Dream of the Red Chamber
|Dream of the Red Chamber
One page of the Jiaxu edition of Dream of the Red Chamber
|Release date||18th century|
|1973–1980 (1st complete English translation)|
|Media type||Scribal copies/Print|
Dream of the Red Chamber (also Red Chamber Dream, Hung Lou Meng or A Dream of Red Mansions) (simplified Chinese: 红楼梦; traditional Chinese: 紅樓夢; pinyin: Hónglóu mèng), originally The Story of the Stone (simplified Chinese: 石头记; traditional Chinese: 石頭記; pinyin: Shítóu jì; literally: "Record of the Stone"), is thought to be a great work of Chinese literature and is one of the Chinese Four Great Classical Novels. The novel was written in the middle of the 18th century during the Qing Dynasty. Its author is thought to be Cao Xueqin (Chinese: 曹雪芹). Redology is the study of the book.
The book is based on Cao's family. It is meant to be a memorial to the women that he met when he was young, including friends, relatives and servants. This novel is thought to be one of the first feminist novels. It is also one of the first novels to be written in vernacular, not classical, Chinese. This means that it was written in the same way people spoke at the time, rather than in a posh way. This helped to make vernacular Chinese an acceptable way of writing literature.