Interested in Korean History During Late 19th Century? Check This Out!

RAS’s Robert Fouser just posted an excellent collection of letters by Yu Kil-jun to his teacher Edward Sylvester Morse on the RAS Facebook page. I really enjoyed reading all of the letters and wanted to bring them to the attention of everyone else not on Facebook.

While reading history, it is easy to forget that real people—people like us— actually lived through those events and fought for the changes that we now take for granted. These letters give the reader a personal glimpse into late nineteenth century Korea (Joseon) and the political and social changes taking place there.

Specifically, I found Yu Kil-jun’s letters after his return home in 1885 to be the most interesting. These letters included a list of reforms of the government as well as frank descriptions of the leadership and political environment.

Please check out the letters and I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.


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