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<span/><p><i><b>Dream of the Red Chamber</b></i> (<a class="" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simplified_Chinese_characters" title="Simplified Chinese characters">simplified Chinese</a>: <span lang="zh-Hans">红楼梦</span>; <a class="" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traditional_Chinese_characters" title="Traditional Chinese characters">traditional Chinese</a>: <span lang="zh-Hant">紅樓夢</span>; <a class="" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinyin" title="Pinyin">pinyin</a>: <em>Hóng Lóu Mèng</em>; <a class="" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wade%E2%80%93Giles" title="Wade–Giles">Wade–Giles</a>: Hung Lou Meng), composed by <a class="" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cao_Xueqin" title="Cao Xueqin">Cao Xueqin</a>, is one of China's<a class="" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_Great_Classical_Novels" title="Four Great Classical Novels">Four Great Classical Novels</a>. It was composed sometime in the middle of the 18th century during the <a class="" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qing_Dynasty" title="Qing Dynasty">Qing Dynasty</a>. It is a masterpiece of <a class="" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_literature" title="Chinese literature">Chinese vernacular literature</a> and is generally acknowledged to be the pinnacle of classical Chinese novels. "<a class="" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Redology" title="Redology">Redology</a>" is the field of study devoted exclusively to this work.</p><p>The novel's name may alternatively be translated as <i>Red Chamber Dream</i> or <i><b>A Dream of Red Mansions</b></i>, and it is sometimes referred to by another name, <i><b>The Story of the Stone</b></i>(<a class="" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simplified_Chinese_characters" title="Simplified Chinese characters">simplified Chinese</a>: <span lang="zh-Hans">石头记</span>; <a class="" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traditional_Chinese_characters" title="Traditional Chinese characters">traditional Chinese</a>: <span lang="zh-Hant">石頭記</span>; <a class="" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinyin" title="Pinyin">pinyin</a>: <em>Shítóu jì</em>; literally "Record of the Stone"). Only the first 80 chapters were written by Cao Xueqin. Various authors have submitted more than 100 alternate endings, often adding 40 additional chapters to complete the novel.</p><p><i>Red Chamber</i> is believed to be semi-<a class="mw-redirect" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autobiographical" title="Autobiographical">autobiographical</a>, mirroring the fortunes of author Cao Xueqin'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 and psychological scope, but also for its precise and detailed observation of the life and social structures typical of 18th-century Chinese aristocracy.<br clear="none"/><br clear="none"/></p><span>Text is available under the <a rel="license" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Text_of_Creative_Commons_Attribution-ShareAlike_3.0_Unported_License">Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License</a>; additional terms may apply. See <a href="http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Terms_of_Use">Terms of Use</a> for details.</span><br clear="none"/>

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