The Deer and the Cauldron, also known as The Duke of Mount Deer, is a novel by Jin Yong (Louis Cha) and the last and longest of his novels. The novel was initially published in Hong Kong as a serial, and ran from 24 October 1969 to 23 September 1972 in the newspaper Ming Pao. Although the book is often referred to as a wuxia novel, it is not quite typical of the genre: the protagonist, Wei Xiaobao, is not an adept martial artist, but rather an antihero who relies on wit and cunning to get out of trouble.A complete set of Cha’s novels runs to thirty-six volumes, and in their original language they have sold hundreds of millions of copies throughout the Chinese-speaking world and have been adapted into countless movies, cartoons, operas, TV-series and video games. For a long time banned as decadent and frivolous in Mainland China, for the past 30 years or so they have become enormously popular with Mainland readers too, and were among the favourite reading matter of statesmen such as paramount leader Deng Xiaoping (鄧小平, 1904-1997) and Jiang Zemin (江澤民 born 1926, President of China 1993-2003, a personal friend of Cha’s). His addictive story-telling style, combining fluent traditional Chinese prose narrative with a vividly modern cinematic touch, his fertile imagination and magical ability to transform Chinese history and culture into swash-buckling romance, together with his prodigious output over the years, have often caused him to be compared to the great Alexandre Dumas père, prolific author of The Three Musketeers and many other historical romances. Cha’s own Western name, Louis, was inspired by his admiration for that other great story-teller Robert Louis Stevenson.