Older Books which Contributed to the Discovery of Korea by Europeans

The following books are quoted or referred to in my pages about European discoveries of Korea. They are listed in (roughly) chronological order.

A more comprehensive listing is found in
Bibliotheca Sinica, lists over 3,000 titles with links to online texts / facsimiles.

Peregrinaçam de Fernam Mendez Pinto. : Em que da conta de muytas e muyto estranhas cousas que vio & ouuio no reyno da China, no da Tartaria, no do Sornau, que vulgarmente se chama Sião, no do Calaminhan, no de Pegù, no de Martauão, & em outros muytos reynos & senhorios das partes orientais, de que nestas nossas do Occidente ha muyto pouca ou nenha noticia. ... : E no fim della trata bruemente ... da morte do santo padre mestre Francisco Xauier ...( Lisboa. : Por Pedro Crasbeeck. 1614) A modern English translation of the complete Portuguese text was published by the University of Chicago Press in 1992: The Travels of Mendes Pinto, Edited and translated by Rebecca D. Catz.

Les voyages adventureux de Fernand Mendez-Pinto fidèlement traduits de portugais en français par le sieur Bernard Figuier Gentil-homme Portugais Dediez a Monseigneur le Cardinal de Richelieu A Paris  [chez Mathurin Henault 1628]  [Arnould Cotinet, rue de Carmes proche la Mazure et Jean Roger, rue des Amandiers devant les Grassins a la vérité royale 1645] [or see a clearer 19th century edition]

[A much shortened version, less than half the original] The voyages and adventures, of Fernand Mendez Pinto, a Portugal: during his travels for the space of one and twenty years in the kingdons of Ethiopia, China, Tartaria, Cauchinchina, Calaminham, Siam, Pegu, Japan and a great part of the East-Indiaes.  With a Relation and Description of most of the Places thereof; their Religion, Laws, Riches, Customs, and Government in time of Peace and War. Where he five times suffered Shipwrack, was sixteen times sold, and thirteen times made a Slave. Written Originally by himself in the Portugal Tongue, and Dedicated to the Majesty of Philip King of Spain. Done into English by H C. [Henry Cogan] Gent. London, Printed by F. Macock, for Henry Cripps, and Lodowick Lloyd , and are to be sold at their shop in Popes head Alley neer Lumbar Street. 1653 (Internet Archive; National Library of Portugal)

Itinerario: Voyage ofte schipvaert van Jan Huyghen van Linschoten naar Oost ofte Portugaels Indien … 1579-1592. (Amsterdam: Cornelis Claesz. 1596)

Linschoten Iohn Huighen Van Linschoten, His Discours of Voyages Into Ye Easte & West Indies, Deuided Into Foure Bookes [English translation from the Dutch by William Phillip. Printed at London : By Iohn Wolfe ..., [1598]  (Images of a better quality are available from the Library of Congress)

Richard Hakluyt (In Italian) Copia di due lettere annue scritte dal Giapone del 1589. & 1590. L’una dal P. Vice Provinciale al P. Alessandro Valignano, Paltra dal P. Luigi Frois al P. Generale della Compagnia di Giesu. Et della Spagnuola nella Italiana lingua tradotte dal P. Gasparo Spitilli della Compagnia medesima. pp.125.    Rome. 1593

(In French) Lettre du Japon des annees 1591. et 1592. Escrite au R.P. General de la Compagnie de Iesus. Et tournee d’Espagnol en Italien par le P. Ubaldino Bartolini de la mesme Compagnie; et maintenant en nostre langue vulgaire sur l’exemplaire imprime a Rome par Louys Zanetti 1595...   Douay. 1595 Digital edition included in: University of Waterloo: La série des lettres du Japon : éditions publiées en français de 1571 à 1640

(In Italian) Copia di due lettere scritte dal P. Organtino Bresciano della Compagnia di Giesu dal Meaco del Giapone. al molto R. in Christo P.N. il Claudio Acquaviva Preposito Generale. Tradotte dal P. Gio Battista Peruschi Romano della medesima Compagnia. pp. Rome.1597

(In Spanish) : P. Luis de Guzman. Historia de las missiones que han hecho los religiosos de la Compania de Iesus, para predicar el sancto Evangelio en la India Oriental, y en los Reynos de la China y Iapon... 2 vols. Alcala. 1601  Volume 1.   On the invasion of Korea by the Japanese a major account is found starting on 
Volume 2, Book 12, Chapter 14 page 501 No English translation of this work seems to have been published.

Juan González de Mendoza (c. 1540 – 1617), Historia de las cosas más notables, ritos y costumbres del gran reyno de la China  (1585.)

Earliest mentions of Korea Juan González de Mendoza   The history of the great and mighty kingdom of China and the situation thereof  (1588)

Richard Hakluyt,  The principall nauigations, voiages, and discoueries of the English nation : made by sea or ouer land to the most remote and farthest distant quarters of the earth at any time within the compasse of these 1500 yeeres : deuided into three seuerall parts (First edition, one volume, 1589)

Hakluyt, The principal navigations, voyages, traffiques & discoveries of the English nation, made by sea or over-land to the remote and farthest distant quarters of the earth at any time within the compass of these 1600 yeeres. London, Imprinted by G. Bishop, R. Newberie and R. Barker, (Second edition, 3 volumes, 1598-1600) Online images of Vols 1-2 in Library of Congress ; Vol 3 in Library of Congress; A complete modern edition (1904)

(In Latin)  Matteo Ricci.
De Christiana expeditione apud Sinas suscepta ab Societate Jesu Amsterdam. 1615.

Samuel Purchas,   Haklvytvs posthumus, or, Pvrchas his Pilgrimes. Contayning a history of the world, in sea voyages, & lande-trauells, by Englishmen and others ... Some left written by Mr. Hakluyt at his death, more since added, his also perused, & perfected. All examined, abreuiated, illustrates w[i]th notes, enlarged w[i]th discourses, adorned w[i]th pictures, and expressed in mapps. In fower parts, each containing fiue bookes. [Compiled] by Samvel Pvrchas. London, Imprinted for H. Fetherston, 1625. (The accounts of China translated from Ricci's book are in Volume 3)

Alvaro Semedo [Semmedo] :  Imperio de la China i cultura evangelica en èl por los religios [sic] de la Compañia de Iesus. Compuesto por el padre Alvaro Semmedo de la propia Compañia… ; publicado por Manuel de Faria i Sousa… (Impresso por Iuan Sanchez en Madrid: a costa de Pedro Coello…, 1642)

Earliest mentions of Korea Martino Martini.  De bello Tartarico historia, in quâ, quo pacto Tartari hac nostrâ aetate Sinicum imperium invaserint, ac ferè totum occuparint, narratur, eorumque mores breviter describuntur. Antwerp. Ex officina Plantiniana Balthasaris Moreti, 1654  

Martino Martini. Bellum Tartaricum, or The conquest of the great and most renowned empire of China, by the invasion of the Tartars, who in these last seven years, have wholy subdued that vast empire. Together with a map of the provinces, and chief cities of the countries, for the better understanding of the story. London, : Printed for John Crook, and are to be sold at his shop at the sign of the Ship in St. Paul's Church-yard., 1654.

Alvaro Semedo The history of that great and renowned monarchy of China. Wherein all the particular provinces are accurately described: as also the dispositions, manners, learning, lawes, militia, government, and religion of the people. Together with the traffick and commodities of that countrey (London : Printed by E. Tyler for I. Crook. 1655). This book also contains a reprint of Martini's Bellum Tartaricum from page 251.

Juan de Palafox y Mendoza.  Historia de la conquista de la China por el tartaro / escrita por … Juan de Palafox y Mendoça, siendo obispo de la Puebla de los Angeles y virrey de la Nueva-España y a su muerte obispo de Osma (En Paris : acosta de Antonio Bertier …, 1670)

Juan de Palafox y Mendoza.The history of the conquest of China by the Tartars. Together with an account of several remarkable things, concerning the religion, manners, and customs of both nations, but especially the latter. First writ in Spanish, by Senʹ̃or Palafox, Bishop of Osma, and Vice-Roy of Mexico. The second edition. And now rendred English. printed by W. Godbid, and sold by M. Pitt, at the Angel, neat [sic] the little north door of St. Paul's Church, 1676. (only available online through Ear;y English Texts Online)

Johan Nieuhof.  Het Gezandtschap der Neêrlandtsche Oost-Indische Compagnie, aan den grooten Tartarischen Cham, den tegenwoordigen Keizer van China  (1st edition: Amsterdam : Jacob van Meurs, 1665)

Nieuhof, Johannes,  An embassy from the East-India Company of the United Provinces, to the Grand Tartar Cham, emperor of China: delivered by their excellencies Peter de Goyer and Jacob de Keyzer, at his imperial city of Peking wherein the cities, towns, villages, ports, rivers, &c. in their passages from Canton to Peking are ingeniously described by John Nieuhoff; also an epistle of Father John Adams, their antagonist, concerning the whole negotiation; with an appendix of several remarks taken out of Father Athanasius Kircher; Englished and set forth with their several sculptures by John Ogilby Esq; His Majety’s Cosmographer, Geographick Printer, and Master of the Revels in the Kingdom of Ireland, The second edition, London, printed by the Author in his house in White-Friers, M.DC. LXXIII.  (1673)  (the first edition was: London : Printed by J. Macock for the author, 1669).

Hendrick Hamel.
(Dutch)   Journal van de Ongeluckige Voyage van 't Jacht de Sperwer
Rotterdam 1668
Relation du noufrage d'un vaiseau hollandois sur la Coste de l'Isle de Quelparts. Avec la Description de Royaume de Corée. Traduit de Flamande, par Monsieur Minutoli. A Paris, chez Thomas Jolly, au Palis, dans la Salle des Merciers, au coin de la Gallerie des prissonniers, la Palme & aux Armes d'Hollande1670. 
This French version was translated into English by John Churchill and published in 1704 as part (starting page 607) of the 4th volume of his A Collection of voyages and travels
with the title An Account of the Shipwreck of a Dutch Vessel on the Isle of Quelpaert  (this links to the Open Library version of a microfiched 1732 edition.) : some now first printed from original manuscripts, others now first published in English : in six volumes with a general preface giving an account of the progress of navigation from its first beginning.
Click here for the 1704 edition  Printed by H. C. for Awnsham and John Churchill at the Black-Swan in Pater-noster-Row. MDCCIV.

Earliest mentions of Korea Nicolaas Witsen   Noord en Oost Tartarye, ofte bondig ontwerp van eenige dier landen en volken, welke voormaels bekent zijn geweest (second edition 2 volumes, Amsterdam: Halma 1705)

Fr. Jean Baptiste du Halde
. (Click here for links to digital texts of each volume of each French edition)
(First edition) Description géographique, historique, chronologique, politique et physique de l’empire de la Chine et de la Tartarie chinoise (Paris: P.G. Lemercier 1735)

(Second edition) Description géographique, historique, chronologique, politique, et physique de l'empire de la Chine et de la Tartarie chinoise, enrichie des cartes générales et particulieres de ces pays, de la carte générale et des cartes particulieres du Thibet, & de la Corée; & ornée d'un grand nombre de figures & de vignettes gravées en tailledouce

Fr. Jean Baptiste du Halde. The general history of China. Containing a geographical, historical, chronological, political and physical description of the empire of China, Chinese-Tartary, Corea, and Thibet. Including an exact and particular account of their customs, manners, ceremonies, religion, arts and sciences .. Done from the French of P. Du Halde. Volume 1; Volume 2; Volume 3Volume 4, second edition corrected. London: John Watts. 1739The account of Korea in volume 4 is divided between a general description and a 'brief' history from Chinese sources. 

A new general collection of voyages and travels; consisting of the most esteemed relations, which have been hitherto published in any language; comprehending everything remarkable in its kind, in Europe, Asia, Africa, and America.  by John Green (fl. 1730-1753) -- Compiler,  and Thomas Astley -- Author / Publisher. Vol 4 (Description of China, of Korea, eastern Tartary and Tibet. Travels through Tartary, Tibet, and Bukharia, to and from China, 1246-1698.) 1747  (Fr Regis' / Du Halde text from p319 of Vol 4 until 329, followed by Churchill's Hamel text until page 347)

The Modern Part of an Universal History, From the Earliest Account of Time, Compiled from Original Writers - Vol. VIII - The History of China. S. Richardson, London, 1759. Account of Korea from page 520 of Volume 8 of the Universal History: APPENDIX to the Chinese History

The entire Universal History was then translated into French and published as: Histoire Universelle, Depuis Le Commencement Du Monde Jusqu'A Présent: Composée en Anglois par une Société de Gens de Lettres : Nouvellement Traduite En François Par Une Société De Gens De Lettres. Histoire Moderne ; 14 : contenant la suite de l'histoire de la Chine, celle de la Corée, et partie de celle du Japon, Paris: Moutard, 1783 (the section on Korea begins on page 387)

Jean-François de La Harpe: a multi-volume encyclopedia Abrégé de l'histoire générale des voyages which was re-edited and in part re-written in the 19th century. In the original 1780 edition, the account of Korea begins on page 343.  In the 1820 edition, the account of Korea begins on page 76.

Jean François de Galaup, comte de Lapérouse. Voyage de La Pérouse autour du Monde. Rédigé par M. L. A. Milet-Mureau, Général de Brigade dans le Corps du Génie, Directeur des Fortifications, Ex -Constituant, Membre de plusieurs Sociétés littéraires de Paris. Paris, Imprimerie de la République. An 5 (1797). In four volumes plus an atlas: Volume 1Volume 2
; Accounts of Korea in the 18th century Volume 3 Accounts of Korea in the 18th century Volume 4Atlas with plates, charts etc. The account of Korea  starts on p384 of Volume 2 continued in the opening chapter of Volume 3

Jean François de Galaup, comte de Lapérouse. Accounts of Korea in the 18th century A voyage round the world in the years 1785, 1786, 1787 and 1788, by J. F. G. de la Pérouse published conformably to the Decree of the National Assembly on the 22d April 1791, and edited by M. L. A. Milet-Mureau, Brigadier General in the Corps of Engineers, Director of Fortifications, Ex-Constitutent, and member of several literary societies at Paris. In Three Volumes. Translated from the French.  London : Printed for J. Johnson, St. Paul's Church Yard. Volume 1 of 1st editionVol 2 of the Second Edition; Volume 3 of 1st edition; Volume 3 of 2nd edition. The English edition also included an Atlas: Charts And Plates To La Perouse's Voyage.
The account by Lapérouse of his journey past Korea begins on page 351 of Volume 2 of the second edition.

William Robert Broughton.   A Voyage of Discovery to the North Pacific Ocean London: T. Cadell and Ms. Daviss. 1804

Basil Hall.  Voyage to Loo-Choo, and other places in the eastern seas, in the year 1816. (Edinburgh 1826).  The account of Korea is in Chapter Two

Sir Edward Belcher
Narrative of the Voyage of H.M.S. Samarang [links to volume 1; click here for volume 2]  London : Reeve, Benham, and Reeve, 1848. Visit to Korea in Volume 1 pages 324 - 358