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Cao Xueqin, Dream of the Red Chamber

These are from an exhibition outside Beijing showing different scenes from the classic Chinese novel The Dream of the Red Chamber.

Dream of the Red Chamber (also Red Chamber Dream, Hung Lou Meng or A Dream of Red Mansions) (simplified Chinese: 楼梦; traditional Chinese: 紅樓夢; pinyin: Hónglóu mèng), originally The Story of the Stone: 石头记; traditional Chinese: 石頭記; pinyin: Shítóu jì; literally "Record of the Stone"), is a masterpiece of Chinese vernacular literature and one of China's Four Great Classical Novels. The novel was composed in the middle of the 18th century during the Qing Dynasty and attributed to Cao Xueqin.

The novel is believed to be semi-autobiographical, mirroring the fortunes of Cao's own family. As the author details in the first chapter, it is intended to be a memorial to the women he knew in his youth: friends, relatives and servants.

The novel is remarkable not only for its huge cast of characters (most of them female) and psychological scope, but also for its precise and detailed observation of the life and social structures typical of 18th-century Chinese aristocracy.[4]

This novel was published anonymously but 20th-century Redologists have ascertained its author to be Cao Xueqin, based on circulated commentaries penned in red ink on many of the early handcopied versions known as the "Rouge Versions" (脂本). Wikipedia

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Taken on November 7, 2009