51 pages 1 hour read

Elizabeth Gray Vining

Adam of the Road

Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 1942

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Chapters 1-4

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 1 Summary: “Adam”

Adam of the Road opens in June 1295. Eleven-year-old Adam Quartermayne attends a Catholic boys’ school in St. Alban, England. His father, Roger, is a traveling minstrel who is currently learning the newest songs and stories in France. Adam is impatiently waiting for Roger to return and take him out of school so the pair can travel and perform together. He imagines his father’s coming for him in different daydreams each day and is always disappointed when he doesn’t arrive, but Adam never doubts that Roger is on his way.

In the meantime, Adam attends classes and Mass and gets into trouble with his friend, Perkin, who is a year older than Adam and sleeps in the cot next to him. Perkin is a serious student. He is the son of a plowman but plans to study at Oxford and dreams of being an advisor to the king.

Adam’s fun-loving nature encourages Perkin to relax, and the boys become best friends. Adam often recites stories and plays minstrel songs for the other students. When he is not bragging about his father, he is talking about his beloved dog, Nick. Nick is Adam’s red spaniel who can perform tricks.