Baifa Monü Zhuan

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Baifa Monü Zhuan
Author Liang Yusheng
Original title 白髮魔女傳
Country Hong Kong
Language Chinese
Genre Wuxia
Publisher Sin Wun Pao
Publication date
5 August 1957 - 10 December 1958
Media type Print
ISBN 9789861465098
Followed by Saiwai Qixia Zhuan
Baifa Monü Zhuan
Simplified Chinese 白发魔女传
Traditional Chinese 白髮魔女傳
Literal meaning Story of the White Haired Demoness

Baifa Monü Zhuan is a wuxia novel by Liang Yusheng. It was serialised between 5 August 1957 and 10 December 1958 in the Hong Kong newspaper Sin Wun Pao. It is closely related to Qijian Xia Tianshan and Saiwai Qixia Zhuan. The novel has been adapted into films and television series, such as The Bride with White Hair and The Romance of the White Hair Maiden.

Plot[edit]

The story begins in the Ming dynasty during the final years of the reign of the Wanli Emperor. Lian Nichang, a female bandit leader nicknamed "Jade Rakshasa", is introduced as an impressive vigilante-heroine who uses her legendary swordplay skills to uphold justice and punish the wicked. Meanwhile, many government officials are implicated in a scandal to overthrow the crown prince, and they are either executed or imprisoned. Zhuo Yihang of the Wudang Sect helps the crown prince uncover the truth behind the case and succeeds in clearing the name of his father, who was wrongly put to death.

On the journey home, Zhuo Yihang passes by Mount Hua, where he meets a beautiful young maiden and falls in love with her. The following night, Zhuo joins some jianghu martial artists in a duel against the "Jade Rakshasa". However, he is shocked when he sees that the woman he met earlier is actually the "Jade Rakshasa" Lian Nichang. He makes another startling discovery that the martial artists he is helping are actually spies working for the Manchus. Zhuo Yihang switches sides and helps Lian Nichang defeat the enemy. They meet a formidable swordsman named Yue Mingke, who is serving as a military attaché under General Xiong Tingbi. After a duel, Yue Mingke and Lian Nichang realise that their respective teachers used to be a loving couple, but have separated due to a rivalry over achieving supremacy in swordplay.

In the meantime, the Taichang Emperor dies after consuming the mysterious Red Pills, and is succeeded by the young Tianqi Emperor. The eunuch Wei Zhongxian and the emperor's wet nurse Madam Ke use the opportunity to deceive the naive ruler and usurp state power. Wei Zhongxian forms his own political clique and starts persecuting his opponents and those loyal to the emperor in order to consolidate power. Lian Nichang, Zhuo Yihang and Yue Mingke side with the loyalists and oppose Wei Zhongxian, playing key roles in disrupting Wei's evil plans in their respective adventures.

At one point, Yue Mingke is devastated after his lover, Tie Shanhu, dies tragically at the hands of Wei Zhongxian's henchmen. He becomes disillusioned with human society and becomes a monk, renaming himself "Reverend Huiming". He settles in the Mount Heaven region and spends his time studying martial arts.

During that time, Zhuo Yihang and Lian Nichang develop a romance and Zhuo is poised to become the new leader of Wudang. However, as Lian Nichang has a history of bad blood with Wudang, Zhuo Yihang's seniors and fellows strongly oppose his relationship with Lian. During a fight between Lian Nichang and Wudang's elders, Zhuo Yihang accidentally attacks Lian, causing her to misunderstand that he has betrayed her. Lian Nichang is heartbroken and her hair turns white after she awakes from a long sleep. Depressed by her new looks, she travels to Mount Heaven and leads a reclusive life there.

Years later, Lian Nichang makes her name in the Mount Heaven region by slaying villains and defeating several martial arts experts. She is known to the locals as the "White Haired Demoness". Meanwhile, Zhuo Yihang suffers from an emotional breakdown after losing Lian Nichang, and he leaves Wudang in search of his lover. After a long journey, Zhuo Yihang finally meets Lian Nichang on Mount Heaven, but she remains cold and indifferent towards him, refusing to accept his apologies. Zhuo Yihang learns that there is a rare flower that can turn white hair black again, but the flower only blooms once every six decades. He finds it and waits, hoping that it will bloom one day and allow him to reunite with his lover.

Characters[edit]

Adaptations[edit]

Films[edit]

Year Production Main cast Additional information
1959 Emei Film Company
(Hong Kong)
Law Yim-hing, Cheung Ying, Lin Chiao, Law Lan, Shih Kien See Story of the White-haired Demon Girl
1980 Great Wall Movie Enterprises Ltd
(Hong Kong)
Paw Hee-ching, Henry Fong, Leanne Liu, Chiang Ping See White Hair Devil Lady
1993 Hong Kong Brigitte Lin, Leslie Cheung See The Bride with White Hair
Brigitte Lin, Leslie Cheung, Christy Chung, Sunny Chan, Joey Meng See The Bride with White Hair 2
2013 Bona Film Group
(China)
Fan Bingbing, Huang Xiaoming, Vincent Zhao See White Haired Witch

Television[edit]

Year Production Main cast Additional information
1978 Commercial Television (Hong Kong) Lily Li, Jason Pai
1986 ATV (Hong Kong) Bonnie Ngai, Savio Tsang, Chen Kuan-tai, Wong Jo-see, Amy Yip See The Romance of the White Hair Maiden (1986 TV series)
1995 TVB (Hong Kong) Ada Choi, Timmy Ho, Gary Chan, Joanna Chan, Jason Pai See The Romance of the White Hair Maiden (1995 TV series)
1999 Taiwan Jiang Qinqin, Julian Cheung, Lin Fangbing, Chen Chun-sheng, Zhang Heng, Li Hui-ying See Romance of the White Haired Maiden (TV series)
2012 Phoenix Legend Films (China) Nicky Wu, Ma Su, Louis Fan, Liu Sitong, Li Jie, Guo Zhenni, Dai Jiaoqian See The Bride with White Hair (TV series)