The girls study Chinese Shaolin Temple Martial arts in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Pride and Prejudice kill Zombies.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is a 2016 British-American action horror comedy film based on Seth Grahame-Smith’s 2009 novel, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which parodies the 1813 novel Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. The film is directed by Burr Steers, who wrote the adapted screenplay.

In 19 century, England, a mysterious plague breaks out, and the undead wander around and damage the countryside. Even the noble ladies are sent to China or Japan to learn the art of weaponry and martial arts. In a ball thrown by the rich Bingley family, Elizabeth Bennet meets Fitzwilliam Darcy, but they get into Pride and Prejudice against each other, for kinds of reasons. In a plague, many people are infected and become Zombies. Competitive Elizabeth Bennet decides to save the home land and annihilate the Zombies with her exquisite martial arts and excellent swordsmanship. In the tough fights, she and Fitzwilliam Darcy put aside personal and social prejudices, and put aside Pride and Prejudice, and fight together. They finally become the true love of each other.

The girls study Chinese Shaolin Temple Martial arts in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

The Chinese Shaolin Temple Martial arts and The Art of War.

In the film, Elizabeth Bennet says that she learned Shaolin martial arts in Shaolin Temple, Henan Province, China. The film is set in 1700~1800 when it as Qing Dynasty in China, under the rule of Qianlong Emperor, and China and England established trade relationship that time. And it was possible to go to China to learn Shaolin martial arts.

But the fact is that during the Qing Dynasty, China was an isolated country. The foreigners were not allowed to go around themselves. Although doing business with China for years, the British just went to one city, i.e. Guangzhou. And in Guangzhou, they just went to one place, i.e. the Thirteen Hongs. And they were only allowed to stay in the Street of Thirteen Hongs, and they could not go outside without permission. Because the Chinese government scorned to make contact with the British directly, the he Thirteen Hongs, the thirteen government-appointed Chinese traders, played the role of brokers. They were only allowed to come in summer, without wife or children together. All of the actions of the British were under the monitoring and constraints from the Thirteen Hongs, just like prisoners. So, Elizabeth Bennet would never be able to go to Shaolin Temple, because of the supervision of the Thirteen Hongs.

Further More, Shaolin Temple would not recruit female students that time. The members in the Shaolin Temple were mainly monks and male laity students. The female were even not allowed to go inside the door, as its institution stipulated.And, in the movie, when fighting with the Zombies, Elizabeth Bennet’s martial arts are not Shaolin style at all.

Elizabeth Bennet says that she knows The Art of War, an ancient Chinese military treatise, dating from the 5th century BC. Attributed to the ancient Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu (“Master Sun”, also spelled Sunzi), the text is composed of 13 chapters, each of which is devoted to one aspect of warfare. It is commonly thought of as a definitive work on military strategy and tactics. It was placed at the head of China’s Seven Military Classics upon the collection’s creation in 1080 by Emperor Shenzong of Song, and has long been the most influential strategy text in East Asia. It has had an influence on Eastern and Western military thinking, business tactics, legal strategy and beyond.

The book was first translated into French in 1772 by the Jesuit Jean Joseph Marie Amiot and a partial translation into English was attempted by British officer Everard Ferguson Calthrop in 1905. The first annotated English translation was completed and published by Lionel Giles in 1910. Leaders such as Mao Zedong, General Vo Nguyen Giap, General Douglas MacArthur and leaders of Imperial Japan have drawn inspiration from the work.

So, Elizabeth Bennet will never live up to 1910 to read the English translation version of The Art of War. Of course, Elizabeth Bennet will say that she knows the original works in Chinese. Ha-ha, forget it.