Letters from Korean History has been a great success in its native country among young Korean readers. This translation version will now be of help to ethnic Koreans overseas, others interested in Korea or history in general, Koreans looking to study history and English at the same time.
Progressing from the stones and bones of prehistory all the way to the turbulent twentieth century in the course of five volumes, Letters from Korean History can be browsed as a reference text or plowed through from beginning to end. As with most histories that cover such a long period, the density of information increases as the narrative approaches the present. With plenty of photos and illustrations, readers are able to acquire a vivid sense of history.
Eun bong Park
Park Eunbong gained a bachelor’s degree and pursued postgraduate studies in History at Korea University. She is the author of a number of several historical works, including Letters from Korean History (five volumes), Hanguksa sangsik barojapgi(“Restoring Common Sense in Korean History”), Segyesa 100 jangmyeon (“100 Scenes from World History”), Hanguksa 100 jangmyeon(“100 Scenes from Korean History”), Hanguksa dwinniyagi (“Below the Surface of Korean History”), Eomma-ui yeoksa pyeonji(“Historical Letters from Mom”) as well as the jointlyauthored Inmul yeoseongsa-Hanguk pyeon (“Women in History-Korean Edition”). Letters from Korean History was awarded the 45th Korea Book Award.
Ben Jackson comes from England and has a master’s degree in Korean Literature from the University of London. He is a former production editor of SEOUL magazine and has compiled English-language guides to Korean museums, galleries and architecture. He has translated several works of Korean literature and currently works as a translator and writer.
Faltering Silla and the Later Three Kingdoms
Jang Bogo, the Great Commander of Cheonghaejin
Wang Geon unifies the Later Three Kingdoms
Doseon and ‘pungsujiri’
Goryeo: land of ‘munbeol’ aristocrats
King Seongjong, Choe Seungno and Confucian politics
Thirty years of war with the Khitans
Yun Gwan and the Nine Fortresses of the North-East
Byeongnando: international port of ‘Korea’
Goryeo, land of Buddhism
Village guardian deities
How did the people of Goryeo live?
Was ‘goryeojang’ really a Goryeo custom?
The military takes over
Myocheong’s bid to relocate the capital
The struggle for a true meritocracy
Pyeongnyang, the ‘nobi’ who dreamt of freedom
Peasants and ‘cheonin’ take on the Mongols
Goryeo’s temporary capital
The ‘Tripitaka Koreana’ and inlaid celadon: embodiments of the spirit of Goryeo
Printing in the old days
‘Samguk sagi’ and ‘Samguk yusa’: two history books, two agendas
‘Dongmyeong Wang pyeon’ and ‘Jewang ungi’
King Gongmin’s reforms
‘Gwonmun sejok’ and ‘nongjang’: land grabbing at club-point
Cotton and gunpowder
‘Cheongsan byeolgok’ and the decline of Goryeo
• Image credits and sources