Caroline Young, artwork and text
QFWF, July 20th 2020, From the Chinese classical novel The Dream of the Red Chamber
Black Jade is the central heroine of this story of romance and betrayal.
She was as madly in love with Chia Pao-yu and he was with her.
However, due to her poor health history, (she had once had consumption), she was passed over by his family when they were selecting a bride for Pao-yu.
Because the family was keenly aware of Pao-yu’s love for Black Jade they allowed him to believe that she was the chosen one.
It was not until the night of the wedding, when he retired to the marital chambers and lifted the red veil from his bride’s face, that he discovered his family’s treachery.
Upon hearing of his marriage, Black Jade, who still suffered from a lifetime of consumption, soon after died of a broken heart.
After her death, Pao-Yu retired to the mountains, where he spent the rest of his days as a monk.
He was sighted only once by his family, in the dead of winter, dressed in a red cloak.