Dream of the Red Chamber is one of the four Chinese classics. The novel is semi-autobiographical and it gives an incredibly detailed insight into 18th-century life in China, particularly that of the aristocracy. The plot is grand in scale, peopled with a complex array of characters.
The Dream of the Red Chamber is one of the "Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese Literature." It is renowned for its huge scope, large cast of characters and telling observations on the life and social structures of 18th century China and is considered by many to be the pinnacle of the classical Chinese novel. The "Red Chamber" is an expression used to describe the sheltered area where the daughters of wealthy Chinese families lived. Believed to be based on the author's own life and intended as a memorial to the women that he knew in his youth, The Dream of the Red Chamber is a multilayered story that offers up key insights into Chinese culture. "Henry Bencraft Joly's attention to detail and the faithfulness in his translation of Hong Lou Meng makes this revised edition of The Dream of the Red Chamber an excellent book for the student of modern Chinese." —Edwin H. Lowe, from his introduction "…this partial version certainly deserves a wider readership, as a brave early skirmish on the outer ramparts of this masterpiece. The re-issuing of Joly's work will undoubtedly provide a rich crop of fascinating raw material for the growing community of Translation Studies scholars." —John Minford, from his foreword
Dream of the Red Chamber (simplified Chinese: 红楼梦; traditional Chinese: 紅樓夢; pinyin: Hóng Lóu Mèng), also called The Story of the Stone (simplified Chinese: 石头记; traditional Chinese: 石頭記; pinyin: Shítóu jì), composed by Cao Xueqin, is one of China's Four Great Classical Novels. It was written sometime in the middle of the 18th century during the Qing Dynasty. It is considered a masterpiece of Chinese literature and is generally acknowledged to be the pinnacle of Chinese fiction.
New in Paper Men & Women in Qing China is an analysis of Chinese prescriptions of gender as represented in Cao Xueqin's famous eighteenth-century Chinese novel of manners, The Red Chamber Dream, or The Story of the Stone. Drawing on feminist literary critical methods, it examines Qing notions of masculinity and femininity, including themes such as bisexuality, motherhood, virginity and purity, and gender and power. Its central aim is to challenge the common assumption that the novel represents some form of early Chinese feminism by examining the text in conjunction with historical data. The book will be especially important to those interested in issues of gender in China, the history of Chinese literary criticism, and the application of feminist theory to the Asian context.