The Formative Years of Cao Xueqin 1715–1745
3. “Dressed in Silks and Delicately Nurtured”
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“Dressed in Silks and Delicately Nurtured”
Cao Yin’s sudden death in 1712 plunged the Cao family into a very precarious situation. They now held no official position, their personal ties to the court were diminishing (Cao Yin’s mother, Lady Sun, the beloved former wet nurse of Kangxi had died in 1706), and they owed hundreds of thousands of taels to the government because of Cao Yin’s financial irregularities. Their future was looking increasingly bleak. Luckily, Kangxi decided to step in and again show the family special favor. On August 27, the provincial governor of Jiangxi, Lang Tingji, sent a palace memorial reporting that after Cao Yin’s death, a large group of local officials, civilians, merchants, and textile factory owners had appeared in front of his yamen to plead that he appoint Cao Yong 曹颙, Cao Yin’s only son, to be the next Imperial Textile Commissioner for Nanjing. Lang sent their petition to Beijing, and the Emperor quickly appointed Cao Yong to his father’s former position.
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