Sword of the Yue Maiden by Jin Yong was first serialised in 1970 the Hong Kong newspaper Ming Pao Evening Supplement.
This short story was the last of Jin Yong’s works.
The story is set in the Spring and Autumn Period, making the historical setting the earliest among Jin Yong’s novels. It revolves around the Yue Maiden, who lived during the reign of King Goujian of Yue (496-465 BCE).
The novel was based on the legend of the Yue Maiden, and the war between the states of Wu and Yue during the Spring and Autumn Period.
The real name of the Yue Maiden is unknown. She is simply referred to as Yuenü
He decreed that his army adopt her style of swordsmanship and appointed her to train his army officers, who in turn instructed his army. Hers is the earliest known exposition on the art of the sword, and influenced Chinese martial arts for generations.
The war between Wu and Yue was the last major conflict during the Spring and Autumn Period. When King Helü of Wu
His son, King Fuchai of Wu, defeated Yue three years later and captured King Goujian of Yue. Goujian served as Fuchai’s servant for three years before he was allowed to return home.
Upon his return to Yue, Goujian plotted his revenge against Fuchai. Goujian shunned riches and comfort, choosing to sleeping on firewood, ate food suited for peasants, and forced himself to taste bile. These were to be constant reminders of his humiliations when he served under the State of Wu.
The Chinese idiom 卧薪尝胆 (wòxīn chángdǎn) comes from Goujian’s story. It means to endure hardships and temper oneself in order to accomplish one’s goal.
In 1986, Hong Kong’s ATV produced a 20-episode television series Sword of the Yue Maiden.
Sword of the Yue Maiden: Part 1
“After you.” The two swordsmen turned the point of their blades downward. Their right palm holding the sword hilt…