Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Timeline of Chor Lau Heung 1984

Wu Tit Fa gave some paper money to have CLH 'killed', Ep 8

I’ve been thinking about the timeline of Chor Lau Heung. Since I couldn’t find any info on the net (well, the English version at least), I just gathered some facts from the series and (ahem) Wikipedia and deducted that Chor Lau Heung’s time frame was in the early to middle Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Here’s how I came to the conclusion.

One of the most prominent sects in the CLH saga was the Wutang Clan. This clan wasn’t established until the Yuan Dynasty (per Louis Cha’s Dragon Sword and Heaven Sabre 1961). Also, the Province of Yunnan where Song Siu Ching and the Emperor escaped to wasn’t created until 1274 during the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368). Previously, Yunnan was called the Dali Kingdom. Hence, the setting should be during the Ming Dynasty that ruled the Mainland after the Yuan Dynasty.

In Episode 8, Wu Tit Fa produced some paper money to pay the Bloody Palm organisation to have Chor Lau Heung killed (it was a plan between Wu and Chor, actually). In 1450, the Ming Dynasty had a major inflation due to the overuse of paper money. According to Grandpa Wiki “issues were suspended in 1450 although notes remained in circulation until 1573”. 

Inflation is a big thing in a story line. The TVB folks would have used it as a subplot in CLH 1984 if they set it during the big inflation. Hence, I think the time frame is before 1450, or at least between 1450-1573, although I am leaning towards pre-1450.

Now, we know that silver ingots were extensively used throughout the series. Again, Wiki stated this:

“Silver, which flowed in from overseas, began to be used as a currency in the Far South province of Guangdong where it spread to the lower Yangzi region by 1423 when it became legal tender for payment of taxes. Provincial taxes had to be remitted to the capital in silver after 1465, salt producers had to pay in silver from 1475 and corvée exemptions had to be paid in silver from 1485. The Chinese demand for silver was partially met by Spanish imports from the Americas, in particular Potosí in Peru and Mexico, after the Spanish became established at Manila in 1571. However the silver was not minted. It circulated as ingots (known as sycee or yuanbao) which weighed a nominal liang (about 36 grammes) although purity and weight varied from region to region.”

Hence, the timeline of this story should be somewhere around 1423-1450... Not that it really matters anyway, cos this is a fiction!! But hey, to me, it’s important that the CLH timeline is after the Foundation and the Legend of Condor Heroes, otherwise I wouldn’t have written this fiction.

What do you think? Feel free to discuss it with me here, the more, the merrier.  

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