Dream of the Red Chamber (simplified Chinese: 红楼梦; traditional Chinese: 紅樓夢; pinyin: Hónglóumèng), composed by Cao Xueqin, is one of China’s Four Great Classical Novels. It was written some time in the middle of the 18th century during the Qing dynasty. Long considered a masterpiece of Chinese literature, the novel is generally acknowledged to be one of the pinnacles of Chinese fiction.
The main character of the novel is the carefree adolescent male heir of the family, Jia Baoyu. He was born with a magical piece of “jade” in his mouth. In this life he has a special bond with his sickly cousin Lin Daiyu, who shares his love of music and poetry. Baoyu, however, is predestined to marry another cousin, Xue Baochai, whose grace and intelligence exemplify an ideal woman, but with whom he lacks an emotional connection. The romantic rivalry and friendship among the three characters against the backdrop of the family’s declining fortunes form the main story in the novel.
This is for Advanced Learners who are at HSK 5 and above. We will be publishing an Abridged version in the future. Subscribe to our newsletter to be informed of new publications.
We have compiled the entire text into 3 volumes:
Volume 1 – Chapters 1 to 52
Volume 2 – Chapters 53 to 101
Volume 3 – Chapters 102 to 120 and Word List