Pages 27

Born on the island of jersey, Wace received his training first at Caen, then at Paris or, less likely, at Chartres; the influence of Hugh of Saint-Victor on his work is evident. Early in the 1130s, maistre Wace returned to Caen, where he occupied the position of clerc lisant (this term, used by Wace himself, most likely meant “reader of the lessons in the church service”); between 1165 and 1169, King Henry II of England rewarded him for his literary work with the prebend of a canon at Bayeux. He must have sojourned in England, since he knew the English language and gives precise geographical details of that country, especially of the Dorset area. Charters at Bayeux that bear his signature are not helpful in more precisely dating his life, which is known exclusively from personal remarks in his Roman de Rou.