RAS Lecture Video: Letters From Joseon by Robert Neff

This lecture will examine Korea - as seen through the eyes of Sally Sill, the wife of John M. B. Sill - the American Minister to Korea (1894–1897). Their stay in Seoul was during an extremely turbulent period of Korean history, a span of time that encompassed the Sino-Japanese War, the Gabo Reforms, the murder of the Korean queen, and King Gojong's subsequent refuge in the Russian legation.

Through the use of numerous pictures and the personal correspondences between the Sills in Korea and their family in the United States we will take a candid look of life in not only the American community in Seoul, but also in the Russian legation, where King Gojong and the crown prince sought refuge following the murder of Queen Min. We will also examine the rumors and speculation that plagued the daily lives of not only the Western community in Seoul but the Korean community as well.

Robert Neff is a writer and historical researcher of the Joseon era. He has authored or co-authored several books including "Korea Through Western Eyes", "Westerner's Life in Joseon" and his newest book, "Letters from Joseon" - which this lecture is based upon.

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