Yue Fei (24 March 1103 – 27 January 1142), was a military general who lived in the Southern Song dynasty. He is best known for leading Southern Song forces in the wars in the 12th century between Southern Song and the Jurchen-ruled Jin dynasty in northern China before being put to death by the Southern Song government in 1142.
He was granted the posthumous name Wumu by Emperor Xiaozong in 1169, and later granted the posthumous title King of È (鄂王) by Emperor Ningzong in 1211. Widely seen as a patriot and national folk hero in China, since after his death, Yue Fei has evolved into a standard epitome of loyalty in Chinese culture.
A biography of Yue Fei, was written 60 years after his death by his grandson, the poet and historian Yue Ke (岳柯) (1183-post 1240). In 1346 it was incorporated into the History of Song, a 496-chapter record of historical events and biographies of noted Song dynasty individuals, compiled by Yuan dynasty prime minister Toqto'a and others. Yue Fei's biography is found in the 365th chapter of the book and is numbered biography 124. Some later historians including Deng Guangming (1907–1998) now doubt the veracity of many of Yue Ke's claims about his ancestor.
According to the History of Song, Yue Fei was named "Fei", meaning to fly, because at the time he was born, "a large bird like a swan landed on the roof of his house.
Yue Fei's second biography, a wuxia novel titled Shuo Yue Quan Chuan (simplified Chinese: 说岳全传; literally: "Telling the Complete Biography of Yue Fei", was written by Qian Cai (錢彩), who 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 in existence. 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).
This book is a junior edition of Shuo Yue Quan Chuan. It use simpler and more interesting language to tell the stories. Accomplished with beautiful illustrations, this book makes reading Chinese classical literature with more fun.