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Pierre Bayard belonged to a generation of men so fully absorbed in the sport of war that decades of their lives were often spent in battle following the whims of kings whom they believed acted on their behalf in an evil world. Their ideals were few and clear: duty, the service of honor, and the responsibility of noblesse--nothing more.
In the long history of mounted warfare, Chevalier Bayard, a homme d'armes, or man-at-arms, was considered the epitome of chivalry and one of the most skillful and fearless commanders of his time. To his contemporaries and his successors, he was, with his heroism, piety, and magnanimity, gaiety and kindness, le bon chevalier, the good knight.
Samuel Shellabarger became intrigued by the story of Pierre Bayard while living in Europe and the resulting manuscript, expertly researched and thoroughly documented, was published when Shellabarger returned to the United States in 1928. Chevalier Bayard, A Study in Fading Chivalry currently remains the only definitive treatment of Bayard in English.
"What Bayard was, he is now more completely than during life―a rare expression of that valor, chivalry, and devotion, which marks the gentlemen of every age."