The Dream of the Red Chamber, also called The Story of the Stone, or Hongloumeng, 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. "Redology" is the field of study devoted exclusively to this work. The title has also been translated as Red Chamber Dream and A Dream of Red Mansions. The novel circulated in manuscript copies with various titles until its print publication, in 1791. Gao E, who prepared the first and second printed editions with his partner Cheng Weiyuan in 1791–92, added 40 additional chapters to complete the novel.
Translated by H. BENCRAFT JOLY
Cáo Xuěqín was a Chinese writer during the Qing dynasty. He is best known as the author of "The Dream of the Red Chamber", one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature. His given name was Cáo Zhān and his courtesy name was Mèngruǎn.