This collection presents and analyzes inquest records that tell the stories of ordinary Korean people under the Choson court (1392-1910). Extending the study of this period, usually limited to elites, into the realm of everyday life, each inquest record includes a detailed postmortem examination and features testimony from everyone directly or indirectly related to the incident. The result is an amazingly vivid, colloquial account of the vibrant, multifaceted sociocultural and legal culture of early modern Korea.
Sun Joo Kim is the Harvard-Yenching Professor of Korean History at Harvard University. Jungwon Kim is assistant professor of Korean history at Columbia University.
Acknowledgments Translators' Notes Map of Nineteenth-century Korea Introduction Choson Korea in Its Last Century Case 1 An Adulterous Widower Meets a Violent DeathYang Hang-nyon (P'yongyang, P'yongan Province, 1866) Case 2 A Family Activist Confronts a Local MagnateMs. Pak (Yongin, Kyonggi Province, Late Eighteenth Century) Case 3 A Defiant Slave Challenges His Master with DeathYi Pong-dol (Anui, Kyongsang Province, 1842) Case 4 Two Widows FightMadam Chang and Ms. Un (Yech'on, Kyongsang Province, 1842) Case 5 A Heartless Wet Nurse Abuses an InfantMun Chong-ji (Chunghwa, P'yongan Province, 1866) Case 6 A Widower Seeks Private SettlementMs. Chong (Yongch'on, Kyongsang Province, 1889) Case 7 Adultery Leads to MurderMs. Paek (Anak, Hwanghae Province, 1897) Case 8 An Illegal Burial Begets a Son but Kills a RelativeKim Kap-san (Hoeyang, Kangwon Province, 1899) Notes Glossary Bibliography Index