As any reader will remember well, the Jia family in the Dream of Red Mansions (Honglou meng) was centered around the elderly grandmother. To the youthful Baoyu the family’s key members, other than his father, were all females; they included his grandmother, his elder cousin’s wife, his elder brother’s widow, and his own sisters and cousins – not to mention the senior maids and concubines. The novel informs us of the life histories of most of these women, and provides enough information on their background, experiences, and opportunities for us to find their varied fates plausible.