This celebrated Chinese classic novel is a masterpiece of realism written in themiddle of the 18th century. Taking as its background the decline of several relatedbig families and drawing much from his own experiences， the author Can Xueqin（？- c.1763） focused on the tragic love between Jia Baoyou and Lin Daiyu and， inthe meantime， provided a panorama of the lives of people of various levels in thedegenerating empire. But he left the work unfinished （or the last 40 chapterswere lost）. Gao E （c.1738- cA815） completed the work some years later in muchof Gao's spirit and also put in his own revelations， which aroused protractedcontroversy throughout the centuries. Exposing so evils， the book cries outits denunciation against the feudal system. All techniques of literal' merit developedin previous periods were incorporated into the great work with much originality. Itstands out in world literature， ranking with Hamlet and War and Peace. Illustratedwith woodblock prints.