Xiangling (Chinese :香菱; pinyin :Xiānglíng, rendered Caltrop in David Hawkes's translation) is a character in the 18th century novel Dream of the Red Chamber . She is the primary maid of the Xue household. Originally named Zhen Yinglian (Chinese:甄英蓮; pinyin:Zhēn Yīnglián), she is the lost daughter of Zhen Shiyin (甄士隱), the country gentleman in Chapter 1. Kidnapped as a young girl on the streets and sold to the Xue family under the name Xiangling (Lotus). Also an unofficial "concubine" to Xue Pan, she is greatly abused by him and later his wife, the cruel Xia Jingui. Xiangling is a kind girl who is much loved by Aunt Xue and Xue Baochai.
When Pan leaves on a business trip and Jingui tries to kill Xiangling, Baochai takes her to the Garden to live with her. There, Xiangling is taught to write verses (Shi (poetry)). In the Cheng-Gao version, Xiangling eventually dies of Xue Pan's maltreatment.
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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.
Jia Baoyu is the principal character in the classic 18th century Chinese novel Dream of the Red Chamber.
Lin Daiyu is one of the principal characters of Cao Xueqin's classic 18th century Chinese novel Dream of the Red Chamber. She is portrayed as a well-educated, intelligent, witty and beautiful young woman of physical frailness who is somewhat prone to occasional melancholy. The romance between Daiyu and Jia Baoyu forms one of the main threads of the book.
Xue Pan is a secondary character in the classic 18th century Chinese novel Dream of the Red Chamber. He is a ne'er-do-well lout who is guilty of the killing of a man over a beautiful slave girl, Zhen Yinglian, who is renamed as Xiangling (Lotus). He has the manslaughter case done over with money, then escapes to the capital from Jinling.
Lady Wang (王夫人) is a character in the classic Chinese 18th century novel Dream of the Red Chamber. She is the wife of Jia Zheng, and mother of Jia Zhu, Jia Yuanchun and Jia Baoyu. She is the elder sister of Aunt Xue and hence the maternal aunt to Xue Baochai and Xue Pan.
Xue Baochai is one of the principal characters in the classic 18th century Chinese novel Dream of the Red Chamber. Described as extremely beautiful and socially graceful, her attributes complement those of her cousin Lin Daiyu. Indeed, it has been suggested that the two women are complements of one another – each has exactly the attributes of Cao Xueqin's ideal woman which the other lacks.
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The Daguanyuan, variously translated as Grand View Garden or Prospect Garden, is a large landscaped interior garden in the classic 18th century Chinese novel Dream of the Red Chamber, built within the compounds of the Rongguo Mansion. It is the setting for much of the story.
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