Adam's father, Roger, is a minstrel who has gone to enroll in school in France to improve upon his repertoire of songs. Roger is already famous for his performances and makes great money at his calling. He has gone to study the songs that are in fashion right now in order to further broaden his rich clientele. While Roger is studying in France, he has left Adam in the care of the monks at St. Albans Abbey so that Adam can learn to read and write. While Adam is at school, he often plays the harp and brags about his father, who he clearly misses and idolizes. The monks are less enthused than Adam and his friends, however: they often try to get him to stop because they don't consider it a pious activity.