The Golden Lotus (5 Volumes)
-Library of Chinese Classics Chinese-English
Author: Lanling Xiaoxiao Sheng; English translator: Clement Egerton
Publisher: Foreign Languages Press, Beijing, China; 1st edition, 2008
Language: Chinese and English
Library binding: Hardcover, 5 volumes, 2587 pages; 9.8 x 7.2 x 6.5 inches
The Golden Lotus was written by Hou Hui in Ming Dynasty, the first river novel describing the domestic affairs in China.
The Golden Lotus describes the history of an upstart's getting rich and his family life in the 16th century of China. Its protagonist Hsi-men Ching is originally an owner of a Chinese medicine shop, who colludes with the government by bribe, then engages in pettifoggery and secures others' property with the support of the government, gains a large fortune rapidly, and finally, paving his way by means of money, becomes an official. Meanwhile, he lives a personal and family life of wanton extravagance and indulges in sexual pleasures without limitation, keeping promiscuous relations with many women. As a result, his health is seriously damaged and he dies of a sudden illness. After his death, the fortune he accumulated soon goes into others' pockets, and those beautiful wives and concubines of his belong to some new men. The Golden Lotus is notable for the outstanding freshness and individuality of its characterization, and its vivid narrative. It is of special importance in World's literature. It has been translated into Japanese, French, German, Russian and English. Up till now, there are three versions in English. The present text is Clement Egerton's on the basis of Zhang Zhu-po's edition.