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Book Condition: Fine
First printing in English. Yue Fei (March 24, 1103 - January 28, 1142), courtesy name Pengju, was a Chinese military general, calligrapher, and poet who lived during the Southern Song dynasty. Widely seen as a patriot and national folk hero in China, since his death Yue Fei has evolved into a paragon of loyalty in Chinese culture. The author Qian Cai lived sometime during the reigns of the Kangxi and Yongzheng (1661-1735) emperors of the Qing dynasty. A dating symbol in its preface points either to the year 1684 or to 1744. It was banned during the reign of the Qianlong Emperor. There are two main versions of this novel. The original one had 80 chapters. There was an illustrated edition of this version published in 1912. The other version also had 80 chapters and was published during the reign of the Tongzhi Emperor (1861-1875). The work is a historical novel in form, but it is in fact based almost mainly on legends which were current amongst the common people for centuries. Indeed some of the events described there are nothing more than Qian Cai's own imagination. Starting in 1964 and finishing in 1995, Sir Yang Ti-liang, former Chief Justice of Hong Kong, combined the first chapters of these works (in an attempt to weed out the overabundance of supernatural elements) to create a 79-chapter version with 961 pages, which he translated into English. Slight crease and wear to dustjacket spine.