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The Neo-Confucian kingship was based on the ideal of the sage king, an ordinary human being rendered supreme through his extraordinary virtue. The eighteenth-century Korean ruler Y ngjo, one of that country's most illustrious yet most tragic rulers, is a fascinating example of the Neo-Confucian sage kingship. In this book, JaHyun Kim Haboush provides an outstanding, dramatically realized introduction to traditional Korean culture through the story of Y ngjo, and offers profound insights into the complex interplay between Confucian rhetoric and the politics of the Yi monarchy. Haboush focuses on the deteriorating relationship between Y ngjo and his only son, Crown Prince Sado, and relates the agonizing choices the Confucian ruler was forced to make between saving either his son or his dynasty. Originally published as A Heritage of Kings, this paperback edition contains a new preface reflecting new discoveries and updated scholarship in the field.