Dream of Red Chambers

After her mother succumbs to illness, the sickly Lin Daiyu is sent by her father to her mother’s family- the Jia household. She meets her grandmother, cousins, aunts, uncles, and other relatives. Daiyu is shy and delicate, and shares an affinity with her cousin Jia Baoyu. Jia Baoyu grew up surrounded by women, and doesn’t take interest in family matters. He has an affair with his maid Hua Xiren, and dreams of several female members of the Jia household, such as Qin Jeqing (sister of Baoyu’s best friend Qin Zhong. He also acts playfully with his maids Qingwen and Sheyue, and his other sisters and cousins.

Journey to the West

by Wu Cheng’en






Listen to the Episodes Here

Dream of the Red Chamber Chapter 1 & Introduction

by Cao Xueqin

Dream of the Red Chamber Chapter 1 continued

by Cao Xueqin

About the Author

Cao Xueqin

Cao Xueqin was born to a Han Chinese clan that was brought into personal service to the Manchu royalty in the late 1610s. His ancestors distinguished themselves through military service in the Plain White Banner of the Eight Banners and subsequently held posts as officials which brought both prestige and wealth.

After the Plain White Banner was put under the direct jurisdiction of the Qing emperor, Cao’s family began to serve in civil positions in the Imperial Household Department. 

During the Kangxi Emperor’s reign, the clan’s prestige and power reached their height. Cao Xueqin’s grandfather, Cao Yin, was a childhood playmate to Kangxi while Cao Yin’s mother, Lady Sun, was Kangxi’s wet nurse. Two years after his ascension, Kangxi appointed Cao Xueqin’s great-grandfather, Cao Xi, as the Commissioner of Imperial Textiles in Jiangning (present-day Nanjing), and the family relocated there.


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