Jinyong - Timeline

Timeline

Era Novel
6th century BC Sword of the Yue Maiden
11th century Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils
13th century The Legend of the Condor Heroes
The Return of the Condor Heroes
14th century The Heavenly Sword and the Dragon Saber
16th century (The Smiling, Proud Wanderer)1
(Ode to Gallantry)2
17th century Swordswoman Riding West on White Horse
Sword Stained With Royal Blood
The Deer and the Cauldron
(A Deadly Secret)3
18th century Blade-dance of the Two Lovers
The Book and the Sword
Other Tales of the Flying Fox
Fox Volant of the Snowy Mountain

1 The time frame of The Smiling, Proud Wanderer is unspecified; Cha states that it is intentionally left ambiguous because the novel is allegorical in nature. Nevertheless, people have speculated on the timeframe; the most possible candidate is the Ming Dynasty, because the Wudang and Emei sects (founded at the start of the Ming Dynasty) appear prominently, and because the Manchus (who destroyed the Ming Dynasty) are not mentioned. In The Deer and the Cauldron, the main character is also mentioned to be from a dynasty before Qing. In several film adaptations including Swordsman II starring Jet Li, the story is specified to take place during the reign of the Wanli Emperor, which would make it the late Ming Dynasty but just before the period of Manchu encroachment.

2 The time frame of Ode to Gallantry is also unspecified. The sources that would put the story in Ming Dynasty are that the mention of Zhang Sanfeng being already dead and the illustrations depict men wearing Han hairstyle.

3 The time frame of A Deadly Secret was ambiguous in its first and second editions. Cha specifically states that the story is inspired by the tragic story of his grandfather's servant seems to suggest that the events of the novel occurs near the end of the Qing Dynasty; the novel illustrations that depict men wearing Manchu hairstyle supports this idea. In the third edition of the novel, Cha links the story with Wu Liuqi, a character from The Deer and the Cauldron, fully integrating it into Qing Dynasty.

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