#TheRedSleeve : historical facts, novel and drama. What’s true by the way ? A thread
Warning ⚠️ : I make this thread bc I’ve read a lot of twt saying : « poor Deok Im. You blamed her for rejecting San, but she lived in hell as a concubine ». This interpretation is the one given by the drama and the novel. Truth may be elsewhere …#TheRedSleeve
#TheRedSleeve cuff (the novel) is a fiction based on real events and real people. The author made a lot of research to write the book. But a lot of materials came out after the release of the book. Some events are totally fictional, as the way things are portrayed…
The novel is based, as the title suggests on Deok Im and the others court ladies maid. It’s her point of view which is given. But, there’s no direct historical material from her (except her transcripts). Everything come indirectly from Jeongjo and the palace.
#TheRedSleeve (drama) is loosely based on the novel. The characters hold the same name but the stories are very different.
In the drama, the main character is San, which is portrayed as an endless lover. It’s pure fiction made on purpose.
#TheRedSleeve (drama) has been romanticized to please to the female audience. San never proposed a 1000 times, and wasn’t rejected 999 times by Deok Im. The court ladies conspiracy was pure fiction and isn’t credible as historical material.
Why Deok Im refused twice to become a concubine ? Let’s see what historians say …
The royal consort who carries the heir of the throne is the most powerful and richest woman in Joseon. So when Deok Im refused at 14 and 29 to become San’s concubine, she litterally refused the most eligible position in the country for a woman at that time.
Historians have no clue why Deok Im refused to become a concubine & there’s no precedent known. For 2 reasons in my opinion: It’s no common to refuse what’s expected as the best position to achieve as a court lady. A court maid lady is the property of the king and has no right.
What’s is also uncommon is the fact that San respected her will when she refused him at 14. He could easily have forced her but he didn’t
What do we know about the 1st proposal: San asked Deok Im when he was 15 bc the crown prince had the right to take a concubine from 15 years. He was already married (at 10) to the queen Hyoui but the relationship between them wasn’t good.
We also know that Deok Im and San met when they were children (and not like in the drama). As San was sent away, after Sado’s death, living with his grandfather, they probably didn’t see each other during that time. He didn’t see his mother for years only exchanging letters…
We also know San asked Deok Im directly, which was not usual (the proposal is made by a third person).
Deok Im was San’s mother court lady maid, but Lady Hyegyeong treated her more like her child rather than a domestic. So Deok Im was closed if San’s sisters and …Queen Hyoui
The way San is portrayed by #LeeJunHo in #TheRedSleeve is totally fictional for rating purpose. King Yeongjo is described as a cold hearted person, who never showed his feelings. His description in the novel seems more faithful.
The drama doesn’t show how many people from his family he killed or exiled except his aunt, his brother and the brother of Queen Dowager
But what’s accurate is that many family members plotted to prevent him to access to the throne as it might have been the case for Prince Sado. There were also several killing attempts.
So San was never the romantic lover described in the drama, bc this kind of fantasized romance only exists in drama. But it doesn’t mean he didn’t love madly Deok Im, and the proofs lasted until today.
San is the only king of Joseon who ever write those words « I love you » to one of his consort. Nobody ever did in a society where people are not inclined to express their feelings by pudor. The elegy he wrote after his death is heartbroken and his love for her is crystal clear
San, known for his stinginess, built a all new palace for Mun Hyo, which he never did for the next heir of the throne. When Deok Im died, he stayed working in her palace as if he couldn’t let her go.
Even if Deok Im wasn’t part of the royal family, San managed to bury her not far away from Mun Hyo so the mother and her son could be next together.
San, who was known to be righteous (or even psychorigid) broke several rules for Deok Im. She was allowed to see her family members, even if they didn’t live into the palace.
At the very end, if the love of the king for the court lady maid is known and proven, nobody can really tell if the court lady maid loved the king bc at that time, nobody cared about women’s feelings, and even less a court lady maid…
End of the thread
Did San exchanged her aunt’s life (princess Hwawan) against her adopted son’s irl like in the drama #TheRedSleeve ? No, after ascending to the throne, San condemned both to suicide, but Hwawan didn’t take the poison and stayed in exile. #LeeSeYoung #LeeJunHo

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More from @lullydash

May 6
I really had high hopes for #TheRedSleeve at the #BaeksangArtsAwards2022 . Congrats to #LeeJunHo for best actor & popularity award : this amazing actor has finally his season! He’s getting what he deserved for #JustBetweenLovers .Even if every nominee deserved to win, I can’t ….
…help to be disappointed for #TheRedSleeve cast & god Ji In. I wanted them to get the #BaeksangArtsAwards2022 recognition they deserved for all the joy (& pain) they brought to us. I’m specially disappointed for #LeeSeYoung . Even if I knew she could miss the best actress award.
I really wanted her to have it (don’t misunderstand me: Kim TaeRi nailed it as Hee Do). Because #LeeSeYoung is such a dedicate & passionate actress, I wanted to see that her efforts haven’t betrayed her. For someone who almost quit acting, this award would have been the proof…
Read 4 tweets
May 5
#TheRedSleeve challenge : the poem North wind from the book of odes #LeeSeYoung #LeeJunHo #BaeksangArtsAwards2022 #BaeksangArtsAwards
The book of odes plays a main role in #TheRedSleeve. It’s one of san’s favorite book. He offered it to Deok Im when they went together to the bookstore. She would read the poem during his lockdown and then let the book in his room, despite Yeongjo’s orders #LeeSeYoung #LeeJunHo
The Book of odes (Shih-ching) is the oldest existing collection of Chinese poetry, comprising 305 works dating from the 11th-7th centuries BC, said to have been compiled by Confucius. It has been studied and by scholars in China over two millennia #TheRedSleeve
Read 18 tweets
May 4
#TheRedSleeve challenge : peak comedy scene - court ladies maids can be really frightening #BaeksangArtsAwards2022 #Baeksang #BaeksangArtsAwards #LeeSeYoung #LeeJunHo
As i said many times before, what of the best aspects of #TheRedSleeve is the author’s ability to mix comedy & drama genres.
It loosened up the atmosphere when things may become too heavy. #LeeSeYoung #LeeJunHo
In this scene, Deok Im has been gone for a while at the queen’s palace (the number 1 rival of San). Plus San has seen Deok Ro & Deok Im in the middle of the night very close to each of other…So, San, jealous, is pissed off and no court lady maid want to be near him #TheRedSleeve
Read 7 tweets
May 2
#TheRedSleeve challenge : *seduction course 101 by royal guard * aka how San is so desperate with Deok Im that he’s asking for the royal guard’s tips #LeeJunHo #LeeSeYoung
One of the (many) strengths of #TheRedSleeve script , is the writer’s hability to mix in the same episod pure comedy with pure tragedy (so we can laugh & cry, except ep17 which was 💯😭).
San being quite desperate after so many refusals from Deok Im, is asking for help from his faithful royal guard’ advice! The royal guard is one of the best character of #TheRedSleeve. It’s an invented character that brings humor & lightness to the story
Read 6 tweets
Apr 16
It’s an historical fact that JeongJo was an excellent archer (one of the best archer of Joseon along with king Taejo, the general who founded the dynasty) #TheRedSleeve #LeeJunHo #LeeSeYoung
When Deok Im confessed to her friends that the man she loves is neither a scholar or a warrior, it’s rather true & false at the same time. True bc San was the crown prince, false as he had both exceptional intellectual & physical abilities #TheRedSleeve #LeeJunHo #LeeSeYoung
Read 10 tweets
Apr 15
Nota: this thread will be a mix of historical facts and events from the drama #TheRedSleeve #LeeJunHo #LeeSeYoung
Queen Jeongsun (called the queen dowager after Yeongjo’s death) was the 2nd official consort of the king. She married him at 13 yo. Yeongjo was already 64 yo. She was 10 years younger than Sado & 6 years older than San. #TheRedSleeve #LeeJunHo #LeeSeYoung
Read 24 tweets

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