"Go with me to a land whose life for ages has been a mystery", wrote a 19th-century visitor to Korea, "a land which from time unknown has kept aloof, whose people might have been the denizens of another planet". He may not have known that in the 4th century AD they had controlled much of north-east Asia and in the 8th their ships had dominated the trade of the Yellow Sea, nor did he guess the astonishing transformation that lay ahead of Korea in the 20th century - all of which are chronicled here. This is the first full-length general history of the country to be published in Britain, and incorporates in its early chapters Chinese and Korean material not previously published in any Western language. Beginning with the prehistoric era, the book provides a uniquely detailed treatment of the earlier periods in Korea's evolution. The work progresses through the era of the Three Kingdoms, Silla, Koguryo and Paekche; the Koryo period (918-1392 AD) which saw the war with the Khitan, the coming of the Mongols and the invasion of Japan; and the rule of the Yi dynasty from 1392 to 1910, which saw the flowering of Korean Confucianism, the invasion of Hideyoshi, the Manchu invasion, long periods of isolation and then the opening of the country to the West. Following this came the decades (1910-1945) when Korea was under Japanese rule; the period of the Sino-Japanese war, the Russo-Japanese war and Asian co-prosperity. Moving towards the present day, the work concludes with the story of the two Koreas and the drawing of the line between them, South Korea's economic successes and the adoption of a new constitution in 1987. Full and accurate records of all the significant persons and dates are provided, including events in China and Japan in so far as they involved Korea. Richly descriptive, with an emphasis on skilfull accounts of the major occurrences, battles and court scandals of the times, this lucidly written history makes absorbing reading, and should be welcomed by the general reader.

chapter |12 pages

Introduction: Hills And Rivers

part |2 pages

Part I The Three Kingdoms

chapter 1|8 pages


chapter 2|7 pages

The Three Kingdoms and Kaya

chapter 3|8 pages

The Land of the Buddhas

chapter 4|8 pages

Kogury 's Wars with China

chapter 5|7 pages

The Silla-Tang Alliance

chapter 6|5 pages

Unification under Silla

chapter 7|9 pages

Silla and Parhae

chapter 8|8 pages

The Later Three Kingdoms

part |2 pages

Part II Koryo

chapter 9|5 pages

The Founding of a Dynasty

chapter 10|6 pages

War with the Qidan

chapter 11|5 pages

A Visitor from China

chapter 12|5 pages

The Revolt of the Soldiers

chapter 13|6 pages

The Coming of the Mongols

chapter 14|7 pages

The Court on Kanghwa

chapter 15|8 pages

The Invasion of Japan

chapter 16|7 pages

Reformers and Pirates

chapter 17|5 pages

The End of a Dynasty

part |2 pages


chapter 18|9 pages

The Confucian Kingdom

chapter 19|4 pages

The Confucian King

chapter 20|7 pages

Executions and Utopias

chapter 21|9 pages

Heretics and Philosophers

chapter 22|7 pages

Hideyoshi's Invasion

chapter 23|9 pages

China Intervenes

chapter 24|6 pages

The Manchu Invasion

chapter 25|6 pages

Western Learning

chapter 26|8 pages

Northern Learning

chapter 27|9 pages

War with the West

chapter 28|6 pages

Opening the Doors

chapter 29|6 pages

The Young Reformers

part |2 pages

Part IV The Empire of The Sun

chapter 30|6 pages

The Sino-Japanese War

chapter 31|4 pages

The Murder of the Queen

chapter 32|7 pages

The Russo-Japanese War

chapter 33|6 pages

Partisans and Journalists

chapter 34|9 pages

Asian Co-prosperity

part |2 pages

Part V The Two Republics

chapter 35|8 pages

5 Liberation and Division

chapter 36|10 pages

Drawing the Line

chapter 37|10 pages

Students and Soldiers

chapter 38|6 pages

Awaiting Reunion