The Twelve Beauties of Jinling – Lin Daiyu


Lin Daiyu is one of the Twelve Beauties of Jinling (refers to the twelve excellent ladies) in the book of The Dream of Red Mansions. She is the heroine of the book and ranks the first among the Twelve Beauties.

Lin is the daughter of Lin Ruhai and the cousin of Jia Baoyu. In the book, her parents died early when she was very young. And she is described as a girl with poor health since she was a child. However, she has a good command of Four Arts and especially good at composing poetry.

She is an intelligent and beautiful lady but is proud and aloof in nature. She and Jia Baoyu have the same interests and are both the traitors of feudalism. She never persuade Jia to throw himself into feudal official career. Gradually, they two fall in love with each other. However, Jia is forced to marry Xue Baochai, thus causing the tragic death of Lin Daiyu.


Lin is a sentimental woman. She neither believes in herself nor trusts others. Instead, her inner world is full of cowardly and sentiments. Despite all of these, her beauty and intelligence still surpasses all the others. Her poetry not only expresses her happiness, but also vent her pains and grief. The poetry shows her pure and noble moral integrity, her independent personality and the beautiful soul.

The writer uses peculiar imagination to create a legend, which tells a romantic and tragic love story about Lin Daiyu and Jia Baoyu. The legend also indicates her tragic destiny.

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