Book Review: The Garden in The Dream of Red Mansions
The Dream of Red Mansions  is widely regarded as the greatest Chinese novel, occupying a place in Chinese literature similar to the places occupied by Madame Bovary or War in Peace in their respective cultures. Until the Seventies, there were no complete English translations of this multi-volume masterpiece, but there are now two complete translations available. 
Like a comparable novel by Cervantes, Austin, or Melville, The Dream of Red Mansions, is a layered work that can be understood in many different ways. At the simplest level, The Dream of Red Mansions is a love story. Chia Pao-yu, the eldest son of the wealthy Chia family, is in love with two beautiful cousins, Lin Tai-yu and Hseuh Pao-chai. Lin Tai-yu is intellectual and romantic, and is ultimately the cousin Pao-yu decides he prefers. Pao-chai is more practical, and is the cousin the family eventually decides that Pao-yu should marry. The two girls have become archetypes in Chinese literature, and one’s preference for one cousin over the other is often taken to reveal one’s romantic or pragmatic nature. Pao-yu, as a young man, enjoys the company of the two cousins, and several other young ladies besides, and prefers to spend his time in a beautiful garden in aesthetic and romantic pursuits. He is encouraged in this by a doting grandmother.
When Pao-yu spends his time in the garden with his cousins – rather than studying for the exams he needs to pass to become a court official – it leads to tension between Pao-yu and his father, who expects the boy to become a court official so he can help maintain the family’s social position. Thus we also have a story of the struggle between a father and his son, a drama that in China, in the 1700s, necessarily involved Confucian ethics. 
More broadly, The Dream of Red Mansions is the story of a family – a very wealthy family. The Chia family has been given lucrative entitlements by the emperor for services rendered. While Pao-yu is young, he lives in the extensive family compound, along with some 300 others, indulged as the first son of a great Chinese family. As he reaches maturity, however, the old emperor dies and the new emperor turns against the family and withdraws many of its privileges, forcing Pao-yu and his relatives to live their lives in much reduced circumstances.
From yet another perspective, the novel is a Chinese version of Remembrance of Things Past. The lead character, Pao-yu, is modeled on the author, who grew up in similar circumstances and who wrote the novel in his old age, to recall the wonderful days of his youth that he spent with his beautiful young cousins.
The author, Tsao Hsueh-chin, wrote the novel between about 1744 and his death in 1763, while he was living in Beijing and working in the Imperial Household Bureau. Tsao was born, however, into a Chinese family that came to power when the Manchu’s conquered China. His grandfather, Tsao Yin, who lived from 1658 to 1712, was the Imperial Textile Commissioner in Suzhou and Nanking from 1690 until his death. The family compound in Nanking consisted of vast gardens and 13 separate houses with something like 483 rooms, staffed by 114 servants. On four occasions Tsao Yin was host to the Kang-his Emperor when he came south. Tsao’s father inherited the post and become Textile Commissioner in 1715 and held the post until 1728, when the new emperor had him removed and seized his properties in Suzhou and Nanking. The family still had properties in Beijing, however, and the family moved there after losing their positions and properties in the south. Tsao Hsueh had lived in the south at his family compound until he was a teenager. Later, in Bejing, the young man was able to pass examinations and become an official, but he lived the rest of his live in much reduced circumstances. Tsao Hsueh enjoyed a minor reputation as both a poet and painter, but his real masterpiece is his novel that he wrote, he said, primarily to remember what he termed the golden years of his youth.
From still another perspective the novel is a religious fantasy. The first chapter describes a conversation in heaven. One of the conversants is an immortal jade stone, who decides that it needs to know more of human desire and misery if it is to become fully enlightened. The jade stone resolves to take mortal form, and a child of the Chai family, Pao-yu, is born with a small jade stone in his mouth. Hence the boy’s name, which means “Precious Jade.” As the story unfolds, the stone, in the guise of Pao-yu, falls in love with multiple young women in the most romantic of circumstances. Then, later, as his happiness is gradually withdrawn, first, when he is not allowed to marry the woman he prefers, and then as the family is reduced in circumstances, he learns about suffering. As the novel concludes, Pao-yu has accepted the Buddhist vision of enlightenment and realizes that all attachment has ultimately led to suffering.
Or again, the novel can be considered, a reflection on economics and politics. In the mid-1950s the novel became the center of a discussion of the role of literature in communist society. Mao Zedong was particular fond of the novel, having read it some five times, and he became upset with what he thought to be the overly idealistic commentary about the novel written by Chinese literary intellectuals. As a Marxist, he believed that literature should support the revolutionary tasks facing Chinese society. Thus, he encouraged a Marxist literary critique that came to view the novel as a historical description of the fall of the Feudal landholding families. In this interpretation, the protagonist, Pao-yu, and his favorite cousin, Tai-yu, are seen as exemplars of the rising anti-capitalist class.
Finally, the novel is a key document in the history of Chinese gardens. Early in the novel (Chapter 16) we learn that Pao-yu’s sister, Yuan-chun, has been chosen to be an Imperial Consort. She moves from the family compound to the Palace. Then, after a period of time has passed, it is announced that she will be allowed to return home for a visit. The entire family gathers and decides that they will need to create a new place for the Imperial Consort to stay during her visit. As a medieval French or English family might set aside an elaborately furnished bedroom in their castle, just in case the king should visit, the Chai family decides to combine several small gardens to create a new garden, which will include, among many other structures, a grand new house for Yuan-chun. Thus, the Grand View Garden (Daquan-yuan) is created for the imperial person’s visit.  After her visit, Yuan-chun, who is especially fond of Pao-yu, suggests that he and his cousins – who are all teenagers -- should be allowed to live in the garden while there is no imperial person in residence, and subsequently, many of the chapters of the novel, from poetry readings and picnics to romantic meetings, are set in the garden. Thus, Pao-yu memories are not only of a wonderful childhood, surrounded by his beautiful cousins, but of a childhood spent in a romantic Chinese garden.
As a direct result of the detailed description of the creation and use of a wealthy family’s Chinese garden, the novel has become a major source of information about Chinese gardening.
Chairman Mao’s love of the novel and the discussion he encouraged had an amazing side-effect. In response to Mao’s interest, Chinese television decided to turn the novel into a TV series, much as the BBC has serialized Jane Austin novels, or as Russian TV created a multi-hour version of Tolstoy’s War and Peace. Since so much of the novel takes place within the Grand View Garden, the Chinese TV network undertook the “recreation” of Grand View Garden in Beijing. This new Grand View Garden, which consists of 32 acres, and includes most of the buildings described in the novel, exists today in Beijing, and was a popular site for tourist visits during the recent Chinese Olympics. (Figure 1 provides a version of the map of the garden provided by a Chinese travel agency.) The TV series, consisting of 36 episodes, is available in Chinese with English Translations. 
Figure 1. Grand View Garden (Daquan-yuan)
as it was Reproduced in Beijing for the TV series.
(Note that Daoxiangcun, on the lower right above the name is the Patty-Sweet Cottage compound, and that Chia Pao-yu’s home in the garden, Happy Red Court, is the lower-left compound labeled Yihong Yard on the map.)
There are many kinds of Chinese gardens and the Chinese have been creating them for over 2,500 years. As with Western gardens, we know something about ancient gardens, but our detailed knowledge of gardens and gardening practices really begins around 1500 – during the Renaissance in the Italy and during the Ming Dynasty in China. The oldest book on gardening, Ji Cheng’s Yuan Ye(The Crafts of Gardens)was written in 1631 during the Ming Dynasty. In the past few years there have been a number of new books published on Chinese gardens. 
One key distinction among Chinese gardens is between the really large Imperial gardens in Northern China (think Versailles and 100s of acres) and the more modest 10 acre gardens of the wealthy scholars and merchants that survive today in Suzhou and other Southern cities.
When a Westerner first begins to explore Chinese merchant gardens, what strikes the observer is an inability to distinguish between house and garden, the prevalence of water, the extensive use of rocks, covered paths, decks, and pavilions. In some cases, merchant or scholar gardens in Suzhou are, in essence, a lake with a path around the edge. Most will have an island or two, streams, waterfalls to create the sound of water, and bridges, but the focus of the garden is centered on the water. Similarly, much of the land within garden is covered with eroded, strangely shaped rocks, often piled up to form small hills. The land area in these gardens, which is mostly along the margin of the garden, has paths, which are often covered and which typically lead to a number of follies or pavilions. The lake and streams are usually filled with water lilies. There are trees and plants growing in and among the rocks, but flowers are rather scarce. And there are inscriptions – phrases and couplets of poetry -- carved in rocks, painted over doors to pavilions or follies, and put on signs discretely hung at various places around the garden.
To a Western observer, the garden can seem crowded -- densely packed as they are with structures and rocks and words. To Chinese connoisseurs, we are told, a garden is a representation of the universe. Apparently they do not tend to think of the garden, as a whole. There are no long axial views as one finds at Versailles – but, instead, twists and turns, which create as a series of limited views, to be savored one at a time. (In effect, the Chinese often use piles of rock to create “rooms” just as hedges and walls are used for a similar purpose in English Gardens like Hidcote and Sissinghurst.) The poetry is there to give each scene meaning, and to tie the elements into a symbolic whole.
As in the West, Chinese gardens serve many different functions. They can be used by an individual for meditation, or they can be used for parties. If the garden is large at all, there are usually boats that can be rowed on the lake. Often the gardens are woven into the structure of the house, so that rooms alternate between indoor rooms and courtyards. In other cases the gardens are detached, but even in this case, when the owner may come to the garden for an afternoon or evening, there are a variety of structures so the owner can read in a studio and perhaps spend a night before returning to his or her main residence.
The types of garden we have described are usually spoken of as “classic Chinese gardens.” In fact we know they were popular from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 AD) on, but there were other types of gardens that were quite different. One of the reasons we know so much about these “classic gardens” however is that several survive in cities like Suzhou, and because their construction and use is so well documented in books like A Dream of Red Mansions.
Grand View Garden
Grand View Garden, which plays such an important role in A Dream of Red Mansions, is a cross between an Imperial garden and a merchant or scholars garden and is located, according to the novel, in Beijing. In fact, given that the author was writing about the garden that he grew up in, we know that the garden was originally in the South. (Chinese gardeners have pointed out that the novel describes a variety of plants growing in the garden which are typical of the South and could not have survived a Beijing winter.)
What can the novel teach us about large merchant or scholar gardens of the Ming and Quin Dynasties (1644-1911)? We know that the family lived in a multi-block complex and, when they decided to create the Grand View Garden, rearranged the compound, uniting several existing gardens into a much larger garden. We are also told they hired a famous garden architect to create the garden, which suggests the profession was already established in China.
Chapter 17 describes Grand View Garden is detail. The chapter begins when the father of the Imperial Consort, Chia Cheng, is informed that the physical garden is nearly complete. He decides that the time has come to name the elements of the garden. To accomplish this, Chia Cheng invites friends, who are scholars, to walk through the garden with him and help assign the names. Here Chia Cheng describes his dilemma to his literary friends:
“The inscriptions do present a problem. By rights we should ask the Imperial Consort to do us the honor of composing them, but she can hardly do this without having seen the place. On the other hand, if we leave the chief sights and pavilions without a single name or couplet until her visit, the garden, however lovely with its flowers and willows, rocks and streams, cannot fully reveal its charm.”
“You are absolutely right, sir,” agreed his cultured companions.
“I have an idea,” said one. “The inscriptions for different places can’t be dispensed with, but neither can they be fixed in advance. Why not briefly prepare some tentative couplets and names to suit each place? We can have them painted on lanterns in the shape of plaques and scrolls for the time being. Then, when Her Highness favors us with a visit, we can ask her to decide on permanent names. Wouldn’t this be a way out of the dilemma?”
“A sound idea,” agreed Chia Cheng. “Let us have a look round then today and think up some instructions…
At this point Chia Cheng and his friends proceed to the new garden. As they arrive, they meet Chia Cheng’s son, Pao-yu, who is asked to accompany them. They then proceed through the garden, from one place to the next, discussing each scene and considering names. As they go, the father keeps asking his son to suggest alternatives, which are, as a rule, fresher and more innovative than those proposed by the literary gentlemen. Here is one exchange which gives an idea of the size of the garden and of the nature of the literary effort.
As they walked on talking, their eyes fell on some green hills barring their way. Skirting these they caught sight of brown adobe walls with paddy-stalk copings and hundreds of apricot-trees, their blossoms bright as spurting flames or sunlit clouds. Inside this enclosure stood several thatched cottages. Outside grew saplings of mulberry, elm, hibiscus and silkworm-thorn trees, whose branches had been intertwined to form a double green hedge. Beyond this hedge, at the foot of the slope, was a rustic well complete with windlass and well-sweep. Below, neat plots of fine vegetables and rape-flowers stretched as far as the eye could see.
“I see the point of this place,” declared Chia Cheng. “Although artificially made, the sight of it tempts one to retire to the country. Let us go in and rest for awhile.”
Just as they were on the point of entering the wicker gate they saw a stone by the pathway which was obviously intended for an inscription.
“That’s the finishing touch,” they cried, chuckling. “A plaque over the gate would have spoilt the rustic flavor, but this stone here adds to the charm. It would take one of Fan Cheng-ta’s poems on country life to do justice to this place.”
“What shall we call it then, gentlemen?”
As your worthy son just remarked, “An old quotation beats an original saying.” The ancients have already supplied the most fitting name – Apricot Village.”
Chia Cheng turned with a smile to Chia Chen, saying, “That reminds me. This place is perfect in every other respect, but it still lacks a tavern-sign. You must have one made tomorrow. Nothing too grand. Just a tavern-sign of the sort used in country places. Let it be hung on a bamboo pole from a tree-top.”
Chia Chen readily agreed to this, then suggested, “Other birds would be out of place here, but we ought to have some geese, ducks, hens and so on.”
“When this proposal had met with general approval, Chia Cheng observed, “Apricot Villageis first rate, but since it is the name of a real place we should have to get official permission to use it.”
“True,” agreed the others. “We shall have to think of something else. What shall it be?”
Without giving them time to think or waiting to be asked by his father, Pao-yu blurted out, “An old poem has the line, ‘Above flowering apricot hangs a tavern-sign.’ Why not call this ‘Approach to Apricot Tavern’?”
“Approachis superb,” they cried. “It suggests the idea of Apricot Village too.”
“Apricot Villagewould be too vulgar a name.” Pao-yu smiled scornfully. “But an old poet wrote “A wicker gate by a stream sweet with paddy.” How about Paddy-Sweet Cottage?”
Again the secretaries clapped in approbation…”
And so it goes, with the secretaries, the father and the son discussing each feature of the garden and first giving it a name and then providing a couplet of poetry to describe each scene or feature of the garden.
Chinese gardens are often said to represent the whole cosmos – and are extensively linked to Chinese literature to provide symbolic references for the different elements in the cosmos. To Western eyes a rock may be just a rock, but to an educated Chinese visitor, especially after he or she has read the associated poetry, it will be clear that a given rock represents one of China’s a sacred mountains, which in turn, reminds the viewer of the role that mountain has played in history and literature, or what that specific mountain often symbolizes. 
Of course Western gardens may also be used in this way. The trail around the lake at Stourhead is designed to take the visitor through a series of follies and glades that constitute a walk from ancient Greece and Roman through the middle ages to modern England, via Greek and Roman temples, Gothic huts and Italian Grottos to St. Peter’s church. Similarly, the great Renaissance garden, the Villa d’Este, in Tivoli, Italy, is designed to lead a visitor on a spiritual journey from ancient Rome and paganism to Christianity.  Western gardens based on elaborate symbols and supported by literary allusions are, however, the exceptions, not the rule. In China, on the other hand, symbols and literary allusions are the rule, as Dreams of Red Mansionsso nicely illustrates. In a separate chapter the Imperial Consort, decides to change several names, and there is a long discussion of her changes and why she prefers other allusions in place of some the original group choose. When you consider the space given to these discussions, clearly they were of great importance to the author and would be of interest, he apparently assumed, to his readers.
We have already mentioned that most merchant or scholar gardens are centered on a lake, and Grand View Garden is no exception, but the amount of land incorporated in the garden provides room for extensive plantings. In some cases the plantings are utilitarian, as the quoted description of the orchard illustrates. As the novel proceeds, however, and the young people move into the garden, we are given more details about the different areas of the gardens. In the course of the novel 240 separate species of plants are mentioned. Thus, while there might not be as much emphasis on flowering plants as an English gardener might prefer, Chinese garden owners, like their Western counterparts, were often avid plant collectors and Chinese gardens often contained an extensive variety of plants.
Humankind has been creating gardens for millennia, probably starting in ancient Mesopotamia. China has been creating gardens for almost that long. As with Western cultures early Chinese gardens were often game preserves or utilitarian in nature, but they gradually evolved to fulfill recreational and spiritual goals as well. Western garden historians have worked out a reasonably precise classification of Western gardens, beginning in the Ancient world, and proceeding through the Renaissance, Baroque, English Landscape, Arts and Craft and Modern gardens. The motivations and design themes of each have been carefully documented.
Chinese gardens, as well as other Asian gardens like those found in Japan, for example, represent a fascinating look at other ways of organizing gardens. Books like The Dream of Red Mansions, provide an important source of insights, as garden historians work to define the development of these wonderful gardens.
Notes and References
 An early version of the novel was finished in about 1750 and was circulated among members of the family. It was 80 chapters long, and didn’t have a proper ending. A copy of this version, without an author being designated, was published with the title The Story of the Stone. In 1792 a new version was released that included 120 chapters. That book, which bore the title A Dream of Red Mansions, was associated with the pen name, Kao Hgo (Red Inkstone). Kao Hgo explained in the foreword that he was not the author, but had simply edited the final 40 chapters, which were obviously written by a different author. Great debate about the exact authorship of the novel raged for decades. Today, it is generally agreed that Tsao Hsueh-Chin wrote the first 80 chapters and outlined the last 40, and that Kao Hgo – probably a relative – finished the last 40 chapters, using Tsao’s outline and notes.
In the first chapter the author says that various family members suggested five titles, including:
The Story of the Stone
A Dream of Red Mansions
The Story of the Stoneis the name originally associated with the first 80 chapters. A Dream of Red Mansions was first used by Kao Hgo when he published the 120 chapter version of the novel, and it is the name most commonly used today.
The term, “Red Mansions,” is a trope. Red is associated with the Imperial palace, and thus, mansions with red walls suggest a relationship with the emperor, and by extension, wealth and power. More specifically, over time, the phrase “Red Mansions” or “Red Chamber” came to be associated with a place where the women of a wealthy family resided.
 There have been a number of translations of the novel into English, mostly heavily abbreviated. There are two complete translations. The best known was begun by David Hawkes, a Professor of Chinese at Oxford and a well-respected translator. (E.g. see his wonderful little book: The Poetry of Tu Fu) Between 1974 and 1981 he published the first 80 chapters of the novel in three volumes, under the general title: The Story of the Stone, or The Dream of the Red Chamber. These three volumes were supplemented, between 1982 and 1986, by two more volumes, translated by John Minford. This five volume version of the complete novel is available from Penguin and is the most widely read English translation of this classic.
In 1978 a complete 3 volume hardback version of the novel, since issued in paper, entitled A Dream of Red Mansions, was published by the Foreign Languages Press of the People’s Republic of China. This translation was done by a husband and wife team, Yang Hsien-Yi, who is Chinese, and Gladys Yang, who is English. They met when Mr. Yang was studying at Oxford, married, and returned to China, where they lived for several years before undertaking their translation.
Some readers will prefer the Hawkes and Minford translation, which represents a major effort to capture the novel’s many subtle nuances, including the poetry that plays a key role in the novel, in a very readable English version. Others will appreciate the more literal translation and the footnotes provided by the Yangs. Both are excellent translations and both are easy to read. Having read both, and often found myself shifting back and forth to understand a particular passage, I would suggest that a serious reader would want to have both. I would not want to be without Hawkes elegant renderings of the poetry, but every so often, Hawkes misses a subtly, while the Yang’s render a term in a way that makes the meaning much clearer. Nor would I want to be without the wonderful color illustrations by Tai Tun-Pang which are included in the Yang’s version.
To make the choice more confusing, Hawkes and Minford use the Wade-Giles approach to transliteration while the Yangs used China’s newly adopted Pinyin approach. As the world has now largely shifted to Pinyin, learning the Pinyin names for characters makes reading the growing critical literature much easier. Still, for at least the next decade or so, English readers are going to be forced to keep two different names in mind for author and for most of the characters associated with this novel. (See note 3 below.)
All great novels result in literary communities dedicated to the critical study of the novel, the author, and the creation of the novel. The Dream of Red Mansions, with its many ambiguities,has attracted a particularly large critical community. The critical study of this novel is playfully termed Redology. Two studies that I would particularly recommend, if you want to explore these novels in a scholarly way, are Dore J. Levy’s Ideal and Actual in The Story of the Stone(Columbia Uni. Press, 1999), and Anthony Yu’s Rereading the Stone: Desire and the Making of Fiction in “Dream of the Red Chamber(Princeton Uni. Press, 1997).
 There are two ways of transliterating Chinese characters into English. The older method, termed Wade-Giles, was used from 1859 until recently. In 1958 the People’s Republic of China adopted the new Pinyin system, which has gradually been adopted by everyone else. (The Pinyin system was officially adopted by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in 1982 and by Taiwan in 2009.) Without going into detail, the two approaches to Romanization can appear quite different. Suffice to say that there can be no completely accurate mapping from spoken Chinese to a phonetic representation because Chinese relies on sounds that include rising or falling tones that can not be represented directly in a phonetic language and must be represented by various extensions or by the special use of letters in a non-phonetic manner.
The David Hawkes and John Minford translations, entitled The Story of the Stone, Also Known as The Dream of the Red Chamber, were published between 1973 and 1986 by Penguin Classics, and the authors used Wade-Giles to transliterate the various Chinese names.
The second popular English translation, A Dream of Red Mansions, translated by Yang Hsien-Yi and Gladys Yang, was published by the Foreign Languages Press of the People’s Republic of China in 1978 and its authors use Pinyin. Thus, the names of the characters in the two most popular versions of this novel in English are often very different. Here is a short comparison of some common names rendered via the two different systems:
System Wade-Giles Pinyin
(Translater) (Hawkes) (Yang)
Title of novel Story of the Stone Dream of Red Mansions
(Hung Lou Meng)
Author of novel Cao Xuequn Tsao Hsueh-Chin
Assisted by Gao E Kao Hgo
Protagonist (young man) Jia Bao-Yu Chia Pao-Yu (Precious Jade)
Father of young man Jia Zheng Chia Cheng
One young lady (true love) Lin Dai-Yu Lin Tai-Yu (Black Jade)
Second young lady (wife) Xue Bao-Chai Hseuh Pao-Chai (Precious Virtue)
Location of the compound Peking Beijing
and garden in the novel
Depending on what book a reader is familiar with, he or she may think of the author as Cao or Tsao and may refer to the protagonist as Bao-Yu or as Pao-yu, and so forth. I have used Pinyin names throughout this review, but the Wade-Giles names are probably better known by most English readers simply because the Penguin version of Hawkes translation is the best selling version of the book in the West, and has been for many years. As everyone shifts to Pinyin, however, most new articles referencing this novel will tend to use the Pinyin transliteration.
 One Chinese critic has said that the whole novel is a description of “the failure to instill virtue.” This is, in essence, the Confucian interpretation. In other words, the novel shows how fathers failed to instill appropriate virtues in their sons – virtues that would assure that those sons would protect the interests of the family. Or, put slightly differently, it shows how a family descends into decadence by not properly instilling appropriate Confucian virtues in their offspring.
 The Chinese character Yuanis translated as “garden.” It graphically represents a walled space.
 TV series: Dream of Red Mansions(36 episodes, 7 DVDs) Mandarin with English subtitles. Distributed by China International TV Corp. Chapter 17 of the novel, “Literary Talent is Tested by Composing Inscriptions in Grand View Garden” becomes episode 7 in the TV series. It can be ordered via www.amazon.com You can see pictures of the Grand View Garden created for the TV series at http://www.beijingguide2008.com/grand_view_garden_beijing/grand_view_garden_beijing.html (note that gaps in the URL are under_scores)
 A quick look at some of the best books on Chinese gardens suggest that a systematic classification of Chinese gardens is well underway.
Liu, Tun-Chen. Chinese Classic Gardens of Suzhou. McGraw-Hill, New York NY., 1993. (English translation of 1979 book by Dept. of Architecture, Nanjing Inst. of Tech. Beijing. Good diagrams of major gardens.)
Keswick, Maggie. The Chinese Garden: History, Art and Architecture. (Rev. Ed.) Harvard University Press, Cambridge MA, 2003. (First published in 1978. This is an early effort to capture the motivating ideas behind Chinese gardens and to explain how they different from European gardens.)
Fang Xiaofeng. The Great Gardens of China. Monacelli Press, New York NY, 2010. (An excellent effort to provide specific examples of Chinese gardens.)
Turner, Tom. Asian Gardens: History, Beliefs and Design. Routledge, London, 2011. (An effort to try to introduce a classification systems, but not nearly as satisfactory as Turner’s European classification.)
Clunas, Craig. Fruitful Sites: Garden Culture in Ming Dynasty China. Duke Uni. Press, Durham NC. 1996. (This book is a major contribution to our understanding of the evolution of Chinese Gardens in the Ming Dynasty.)
 This quotation is from the Yang’s translation of Red Mansions.
 There are two noteworthy examples of this approach in a US. The Huntington Gardens has recently installed a Chinese garden. They built the garden and then invited a group of scholars to come and name the elements of the garden. This is described in T. June Li’s book Another World Lies Beyond: Creating Liu Fang Yuan, the Huntington’s Chinese Garden (Huntington Library, San Marino, California, 2009). In a similar way, the wonderful Chinese garden in Portland, offers a publication – Listen to the Fragrance: Literary Inscriptions in Lan Su Yuan. (by Charles Wu. The Portland Classical Garden, Portland, Oregon, 2006.) -- which describes the Chinese names, the poetic couplets, and some of the references associated with the different elements of the Lan Su garden.
 For a description of the symbolic structure of two Western gardens, see:
Garnett, Oliver. Stourhead Landscape Garden. The National Trust. UK. 2000.
Dernie, David. The Villa d’Este at Tivoli. Academy Editions, London, 1996.
Two articles that I benefited from in preparing this review.
Wakeman Jr., Frederic. “The Genius of the Red Chamber.” New York Review of Books. June 12, 1980.
Scott, Mary. “The Image of the Garden in Jin Ping Mei and Hongloumeng.” Chinese Literature: Essays, articles, Reviews. Vol. 8. No. 1-2 (July 1986) pp. 83-94.
I would need to secure permission to use either of the following paintings of the Daquanyuan garden. The paintings are from the book:
Sun Wen A Dream of Red Mansions: As Portrayed Through the Brush of Sun Wen. Better Link Press. 2010. (230 paintings done between 1867 and 1903.)