convergence and difference between exile and imprisonment in the period.