In earlier times, for the Chinese, Korea was 'the country of courteous people from the east', and for westerners 'the land of the morning calm' or 'hermit kingdom'. In this fascinating collection of writings on times past in Korea the author helps to lift the veil on this once closed country, providing the reader with a wide selection of first-hand accounts by travellers who 'discovered' Korea - some as snapshots by those passing through, others more detailed evaluations of Korean culture and everyday life by those who spent time there. The collection covers a period of over 400 years - from Hendrik Hamel's journal of the 1600s to early 20th century records, such as Roy C. Andrew's 1918 published account of his expedition, entitled Exploring Unknown Corners of the 'Hermit Kingdom'.
Martin Uden is the British Ambassador in Seoul. He graduated in Law at Queen Mary College, London, and was later called to the Bar. He subsequently chose a career in the diplomatic service, joining the British Foreign Office in 1978. Since then, he has spent over six years living in Seoul, but also serving at the British Embassy in Bonn, at the British High Commission in Ottawa, as well as at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London.