The Dream of the Red Chamber

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About the author:
In the early 1700s, the novel's author, Cao Xueqin (pronounced "tsow shweh-chin"), was born into a powerful clan that directly served the emperor during China's last dynasty, the Qing (1644-1912). During the reign of one of the most renowned monarchs in all of Chinese history, Emperor Kangxi, the power and influence of Cao's clan reached its zenith. However, when Emperor Kangxi died, the new emperor, Yongzheng, had the Cao clan's property confiscated and a prominent member of the clan was imprisoned. Thus, the author's family sunk into disgrace and it is believed that he grew up seeing both opulence and poverty, though most of his life remains a mystery. It is generally believed and alluded to in the novel's first chapter that The Dream is autobiographical in nature.

The Dream of the Red Chamber

Part 1: Chapters 1-26 out of 120

Authored by Cao Xueqin
Adapted by Evan Mantyk

With subtly drawn characters, elaborate period details, and a realistic yet fairytale-like plot, The Dream of the Red Chamber has been enchanting readers since it was first published in the 18th century. Today, it is a cultural icon in China, where it is regarded as one of China's Four Great Novels and has spawned its own field of scholarship known as Redology. Today, for English readers, it offers an enthralling look into the splendor of China's pre-modern upper-class life, where bittersweet romantic dramas unfold with Jane Austen-like perfection.

Publication Date:
1544641974 / 9781544641973
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
6" x 9"
Black and White
Related Categories:
Fiction / Romance / Historical

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