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York and became the head of a school there. He spent some time at the court of Charlemagne at Aachen, where he was a key figure in the Carolingian Renaissance, and was later in charge of an abbey in Tours, in central France. He wrote a number of books and poems, and was described in Einhard's Life of Charlemagne as "The most learned man anywhere to be found".
Alcuin was a deacon in the church, and lived a monastic life without actually becoming a monk.
He had intense friendships with other men, and the gay author John Boswell has identified the homoerotic nature of some of his poetry.