Top of page

Book/Printed Material Ding juan Chen Meigong xian sheng pi ping xi xiang ji 鼎鐫陳眉公先生批評西廂記

[ Volume 1 ]

More Resources

[ Volume 2 ]
[ Volume 3 ]
[ Volume 4 ]

About this Item


  • Ding juan Chen Meigong xian sheng pi ping xi xiang ji

Other Title

  • 鼎鐫陳眉公先生批評西廂記

Translated Title

  • Romance of the West Chamber with Chen Meigong's Critical Comments


  • Ding juan Chen Meigong xian sheng pi ping Xi xiang ji (Romance of the West Chamber with Chen Meigong's critical comments) is a work by Wang Shifu (circa 1250--1307), a successful playwright of the Yuan dynasty, with commentary by Chen Jiru (also called Chen Meigong, circa 1558--1639), a painter-calligrapher and man of letters. This is a late-Ming edition in two juan, with two juan of explanatory text, one juan of Pudong shi (Poems of Pudong), and one juan of Qiantang meng (Dream of Qiantang). It was printed at Shijiantang, in the workshop of Xiao Tenghong of Jianyang, Fujian Province, which produced many plays and operas. The main text is printed in black, punctuated with red circles. The layout of the title page is rarely seen in original copies. The illustrations are executed in the style of famous paintings. The play, 21 scenes in five acts, tells the story of a secret love affair between Zhang Sheng, a young scholar, and Cui Yingying, the daughter of a chief minister of the Tang court. The pair first meets in a Buddhist temple, where Yingying and her mother have stopped to rest while escorting the coffin of Yingying's father to their native town. Zhang Sheng immediately falls in love with Yingying but is prevented from expressing his feelings while the object of his love is under her mother's watchful eye. He writes a love poem, which he reads aloud from behind the wall of the courtyard of the house in which Yingying is lodging. Meanwhile, word of Yingying's beauty reaches Sun the Flying Tiger, a local bandit. He dispatches his men to surround the temple, in the hope of taking her as his consort. Yingying's mother declares that whoever drives the bandits away can have Yingying's hand in marriage. Zhang Sheng then contacts his childhood friend General Du, who subdues the bandits. Yingying's mother regrets her rash promise, and refuses to sanction the marriage with the excuse that Yingying is already betrothed to the son of another high court official. Yingying's maid, Hong Niang, takes pity on the lovers, and ingeniously arranges to bring them together in a secret union. When Yingying's mother discovers their affair, she reluctantly consents to a formal marriage, but on one condition: Zhang must travel to the capital and pass the civil-service examination. Luckily, Zhang proves to be a brilliant scholar. He passes and is appointed to high office. The story ends on a happy note, as the two are married. Chen Meigong's commentaries appear at the tops of pages, between lines, or separately, and express his appreciation and understanding of the play. His summary comments at the end are elaborate and precise. Dramas traditionally were printed with illustrations on the upper portions with text below, but this copy has illustrations covering both half sheets in a continuous way. Cai Chonghuan, a prominent painter from Jiangsu, and Liu Suming, a woodblock engraver from Jian'an, Fujian, contributed to the work. The National Central Library has another copy of Story of the West Chamber, printed at Xiangnanzhou of Wulin, with critical comments by Li Zhuowu.


  • Chen, Jiru, approximately 1558-1639 Commentator
  • Wang, Shifu, 1260-1336 Author

Created / Published

  • Jian'an, Fujian, China : Xiao Tenghong, [1567 to 1644]


  • -  China
  • -  1567 to 1644
  • -  Chinese drama
  • -  Qu (Chinese literature)


  • -  Title devised, in English, by Library staff.
  • -  Original resource extent: 6 juan, 1 volume ; 22.2 x 14.4 centimeters.
  • -  Original resource at: National Central Library.
  • -  Content in Chinese.
  • -  Description based on data extracted from World Digital Library, which may be extracted from partner institutions.
  • -  Title revised per Asian Division.--cc28 2023-01-06


  • 1 online resource.

Source Collection

  • Chinese Books, Manuscripts, Maps, and Prints

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 2021666372

Online Format

  • compressed data
  • pdf
  • image

Additional Metadata Formats

IIIF Presentation Manifest

Rights & Access

The Library of Congress is unaware of any copyright or other restrictions in the World Digital Library Collection. Absent any such restrictions, these materials are free to use and reuse. Researchers are encouraged to review the source information attached to each item. For information on contacting WDL partner organizations, see this archived list of partners

The Library asks that researchers approach the materials in this collection with respect for the culture and sensibilities of the people whose lives, ideas, and creativity are documented here.

Credit Line: [Original Source citation], World Digital Library

More about Copyright and other Restrictions

For additional information and contact information for many of the partner organizations, see this archived capture of the World Digital Library site from 2021.

For guidance about compiling full citations consult Citing Primary Sources.

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Chen, Jiru, Approximately Commentator, and Shifu Wang. Ding juan Chen Meigong xian sheng pi ping xi xiang ji. [Jian'an, Fujian, China: Xiao Tenghong, to 1644, 1567] Pdf.

APA citation style:

Chen, J. & Wang, S. (1567) Ding juan Chen Meigong xian sheng pi ping xi xiang ji. [Jian'an, Fujian, China: Xiao Tenghong, to 1644] [Pdf] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Chen, Jiru, Approximately Commentator, and Shifu Wang. Ding juan Chen Meigong xian sheng pi ping xi xiang ji. [Jian'an, Fujian, China: Xiao Tenghong, to 1644, 1567] Pdf. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.