The Dream of the Red Chamber (Part 3)

Cao Xueqin, David Hawkes (Translator)

A title (out of five) that Cao Xueqin considered using for his magnum opus is The Twelve Beauties of Jinling.

The 5-volume set by Penguin of this opus titled The Story of the Stone used as its covers five of these beauties.

The entire set of 12 paintings was commissioned by Prince Yongzheng, while he was still a Prince.

These paintings are rightly famous for they depict the dresses, hairstyles, and ornaments of the early Ching era. They are now in the Palace Museum in Beijing.

Penguin’s set is a set of 5 volumes. Is this how Cao Xueqin wrote his novel?

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