London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

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Selected publications

Book review: Christopher Lovins on King Chŏngjo

Thus far this year I’ve been focusing on literature in translation. As I wait for the next major wave of publications to hit the shops, I’ve turned my attention to non-fiction. And the first title I reached for was Christopher Lovins’s King Chŏngjo: An Enlightened Despot in Early Modern Korea, which came out in paperback … [Read More]

A historical mystery that’s well worth a look

Eternal Empire (1995) – a nice-looking costume drama about murder and court intrigue in the Yi dynasty soon after the death of Prince Sado. One of Darcy’s top 10 K-films of the 90s. Not one of mine, but well worth a look. Does a secret royal commentary on the Confucian Classics contain heavily coded political … [Read More]

The Shining Fortress part 2: its remarkable story.

by Matthew Jackson The story which surrounds the building of the Hwaseong fortress is an extraordinary one. The fortress was originally built as part of the new Suwon city, a project initiated by King Chongjo. King Chongjo (or King Jeongjo, depending on your preferred romanization) had been greatly devoted to his father, Sado Seja, who … [Read More]

The Shining Fortress part 1: its construction

by Matthew Jackson The official report by the advisors to UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee concluded that the Suwon Hwaseong Fortress “represents the pinnacle of 18th century military architecture, incorporating the best of that from Europe and from the Far East. As such it has a unique historical importance”. What makes Hwaseong special? Following the editor’s … [Read More]