Elizabeth Janet Gray's Adam of the Road, what was the letter Roger carried from Sir Edmund?

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Tamara K. H. | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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Elizabeth Janet Gray's Adam of the Road is a Newbery Award winning children's novel depicting life in Medieval England with rich detail. The novel sends the 11-year-old protagonist Adam Quartermayne on quests to find both his dog Nick and his father Roger Quartermayne.

Early on in the novel, around page 30, we learn from Dame Malkin that there are rumors Sir Edmund de Lisle has just hired a minstrel "all hot from some minstrel's school in France," and Adam hopes the minstrel is his father Roger. There is also a rumor that Sir Edmund is coming to the abbey to stay for a couple of nights, bringing the minstrel with him.

Later, when Adam does indeed reunite with his father Roger, we also learn that Sir Edmund has given Roger a letter recommending him as a minstrel; Sir Edmund has also granted Roger permission to show the letter of recommendation to any of Sir Edmund's "friends whom [they] may meet along the way" (p. 100). Roger is unable to read the Latin words, so he shows the letter, written on a piece of parchment, to Adam to read. Adam translates the Latin as saying the following:

Outstanding minstrel ... who was at the recent marriage of my daughter ... where he exercised his office elegantly ... we recommend to you with great confidence ... (p. 100)

In the letter,  Sir Edmund also asks his friends "to give [Roger] ... some subsidy ... something about special grace" (p. 100).

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