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|Genre||Wuxia, historical fiction|
|Publisher||Oxford University Press|
|8 February 1955|
Published in English
|Media type||Print, serialised in The New Evening Post|
|Followed by||The Young Flying Fox|
|The Book and the Sword|
|Literal meaning||Chronicles of the Book and the Sword: Gratitude and Vengeance|
The Book and the Sword is a wuxia novel by Jin Yong (Louis Cha). It was first serialised between 8 February 1955 and 5 September 1956in the Hong Kong newspaper The New Evening Post .
Set in 18th-century China during the Manchu-led Qing dynasty, the novel follows the quest of the Red Flower Society, a secret organisation aiming to overthrow the Qing government, and their entanglements with an Islamic tribe in western China. The "book" in the title refers to a Quran that was stolen from the tribe while the "sword" refers to a sword given to the protagonist, Chen Jialuo, by his first romantic interest, Huoqingtong. Historical figures such as the Qianlong Emperor, Zhaohui, Heshen, Zheng Banqiao and Fuk'anggan also make appearances or are mentioned by name in the novel. One of the female protagonists, Princess Fragrance, is loosely based on the Qianlong Emperor's Fragrant Concubine.
This novel was Jin Yong's debut, and it quickly established him as one of the new masters of the wuxia genre.[ citation needed ] Alternative English titles of the novel include Book and Sword: Gratitude and Revenge and The Romance of the Book and Sword.
The Red Flower Society is a secret society aiming to overthrow the Manchu-led Qing Empire and restore Han Chinese rule in China. It is led by 15 heroes, with Chen Jialuo as their chief. At the beginning of the novel, the Qianlong Emperor sends his men to ambush and arrest Wen Tailai, the society's fourth leader, because he wants to silence Wen Tailai, who knows a secret about him.
The main plot follows the heroes' repeated attempts to rescue Wen Tailai, and is intertwined with two or more extensive subplots. The heroes encounter some Islamic tribesmen who are pursuing a convoy of mercenaries who have robbed them of their holy artefact, a Quran. Chen Jialuo aids the tribesmen in defeating the mercenaries and recovers the holy book. He earns the respect and admiration of Huoqingtong, the daughter of the tribe's leader. Throughout the novel, some of the heroes eventually find their future spouses after braving danger together: Xu Tianhong and Yu Yutong marry Zhou Qi and Li Yuanzhi respectively.
Chen Jialuo and the heroes follow the trail of the convoy escorting Wen Tailai and arrive in Hangzhou, where Chen Jialuo coincidentally meets the Qianlong Emperor, who is disguised as a rich man, and befriends him. However, after they discover each other's true identities, they become suspicious and wary of each other. When the emperor's best warriors are defeated by the heroes in a martial arts contest, the emperor feels humiliated and wants to summon the military forces stationed in Hangzhou to destroy the Red Flower Society. However, he eventually refrains from doing so when he learns of the society's vast network of underground connections in Hangzhou.
When Chen Jialuo finally rescues Wen Tailai, he is surprised to learn that the Qianlong Emperor is not a Manchu, but a Han Chinese. Wen Tailai also reveals that the emperor is actually Chen Jialuo's elder brother; shortly after his birth, he had switched places with a newborn princess and had been raised as a son of the Yongzheng Emperor and eventually inherited the throne. Chen Jialuo and the heroes kidnap the emperor and hold him hostage in the Liuhe Pagoda, where they try to persuade him to acknowledge his ethnicity. They suggest that he use his privileged status to drive the Manchus out of the Central Plains, and assure him that he will remain as the emperor after that. The emperor reluctantly agrees and swears an oath of alliance with the heroes.
At the same time, the Qing army invades northwest China, where the Islamic tribe lives, so Chen Jialuo travels there to help his friends. He meets Huoqingtong and her younger sister, Kasili (Princess Fragrance). After falling in love with Kasili, he finds himself entangled in a love triangle because Huoqingtong also has romantic feelings for him. The Islamic tribe is eventually annihilated by the Qing army while Kasili is captured and brought back to the Qing capital.
The Qianlong Emperor is attracted to Kasili's beauty and tries to force her to become his concubine but she refuses. Chen Jialuo infiltrates the palace to meet the emperor, reminds him about their oath, and promises him that he will persuade Kasili to be his concubine. Kasili later discovers that the emperor has no intention of keeping his promise and has been secretly planning to lure the Red Flower Society into a trap and destroy them. After Kasili commits suicide to warn Chen Jialuo, the Red Flower Society's leaders are angry at the emperor for betraying them so they attack the palace. The emperor is defeated and forced to come to a truce with the heroes. Chen Jialuo and his friends then head towards the Western Regions after paying their respects at Kasili's tomb.
|Year||Production||Main cast||Additional information|
|1960||Emei Film Company|
|Cheung Ying, Tsi Law-lin, Yung Siu-yee||See The Book and the Sword|
|1981||Shaw Brothers Studio (Hong Kong)||Ti Lung, Jason Pai||See Emperor and His Brother|
|1987||Hong Kong||Zhang Duofu, Chang Dashi, Liu Jia, Aiyinuo||See The Romance of Book and Sword and Princess Fragrance .|
|Year||Production||Main cast||Additional information|
|1976||TVB (Hong Kong)||Adam Cheng, Liza Wang, Candice Yu||See The Legend of the Book and the Sword (1976 TV series)|
|1984||TTV (Taiwan)||Yu Tien-lung, Sam-sam, Yang Liyin||See Book and Sword Chronicles|
|1987||TVB (Hong Kong)||Pang Man-kin, Jacqueline Law, Fiona Leung, Simon Yam||See The Legend of the Book and the Sword (1987 TV series)|
|1992||CTS (Taiwan)||Kenny Ho, Shen Meng-sheng, Leanne Liu, Fu Chuan||See The Book and the Sword (1992 TV series)|
|1994||CCTV (Mainland China)||Huang Haibing, Wang Weiguo, Wang Jinghua, Yang Yanuo||See The Book and the Sword (1994 TV series)|
|2002||Chinese Entertainment Shanghai (various countries)||Vincent Zhao, Aaron Chen, Esther Kwan, Rachel Ngan||See Book and Sword, Gratitude and Revenge|
|2008||Mainland China||Adam Cheng, Liu Dekai, Qiao Zhenyu, Niki Chow, Liu Ying||See The Book and the Sword (2008 TV series)|
In 1999, Hong Kong's RTHK produced a 32-episodes radio drama based on the novel, voiced by Tse Kwan-ho, Gigi Leung, Chow Kwok-fung and Jacqueline Pang.
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The Yongzheng Emperor, born Yinzhen, was the fourth Emperor of the Qing dynasty, and the third Qing emperor to rule over China proper, reigned from 1722 to 1735. A hard-working ruler, the Yongzheng Emperor's main goal was to create an effective government at minimal expense. Like his father, the Kangxi Emperor, the Yongzheng Emperor used military force to preserve the dynasty's position.
The Fragrant Concubine is a figure in Chinese legend who was taken as a consort by the Qianlong Emperor of the Qing dynasty in the 18th century. Although the stories about her are believed to be mythical, they may have been based on an actual concubine from western China who entered the imperial harem in 1760 and received the title "Imperial Consort Rong". Han Chinese and Uyghur tellings of the legend of the Fragrant Concubine diverge greatly and her experience represents a powerful symbol for both figures. The story became greatly popular during the early 20th century and has since been adapted into several plays, films and books.
The Deer and the Cauldron, also known as The Duke of Mount Deer, is a historical novel by Jin Yong, the longest of his novels and the last to be published. It was initially published in Hong Kong as a serial, running from 24 October 1969 to 23 September 1972 in the newspaper Ming Pao.
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The Book and the Sword is a 2008 Chinese television series adapted from Louis Cha's novel of the same title. The series was first broadcast on CETV-3 in China in 2009. It starred Qiao Zhenyu, Adam Cheng, Niki Chow, and Liu Dekai.
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Book and Sword, Gratitude and Revenge is a television series adapted from Louis Cha's novel The Book and the Sword. The series was first broadcast on CTV in Taiwan in 2002.
The Book and the Sword is a Chinese television series adapted from Louis Cha's novel of the same title. The series was first broadcast on CCTV in China in 1994.
Book and Sword Chronicles is a Taiwanese television series adapted from Louis Cha's novel The Book and the Sword. It was first broadcast on TTV in Taiwan in 1984.
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