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Korea and Her Neighbours: A Narrative of Travel, with an Account of the Recent Vicissitudes and Present Position of the Country
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Korea and Her Neighbours: A Narrative of Travel, with an Account of the Recent Vicissitudes and Present Position of the Country

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  37 ratings  ·  6 reviews
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Published May 24th 2004 by Adamant Media Corporation (first published 1898)
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3.95  · 
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Billie Pritchett
Jun 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: korea
Isabella Bird was an Englishwoman who had the wealth and the time to travel the world. Among the places she visited war Korea during the late Joseon dynasty, and here in this book, Korea and Her Neighbours, she records her travels over several visits to the country. Writing from a position of privilege, sometimes Bird's commentary is appallingly racist. But other of her more objective accounts of what is occurring around her is eye-opening, and useful history. For instance, we learn from the boo ...more
Elizabeth
Jan 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
It would be more accurate to say that this book portrays an Englishwoman looking at Korea than to say it presents an accurate portrait of Korea at that time, though I don’t have anywhere near the expertise to say what she gets wrong and what she gets right, factually. This book is oddly heartbreaking: the average life in Korea at the time of Bird’s travels seems miserable and dirty. Bird is, as always, a walking definition of Eurocentrism, and her musings on the Korean character make the modern ...more
Flora
Dec 31, 2010 rated it liked it
This is one amazing woman, Isabella Bird. I read her account of the Sandwich Islands but this one on Korea is more adventurous. I did something I've not done before to get this account, which is out of print. I managed to find a copy by accident while browsing the Library shelves. When I was forced to return it, I searched and found a digital copy. This I downloaded on to my Kindle and am happily reading away. Unfortunately, whoever digitized it didn't correct the errors. So I must sometimes gue ...more
Valerie
Jun 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Valerie by: Marcia
Intrepid female Victorian travelers, and their parasols. Isabella Bird is a treasure.
Crystal
Mar 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Intrepid traveler Isabella Bird does it again, this time in Korea. As always, she spares no punches, and criticizes the bureaucratic corruption that she sees as keeping a people with great potential from reaching it. Her travels take place in a time of reordering in East Asia, and her journalistic description of the assassination of the queen and other historic events is fascinating. I must admit that after feeling uncomfortable when my feet got wet in the rain last time I visited Korea, I had ...more
Craig
Jan 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.5 or 4, some VERY insightful sections and then some sections where she is the typical English explorer of her time talking too much about plants.

When I reviewed Francis Mccullagh's book I was a bit harsh on his basic enlightenment viewpoints, but on reflection, he actually had a pretty good and modern for its time perspective on things. Bird is fully rooted in the whole "us Christian white people are the only way these savages can be saved" perspective. As an Irishman, I think Mccullagh had a
...more
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Isabella Lucy Bird (October 15, 1831 – October 7, 1904) was a nineteenth-century English traveller, writer, and a natural historian.

Works:
* The Englishwoman in America (1856)
* Pen and Pencil Sketches Among The Outer Hebrides (published in The Leisure Hour) (1866)
* The Hawaiian Archipelago (1875)
* The Two Atlantics (published in The Leisure Hour) (1876)
* Australia Felix: Impressions of Victori
...more