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The Tale of Heroic Sons and Daughters I & II

  • Tale of Heroic Sons and Daughters
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Product Description

Library of Chinese Classics The Tale of Heroic Sons and Daughters (2 Vols.)
Author: Wen Kang (Qing Dynasty)
Publisher: New World Press
Publication Date: 2003-12
Language: Chinese and English
ISBN: 7801871537
Library Binding: hardcover, 843 pages

Brief Introduction:

The Tale of Heroic Sons and Daughters, also known as Two Phoenixes Predestined, holds a special position in the history of the Chinese novel. It has been widely popular ever since it was first published, in the reign of Emperor Guangxu (1875-1909). The author, Wen Kang, was a member of the Bordered Red Banner of the ruling Manchu nationality.

The tale is a fanciful one: During the reigns of the Qing emperors Kangxi (1662-1723) and Yongzheng (1723-1736), the upright official An Xuehai falls foul of his venal superior. His son, An Ji, sets out to rescue his father from his difficulties, but is waylaid by dastardly schemers, to be later plucked from their clutches by He Yufeng, a chivalrous girl skilled in the martial arts and also known as the Thirteenth Younger Sister. The Thirteenth Younger Sister persuades An Ji to marry Zhang Jinfeng, whom, together with Zhang's parents, she has rescued at the same time. She then mysteriously disappears. Meanwhile, An Xuehai, who has had his name cleared, determines to repay the Thirteenth Younger sister for her help. He resigns from his official post, and sets out in search of the girl. An Xuehai learns that the Thirteenth Younger Sister has set out to wreak vengeance on the official who had had her father, a general, imprisoned on a trumped-up charge, resulting in the general's death from apoplexy. Tracking down the Thirteenth Younger Sister, An Xuehai informs her that the court has already executed her father's enemy, and so justice has been done. Yielding too much persuasion, the Thirteenth Younger sister gives up her intention to live as a recluse tending her mother's grave, and marries An Ji. She and Zhang Jinfeng live in harmony as the wives of An Ji, while An Ji comes third in the imperial examination, bringing great honor and prosperity to the whole family.

The author uses the technique of the traditional storyteller to unfold the plot and hold the audience spellbound. The narrative is lively and natural. It has its twist and turns, and is not lacking in moments of suspense, minute description and humor. Romance and chivalry are finely enmeshed in the Tale, and the characters are highly individual. The original text was written in a racy, colloquial language, which moved at the fast pace. The present translation is taken from the first 28 chapters of the Tale of Heroic Sons and Daughters

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