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.
How was Joseon founded?
A new name for a new state: ‘Joseon’ or ‘Hwaryeong?’
Hanyang, Joseon’s new capital
Why the king kept moving palace
The real reason Sejong created Hangeul
Jang Yeongsil, Joseon’s greatest scientist
How were government officials appointed?
Men of integrity
How did the people of Joseon live?
Joseon, land of Confucianism
Yi Hwang and Gi Daeseung exchange letters
Neo-Confucians: a new breed of literati sparks purges
Seong Sammun and Sin Sukju
Clothes, food and housing in Joseon
Newspapers and books in Joseon
Royal annals: definitive national histories
The Three Great Bandits of Joseon
The mysterious tale of Hong Gildong
A time of crisis: Japan invades
Were turtle ships really clad in iron?
Fighting off the Manchus
Kim Sangheon and Choe Myeonggil
What caused factional strife?
Death in a rice chest: Crown Prince Sado
An Yongbok defends Ulleung-do and Dok-do
Hendrik Hamel and Park Yeon: Joseon’s two Dutchmen
• Image credits and sources