This is a truly outstanding introduction to the early and high middle ages. I was a little hesitant at buying it due to the fact that it was first published in 1957, thinking it might be a bit dated. But I was delightfully surprised to find the author's excellent writing style both immensely readable and very informative. He manages to find the balance perfectly between depth and understandability, including enough pertinent detail to give the reader a good grip on the major themes of each chapter without letting the details hold back the flow of the book. Very impressive.