This is the first short study in English of the Frankish ruler Charles Martel. First glorified as the Saviour of Christendom and then vilified as an enemy of the Church, Charles Martel's career has been written and rewritten from the time of his descendents. He is the subject of intense debate still. This new study draws on the evidence of strictly contemporary sources to assess his real achievements. In the process Paul Fouracre shows how recent scholarship has demolished the traditional view of Martel's instrumental role in the development of the feudal system. He suggests instead that during his rise to power he was the beneficiary rather that the agent of social and cultural change. This is an important new study bringing continental scholarship to a wider audience and which offers new insights into this fascinating period.