Hesperus Press LTD Digital

  • As part of The Living you cannot die. As part of The Living you have no free will. Yet one man is born who is different to the rest; one who could bring society crashing down. A stunning and sinister vision of a dystopian future by a critically acclaimed young Russian author.

  • First published in 1930 and shortlisted for the Pulitzer Prize, The Great Meadow is a historical novel set in the early days of the settling of Kentucky. Intertwined with a flowing romantic sage of young love on the Kentucky trail are richly painted scenes of colonial America.First published in 1930 and shortlisted for the Pulitzer Prize, The Great Meadow is a historical novel set in the early days of the settling of Kentucky. Intertwined with a flowing romantic sage of young love on the Kentucky trail are richly painted scenes of colonial America.

  • In 1902, the young German writer Rainer Maria Rilke travelled to Paris to write a monograph on the sculptor Auguste Rodin. He returned to the city many times over the course of his life, by turns inspired and appalled by the high culture and low society. Paris was a lifelong source of inspiration for Rilke. Perhaps most significantly, the letters he wrote about it formed the basis of his prose masterpiece, The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge. This volume brings together a new translation of Rilke's essay on poetry, Notes on the Melody of Things, and the first English translation of Rilke's experiences in Paris as observed by his French translator, Maurice Betz.

  • The four March sisters, Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy live in Concord, Massachussetts, with their beloved mother while their father is stationed far away as an army chaplain in the civil war. Although not well off financially they are nonetheless well known in the neighbourhood for their charitable work. The girls amuse themselves at home with imaginative fun and games, including performing plays and writing sketches. They are the picture of a loving family and each daughter has her own part to play in it. As time passes each sister grows to understand her own strengths and weaknesses. By trial and frequent error, under the supportive eye of their mother, they grow in confidence and find their characters. Many people in the community become very fond of the girls and they forge friendships with numerous neighbours. But difficult situations and decisions lie ahead for the four sisters as the story unfolds. The March girls are so deftly and vividly drawn that everyone who reads this book will identify with one sister in the story, whether they are reading Little Women for the first time as a child or rereading it for the hundredth time as an adult.

  • Charlotte Brontë's first ever book, The Professor, is a love story full of feeling and emotion told from a male viewpoint – a must read for Brontë fans. The first book ever to emerge from Charlotte Brontë's pen, The Professor is an autobiographically inspired romantic love story set in Brussels. Thinly veiling her personal experiences, Brontë unusually uses a male narrator, making this a fascinating and unique read. With the action played out in dark boarding-school classrooms and windy streets, Brontë weaves a tale of much emotion – one that foresees the longer, better-known saga Villette that was to follow many years later. Fresh out of Eton, orphaned William Crimsworth finds himself in an unenviable situation – a clerk to his little-educated, caddish mill-owner brother – until opportunity presents itself for a complete change of fortune. Crimsworth is offered a job in Brussels as a teacher in an all-girls boarding school, run by a M Pelet. Later headhunted to a better position by the beguiling Zoraide Reuter, Crimsworth believes himself slightly enamoured with his new employer – only to discover her secretly and perfidiously engaged to M Pelet. His new position almost intolerable, Crimsworth finds solace in teaching Frances Henri, a young Swiss-English seamstress teacher with promising intelligence and ear for language. Mlle Reuter though, jealous of the young professor's obvious partiality, dismisses Frances from her position. Crimsworth, in despair, is forced to resign from the school and takes up a ghostly existence in Brussels, roaming the streets in the hopes of finding his Frances. An often neglected classic, The Professor is not only a compellingly written novel but fascinating in its concern with gender issues, religion and social class, making it a book still studied today.

  • A captivating portrait of some of Charles Dickens' most memorable female characters presented by popular actress Miriam Margolyes to accompany her hugely successful one-woman show touring the world in 2012. In his novels Dickens presents a series of unrivalled portraits of women, young and old. From Little Nell to Miss Havisham, these girls and women speak to us today, making us laugh and sometimes cry. The popular British actress Miriam Margolyes will be touring the world in 2012, the bicentenary of Dickens birth, with a one-woman show about Dickens' women, and this book accompanies the show by building on the script and expanding to include many more of the female characters Dickens described and analysed so astutely in his novels. 'Mrs Pipchin was a marvellous ill-favoured, ill-conditioned old lady, of a stooping figure, with a mottled face, like bad marble, a hook nose, and a hard grey eye, that looked as if it might have been hammered at on an anvil without sustaining any injury.

  • Cold Blood. Cold Case. Cold Courage. When Lia witnesses a disturbing scene on her way to work, she, like the rest of the City of London, is captivated and horrified. As details unfurl in the media, the brutal truth emerges - a Latvian prostitute has been killed, her body run over by a steamroller and then placed in the boot of a car to be found. As the weeks pass and no leads are found, the news story dies but Lia finds herself unable to forget. When she meets Mari, another Finn living in London, she thinks it fortuitous, but Mari has engineered the meeting for her own advantage. There is much more to Mari than meets the eye: she possesses an unnatural ability to 'read' people, to see into their innermost thoughts and pre-empt their actions. Mari heads up a unit she calls the 'Studio' - a group she employs made up of four disparate people: a hacker, a set designer, a private detective and an actress. They are loyal to Mari, and she has bound them to her by granting them life-changing favours. Cold Courage is a gripping psychological thriller debut by award-winning Finnish author Pekka Hiltunen - skilfully paced, intense and intelligent.

  • Travel to the Orient with Rudyard Kipling in the latest instalment of Hesperus's bestselling 'On' series. Rudyard Kipling spent many years abroad and his relationship with India is explored in several of his works, both fiction and non-fiction. After leaving school, Kipling was sent to Lahore to take up a job at a local newspaper. He would go on, a few years later, to take up a post at the Pioneer in Allahabad. Kipling said that only a few hours after arriving in India: 'my English years fell away, nor ever, I think, came back in full strength...' Whilst working for the Pioneer Kipling wrote a series of sketches about life in India. In 1889, he left India to become the Pioneer's roving correspondent; he would travel to Burma, Singapore, Hong Kong, Canton and Japan. This collection comprises essays from both his sketches of India and the rest of the Orient, showcasing Kipling's observations, opinions and itinerary. Although his writings might feature in some places outdated opinions and points of view, his eye for detail, character and colour, along with his masterful style, give these pieces a timeless feel and shed new light on the writings of a writer with which we thought we were familiar.

  • Meander through Provence in the company of Henry James experiencing the sights, culture and sounds of late nineteenth-century Southern France in this new book in Hesperus's bestselling 'On' series. In 1882, a year after the publication of his wildly successful The Portrait of a Lady, which dealt with the difficulties faced by American expatriate Daisy Miller in Europe, Henry James set out a six-week tour of south-eastern France, taking in Tours, Bourges, Nantes, Toulouse and Arles. Although a sometime resident of Paris, James was convinced that the soul of France resided not in the capital but in the provinces, and he set out to find it. Beginning in Touraine, James followed the course of the Rhô;ne north to Burgundy, writing articles on architecture, literature and personal observation that were serialised in The Atlantic Monthly. The resulting work is a fascinating patchwork, switching seamlessly between the broad strokes of classic travel writing and the smallest details of human behaviour for which James is best known. On provence is at once an excellent example of James' prose writing and an outstanding work of travel writing in its own right.

  • In his three short stories, 'For a Night of Love', 'Nantas', and 'Fasting', Emile Zola presents characters in search of fulfilment - romantic, religious, and financial. Read together, For a Night of Love is an extraordinary depiction of sexual mores. When the apparently angelic Thérèse commits murder, she offers sexual favours to a petty clerk if he will dispose of the body; the pregnant Flavie manipulates a neighbour's interest in her dowry to arrange a shotgun wedding; churchgoing women find their hunger for Christianity unsatisfied by a vapid priest - these beautiful and poignant stories are united by the powerful themes of deception and dissatisfaction.

  • Two authors. One idea. Who will be the first to write the best book in the world? This hilarious new Scandinavian sensation from Swedish author Peter Stjernström is a witty satire that can't be missed! Titus Jensen is waiting for his big break. But he's middle-aged, has rather a fondness for alcohol and no one seems to take his writing seriously enough. Eddie X is cool. Eddie X is a hit with the ladies and loves being the centre of attention. A radical poet and regular on the festival circuit, he is looking for his next big project to gain more adoring fans. One night, after a successful literary event at which Titus reads from The Diseases of Swedish Monarchs and Eddie X waxes lyrical to the thrashing tones of metal band The Tourettes, the unlikely pair get horribly drunk together and hatch a plan. There's only one thing for a budding writer to do to get worldwide recognition: write the best book in the world – a book so amazing that it will end up on all the bestseller lists in every category imaginable, thriller, self-help, cookery, business, dieting… a book that combines everything in one! But there is only room for one such amazing book and as the alcohol-induced haze clears Titus and Eddie X both realise they are not willing to share the limelight. Who will win the race to write the best book in the world, and to what unimaginable lengths will they go to get there first…? Hilariously quirky but surprisingly touching, The Best Book in the World will take you on a meandering race to the finish line, throwing plenty of satirical punches along the way.

  • With humour, wit and insight David Carter provides an account of the trials and tribulations of the Nobel Prize in Literature, together with tongue-in-cheek guidelines for the would-be laureate. There are acclaimed writers "€“ James Joyce, Marcel Proust, Leo Tolstoy, Mark Twain "€“ who never won the Nobel Prize "€“ and others, less well-known, such as Henryk Sienkiewicz, Paul Heyse and Wladyslaw Reymont, who did. What do you have to do to impress, or be snubbed by the Nobel Committee? Using the device of a set of guidelines for the would-be laureate, the book explores many of the unusual and controversial decisions made by the committee over the years. The reader can discover the many quirky considerations that hopeful writers must bear in mind. Certain factors always help, such as 'being a man' and 'having your work translated into Swedish'. Presenting interesting quotes from the presentation and acceptance speeches and from other sources in the writers' works, David Carter provides answers to some intriguing questions, such as: Why did some writers refuse to accept the prize, and why were others rejected? Is there evidence for political, ideological and geographical bias in the selection? Why was it sometimes awarded to two writers and sometimes not at all? What does it actually take to win?With humour, wit and insight David Carter provides an account of the trials and tribulations of the Nobel Prize in Literature, together with tongue-in-cheek guidelines for the would-be laureate. There are acclaimed writers – James Joyce, Marcel Proust, Leo Tolstoy, Mark Twain – who never won the Nobel Prize – and others, less well-known, such as Henryk Sienkiewicz, Paul Heyse and Wladyslaw Reymont, who did. What do you have to do to impress, or be snubbed by the Nobel Committee? Using the device of a set of guidelines for the would-be laureate, the book explores many of the unusual and controversial decisions made by the committee over the years. The reader can discover the many quirky considerations that hopeful writers must bear in mind. Certain factors always help, such as 'being a man' and 'having your work translated into Swedish'. Presenting interesting quotes from the presentation and acceptance speeches and from other sources in the writers' works, David Carter provides answers to some intriguing questions, such as: Why did some writers refuse to accept the prize, and why were others rejected? Is there evidence for political, ideological and geographical bias in the selection? Why was it sometimes awarded to two writers and sometimes not at all? What does it actually take to win?

  • Before Adam is Jack London's fictional tour de force. In it, he brilliantly recreates the dawn of humanity, depicting the prehistoric world as a place of dark conflict where only the strongest will survive. Tormented by a succession of terrifying dreams, the narrator is faced with the strange truth that his consciousness has become intertwined with that of Big Tooth, his Mid-Pleistocene ancestor. Through these dream memories, he witnesses Big Tooth's life "€“ a life as one of the 'Folk' race, without developed language, social structure or fire. He sees, too, the Folk's fierce battles for survival against the more advanced Fire People, and the primitive Tree People. As he struggles to make sense of Big Tooth's world, he begins questioning the very notion of eugenics, making Before Adam one of the most pertinent works of its time.Before Adam is Jack London's fictional tour de force. In it, he brilliantly recreates the dawn of humanity, depicting the prehistoric world as a place of dark conflict where only the strongest will survive. Tormented by a succession of terrifying dreams, the narrator is faced with the strange truth that his consciousness has become intertwined with that of Big Tooth, his Mid-Pleistocene ancestor. Through these dream memories, he witnesses Big Tooth's life – a life as one of the 'Folk' race, without developed language, social structure or fire. He sees, too, the Folk's fierce battles for survival against the more advanced Fire People, and the primitive Tree People. As he struggles to make sense of Big Tooth's world, he begins questioning the very notion of eugenics, making Before Adam one of the most pertinent works of its time.

  • Louis Roubien has much to be thankful for. Now an old man, the head of a large family, his many hard years of work on the land have transformed him from a peasant farmer into a prosperous and satisfied freeholder, distributing his largesse among his relatives and the local community. But with success has come hubris, and when the rains, hitherto a harbinger of plenty, come, and the banks of the River Garonne swell and burst, Roubien sees everything for which he has striven swept away by the raging waters of the flood. His livelihood taken from him in one fell blow, it remains to be seen whether Roubien will at least be left his life, and the lives of those he holds dear. The Flood, along with the complementary stories presented here, the celebrated 'Blood' and 'Three Wars', is a fascinating example of Zola experimenting with surrealist styles, in a departure from the dark realism for which he is more commonly known. The eternal theme of man versus nature writ large, it is a timely reminder of our fragility and impermanence before the unyielding elements.

  • The first novel by one of the greatest writers of Latin American literature, The Mad Toy is a semi-autobiographical story reflecting the energy and chaos of the early twentieth century in Argentina. First published in 1920, The Mad Toy is set in Buenos Aires in the early twentieth century. Feeling the alienation of youth, Silvio Astier's gang tours neighbourhoods, inflicting waves of petty crime, stealing from homes and shops until the police are forced to intervene. Drifting then from one career and subsequent crime to another, Silvio's main difficulty is his own intelligence, with which he grapples. Writing in the language of the streets and basing his writings in part on his own experience, with his characters wandering in a modern world, Arlt creates a book that combines realism, humour and anger with detective story. Trailblazing for Boom writers who were to follow him such as Gabriel García Márquez and Isabel Allende, Roberto Arlt is rated as one of the greatest Argentinean writers. Although astronomically famous in South America, Roberto Arlt's name is still relatively unknown in Anglophone circles, but the rising wave of appreciation of South American literature is bringing him to the fore.

  • A moving and witty portrayal of a family and community in turmoil during the Second World War. It is 1942 and the sleepy village of Saint-Boniface in the Ardèche has become stuffed with refugees from all over France and indeed Europe. Expats, exiles and migrant Jews all mingle together. Daily life is shambolic. Several Jewish families have washed up in Saint-Boniface, lodged in guest houses and rented farmhouses, they are attempting to carve out a new life for themselves among the folded hills and isolated farmsteads. Battling against the bureaucracy and paperwork of Vichy-France and the spectre of the Germans closing in on the Free Zone, the families struggle to get used to the local ways, just as the locals struggle to accept them. From the non-existent toilets and lack of electricity to black market dealings and the self-serving, sadistic gendarme, life in Saint-Boniface is challenging and spirited. Welcome to the Free Zone is a vivid and dark humoured novel based on the true story of Nathalie and Ladislas Gara, who take on the role of the Verès family in the book. Originally published in 1946 this new translation with revive this extraordinary tale.

  • Published in 1904 The Food of the Gods is a forgotten H.G. Wells classic; it is sci-fi and dystopia at its best written by the creator and master of the genre. Following extensive research in the field of 'growth', Mr Bensington and Professor Redwood light upon a new mysterious element, a food that causes greatly accelerated development. Initially christening their discovery 'The Food of the Gods', the two scientists are overwhelmed by the possible ramifications of their creation. With Aunt Jane refusing to give house room to their experiments, Mr Besington is forced to take his laboratory out into the wide world, and chooses a farm at Hickleybrow in Kent that offers him the chance to test his new substance on chickens, which duly grow monstrous, six or seven times their usual size. With the farmer, Mr Skinner, failing to contain the spread of the Food, chaos soon reigns as reports come in of the local population's encounter with monstrous wasps, earwigs and rats. When the chickens escape, they leave carnage in their wake. Keen not to be outdone, the Skinners and Redwoods have both been feeding their children the compound illicitly "€“ their eventual offspring will constitute a new age of giants. Public opinion rapidly turns against the scientists and society as a whole rebels against the world's new flora and fauna. Daily life has changed shockingly and now politicians are involved, trying to stamp out the Food of the Gods and the giant race. Comic and at times surprisingly touching and tragic, Wells' story is a cautionary tale warning against the rampant advances of science but also of the dangers of greed and political infighting and shameless vote-seeking.

  • Roll over Maigret. Commissaire Dupin has arrived. Death in Pont-Aven is a classic' M.C. Beaton A baffling murder in an idyllic French seaside village, a tangle of family secrets and a puzzling mystery await Commissaire Dupin in this captivating whodunit thriller. Commissaire Georges Dupin, a cantankerous, Parisian-born caffeine junkie, is dragged from his croissants and coffee one morning to the scene of a curious murder. Ninety-one-year-old hotelier Pierre Louis Pennec has been found dead on his restaurant floor. The killing shatters the peace of the Breton village of Pont-Aven - a seaside community where everyone knows one another and nothing much seems to happen. As Dupin's investigation proceeds, he uncovers a web of secrecy and silence that belies the village's idyllic image. The first in the Commissaire Dupin series, Death in Pont-Aven introduces the enigmatic policeman whose peculiar methods of detection raise more than a few eyebrows. Packed with the atmosphere of a beautiful seaside village, mouth-watering Breton cuisine and the smell of the Atlantic air, this is a spellbinding, subtle crime novel, full of wry humour and surprising twists. Over 700,000 copies sold worldwide.

  • Follow the tangled web of relationships and emotions of the Dark and Penhollow families in this endearing classic, from the author of Anne of Green Gables.Aunt Becky's will is proving problematic. She has left the most precious of her possessions, an antique jug, to one of her beneficiaries – but has stipulated that the person may only be identified after a year has elapsed, once all of the family members have striven to live up to Aunt Becky's ideals. But the Dark and the Penhallow families are complex and numerous indeed – over three generations, sixty members of the Penhallow family have married sixty members of the Dark family, creating a tangled web of relationships and emotions. What lengths will family members go to to win the heirloom and can anyone live up to what Aunt Becky would have wanted…? The tumultuous and intertwined personal and love lives of the Penhallows and Dark smakes makes for entertaining reading in this cleverly crafted novel, characterized by Montgomery's piercing evaluations of character and skill of description.

  • An unique civilian eye-view of the First World War, depicting, through letters, a fascinating before and after picture of a French community in disarray. What looked impossible is evidently coming to pass... ...I silently returned to my garden and sat down. War again! This time war close by - not war about which one can read, as one reads it in the newspapers, as you will read it in the States, far away from it, but war right here - if the Germans can cross the frontier. A Hilltop on the Marne is a collection of letters written by Mildred Aldrich, an American expatriate who had bought a country farmhouse near Paris in the spring of 1914. Writing to her friends back home, she describes her idyllic life in Huiry, the minutiae of her farmhouse and her daily life. Ignoring the panicked pleadings of friends that she return to the United States as the political situation in Europe darkens, Aldrich stands firm in her decision to stay in France and her village, come what may. As war breaks out she looks out over Marne valley at the armies moving, hears the cannonade in the distance and watches as soldiers of all nations march down the lanes in turn. Aldrich's narrative goes on to describe the subsequent events of the war until America's entry into the fray and, returning to her narrative after the war, she described the process of rebuilding local life.

  • Set at the turn of the century, The Time of Man tells the moving story of Ellen Chesser, a young woman with a mind of her own. She and her family travel from one small community to another in rural Kentucky, eking out a living as itinerant farmworkers. Initially she feels isolated and lonely, resenting the hardship of her life and longing to be with her childhood friends. Yet slowly she learns what it means to fall in love and forges lasting friendships with other young people at the local dances. She is left stunned, therefore, when the man she is to marry comes to her to confess a dark secret. His past is shameful to him and heartbreaking for her, but Ellen's independent spirit and strength of character sustain her in the aftermath. When further accusations come to light, they threaten to disturb the tranquility of her life and that of the community where she lives forever. Written in the subtle, soaring prose for which Elizabeth Madox Roberts was known, The Time of Man is a spectacular coming of age story. As she grows older, Ellen Chesser is forced to confront the darker side of human nature but ultimately manages to overcome the difficulties she faces with a resolute dignity.

  • A moving and insightful biography of the later years of classic British author E.M. Forster's life, written by his close personal friend Tim Leggatt. In 1946, many years after the last of his acclaimed novels was published, E.M. Forster was made a fellow of King's College, Cambridge, where he was to spend much of his later life. It was here that he met Tim Leggatt, a young undergraduate who was to become a firm friend. In this memoir Leggatt draws for the first time on the previously unpublished correspondence he exchanged with Forster, as well as journals of their travels together, Forster's own confidential diary and his Commonplace Book. In Forster's declining years his thoughts often concerned his tangled sex life and his health, his increasing blindness and deafness and his hospital visits, all of which led him think about death, how he would meet it, and how others did. Included are many of his sharp and attractive descriptions of people and scenes, those of a very perceptive and thoughtful writer.A moving and insightful biography of the later years of classic British author E.M. Forster's life, written by his close personal friend Tim Leggatt. In 1946, many years after the last of his acclaimed novels was published, E.M. Forster was made a fellow of King's College, Cambridge, where he was to spend much of his later life. It was here that he met Tim Leggatt, a young undergraduate who was to become a firm friend. In this memoir Leggatt draws for the first time on the previously unpublished correspondence he exchanged with Forster, as well as journals of their travels together, Forster's own confidential diary and his Commonplace Book. In Forster's declining years his thoughts often concerned his tangled sex life and his health, his increasing blindness and deafness and his hospital visits, all of which led him think about death, how he would meet it, and how others did. Included are many of his sharp and attractive descriptions of people and scenes, those of a very perceptive and thoughtful writer.

  • Addressed to a petrified Victorian society, this spine-chilling volume, long of out print and here republished in a modern edition, brings together a collection of unnerving stories of live burials and narrow escapes. An assortment of anecdotes based on historical materials and real accounts, Premature Burial was written to reassure or warn nineteenth-century readers concerned about being buried alive. This was seemingly an alarmingly frequent occurrence; one of the book's authors himself, Dr Vollum, had narrowly escaped live sepulture after almost drowning. Gruesome stories abound: desperate men and women attempting to claw their way out of coffins; a family tradition of stabbing dead bodies in the heart to prevent live burial that results in a father stabbing his own daughter (who turned out to have been alive). There are also the more cheery tales of apparently dead bodies waking in the middle of their own funerals and accounts of last minute miracle reprieves. The authors uncovered a truly fearsome number of stories and gathered a large amount of scientific detail from a multitude of countries. Presenting detailed descriptions of a coffin that detects a breathing 'corpse' and sounds an alarm and giving the specifics of a waiting mortuary staffed twenty-four hours a day in which 'dead' bodies are given a chance to come round (or putrefy), Premature Burial offers potential solutions as well as terrifying anecdotes.Addressed to a petrified Victorian society, this spine-chilling volume, long of out print and here republished in a modern edition, brings together a collection of unnerving stories of live burials and narrow escapes. An assortment of anecdotes based on historical materials and real accounts, Premature Burial was written to reassure or warn nineteenth-century readers concerned about being buried alive. This was seemingly an alarmingly frequent occurrence; one of the book's authors himself, Dr Vollum, had narrowly escaped live sepulture after almost drowning. Gruesome stories abound: desperate men and women attempting to claw their way out of coffins; a family tradition of stabbing dead bodies in the heart to prevent live burial that results in a father stabbing his own daughter (who turned out to have been alive). There are also the more cheery tales of apparently dead bodies waking in the middle of their own funerals and accounts of last minute miracle reprieves. The authors uncovered a truly fearsome number of stories and gathered a large amount of scientific detail from a multitude of countries. Presenting detailed descriptions of a coffin that detects a breathing 'corpse' and sounds an alarm and giving the specifics of a waiting mortuary staffed twenty-four hours a day in which 'dead' bodies are given a chance to come round (or putrefy), Premature Burial offers potential solutions as well as terrifying anecdotes.

  • In one of his best-known books, From the Earth to the Moon, Jules Verne described how a group of men in The Gun Club of Baltimore used a giant cannon to send a spacecraft to the moon. Now, in this sequel, the gun is brought into use again to achieve an equally ambitious aim - to tilt the earth's axis so that the North Pole is displaced to the Tropics. The plotters believe there are limitless resources of coal at the North Pole and their cunning plan will allow them to exploit these resources to become rich. In spite of its disregard for anything approaching scientific plausibility, this enjoyable book has a modern resonance in a world in which conserving energy is increasingly important, and the dangers of climate change - one huge consequence if the Gun Club's plot succeeds - are daily in the forefront of the news.

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