The Life of the Chevalier Bayard
The Good Knight, Sans peur et sans reproche.
William Gilmore Simms
Published: Oct 22 2013
The inclusion of this book in the Open Carolina collection is made possible by the generous funding of
Simms wrote The Life of Chevalier Bayard, a biography of the late-medieval French knight, to serve as an archetype of virtue for Americans. Early reviews of Bayard were largely positive, commending the biography's unpretentious and smooth readability; The New York Evening Post praised Simms's skill in writing dramatic biography. A February 1848 letter to Duyckinck addresses this dramatic component, as Simms indicated that the temptation was strong to write more "blood and thunder" episodes due to Bayard's military achievements and exploits; he ultimately concluded that such an indulgence would impair the biographical integrity. As late as 1935, historian Edward H. O'Neil considered it the best of Simms's biographies.