The Dream of the Red Chamber Book I

Xueqin CAO (c. 1724 - 1764), translated by Henry Bencraft JOLY (1857 - 1898)

The Dream of the Red Chamber (also known as The Story of the Stone) is one of the Four Great Classical Novels of China, and considered the greatest of them all. Almost 40 main characters and some 500 minor characters tell the fortunes of the Chia family; the book details mainly the life of Chia Pao-yü, the heir apparent, who is described as very intelligent, but also as carefree and self-indulging. The already wealthy Chia family rises to new heights when Pao-yü's elder sister becomes an imperial consort. On her first visit home, a lush garden is built, where much of the rest of the story takes place. The intrigues surrounding Pao-yü and his cousins, especially Lin Tai-yü who he loves, and Hsüeh Pao-ch'ai who he is finally tricked into marrying, make up a large part of the story. The decline of the Chia family begins with the death of the imperial consort, and when they fall into disfavour with the emperor, their mansions and the garden are eventually destroyed.

The whole book has 120 chapters, only 80 of which were written by Cao Xueqin before his death in 1764. Cheng Weiyuan and Gao E claimed to have access to Cao's papers, and published what is now known as the Cheng-Gao version in 1791. Henry Bencraft Joly translated only part of the book written by Cao. Book I contains the first 24 chapters, Book II ends abruptly with chapter 56; a Book III was never published.

Genre(s): Literary Fiction

Language: English

Section Chapter Reader Time
Play 01 Preface and Chapter I, Part 1 Jing Li
00:17:39
Play 02 Chapter I, Part 2 Jing Li
00:28:17
Play 03 Chapter I, Part 3 Jing Li
00:15:17
Play 04 Chapter II, Part 1 Jing Li
00:21:35
Play 05 Chapter II, Part 2 Jing Li
00:25:14
Play 06 Chapter III, Part 1 Elizabeth Buchanan
00:26:35
Play 07 Chapter III, Part 2 Elizabeth Buchanan
00:19:24
Play 08 Chapter III, Part 3 Elizabeth Buchanan
00:19:36
Play 09 Chapter IV, Part 1 Elizabeth Buchanan
00:27:05
Play 10 Chapter IV, Part 2 Elizabeth Buchanan
00:18:08
Play 11 Chapter V, Part 1 Nicholas Clifford
00:18:26
Play 12 Chapter V, Part 2 Nicholas Clifford
00:20:55
Play 13 Chapter V, Part 3 Nicholas Clifford
00:22:49
Play 14 Chapter VI, Part 1 Arie
00:24:27
Play 15 Chapter VI, Part 2 Arie
00:23:55
Play 16 Chapter VII, Part 1 Arie
00:22:17
Play 17 Chapter VII, Part 2 Elizabeth Buchanan
00:22:55
Play 18 Chapter VIII, Part 1 Edmund Bloxam
00:22:05
Play 19 Chapter VIII, Part 2 Edmund Bloxam
00:18:03
Play 20 Chapter IX, Part 1 Jing Li
00:23:41
Play 21 Chapter IX, Part 2 Jing Li
00:17:12
Play 22 Chapter X, Part 1 Katharina Huang
00:22:17
Play 23 Chapter X, Part 2 Katharina Huang
00:20:21
Play 24 Chapter XI, Part 1 Mary J
00:16:49
Play 25 Chapter XI, Part 2 Mary J
00:14:08
Play 26 Chapter XII, Part 1 Elizabeth Buchanan
00:17:49
Play 27 Chapter XII, Part 2 Elizabeth Buchanan
00:16:34
Play 28 Chapter XIII, Part 1 Jing Li
00:25:22
Play 29 Chapter XIII, Part 2 Jing Li
00:15:11
Play 30 Chapter XIV, Part 1 Jing Li
00:20:11
Play 31 Chapter XIV, Part 2 Jing Li
00:21:00
Play 32 Chapter XV, Part 1 Jing Li
00:20:08
Play 33 Chapter XV, Part 2 Jing Li
00:16:51
Play 34 Chapter XVI, Part 1 Elizabeth Buchanan
00:20:00
Play 35 Chapter XVI, Part 2 Elizabeth Buchanan
00:16:57
Play 36 Chapter XVI, Part 3 Elizabeth Buchanan
00:19:29
Play 37 Chapter XVII, Part 1 Elizabeth Buchanan
00:18:08
Play 38 Chapter XVII, Part 2 Elizabeth Buchanan
00:17:42
Play 39 Chapter XVII, Part 3 Elizabeth Buchanan
00:17:25
Play 40 Chapter XVII, Part 4 Elizabeth Buchanan
00:19:01
Play 41 Chapter XVIII, Part 1 Elizabeth Buchanan
00:15:57
Play 42 Chapter XVIII, Part 2 Elizabeth Buchanan
00:17:52
Play 43 Chapter XVIII, Part 3 Elizabeth Buchanan
00:21:11
Play 44 Chapter XIX, Part 1 Lynn Lee
00:18:49
Play 45 Chapter XIX, Part 2 Lynn Lee
00:24:59
Play 46 Chapter XIX, Part 3 Lynn Lee
00:18:49
Play 47 Chapter XX, Part 1 Lynn Lee
00:16:07
Play 48 Chapter XX, Part 2 Lynn Lee
00:21:48
Play 49 Chapter XXI, Part 1 Elizabeth Buchanan
00:24:59
Play 50 Chapter XXI, Part 2 Elizabeth Buchanan
00:18:57
Play 51 Chapter XXII, Part 1 Elizabeth Buchanan
00:19:15
Play 52 Chapter XXII, Part 2 Elizabeth Buchanan
00:16:58
Play 53 Chapter XXII, Part 3 Elizabeth Buchanan
00:18:59
Play 54 Chapter XXIII, Part 1 Elizabeth Buchanan
00:22:16
Play 55 Chapter XXIII, Part 2 Elizabeth Buchanan
00:20:42
Play 56 Chapter XXIV, Part 1 Elizabeth Buchanan
00:18:12
Play 57 Chapter XXIV, Part 2 Elizabeth Buchanan
00:17:34
Play 58 Chapter XXIV, Part 3 Elizabeth Buchanan
00:16:18