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Author Section > The Passionate Brood Margaret Campbell Barnes

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message 1: by Misfit (last edited Aug 29, 2010 09:17AM) (new)

Misfit | 251 comments OK, I'm about 60 pages into this and it isn't going well. While I'll cut her some slack as this was written years ago (I'll forget Johanna's velvet gown), but I'm having trouble with the historical timeline and looking for some help.

As the book opens Eleanor is out of Salisbury (not much mention of any rebellion of the sons, just that Eleanor had too much control over the boys). Georffrey is dead, but young Henry is uncrowned and whining for lands. Richard has a *foster brother* of peasant stock (!!) called Robin (I'm assuming as in Robin Hood to be). This Robin has been well educated and even written a book.

Johanna's marriage has just been settled, Rosamund is dead of poison and Henry's lusting after Alys (called Ann here). Richard and Henry spot the pair in a clutch and Henry bans Richard to Navarre. I put the book down right at the time that "Richard Plantagenet" shows up at a tournament and no one there with only Blondel his squire in tow and he is virtually unknown as either Henry's son, The Duke of Aquitaine or even for his skills in the field.

Oh, and there was mention of Henry and Eleanor mainly living in England (Oxford in particular) and all the children were born there. Thoughts?

The Passionate Brood Richard the Lionheart, an Outcast Hero, and a Dynasty of Sinners and Saints by Margaret Campbell Barnes


message 2: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth | 42 comments Sounds like a lot of fantasy to me. The timeline doesn't match up certainly. Eleanor was kept at Salisbury for 16 years. However, she was allowed out for the occasional family gathering - just had to go back in clink afterwards! The tourney stuff is absolute tosh. Henry and Eleanor did live at Oxford for some of their reign, but only a perpatetic domus on their forever travels all over their dominions. I have an intinerary for Henry II that was available at the time this was written and it will tell you where Henry was at any given date. I used it when writing The Time of Singing/For the The King's Favor, so that when I have Ida and Henry at Woodstock (near Oxford) Henry was actually there at that time.


message 3: by Misfit (new)

Misfit | 251 comments Thanks EC. I'll carry on a bit further but it better pick up, else I'll wait for Lionheart.


message 4: by Moppet (new)

Moppet (missmoppet) | 16 comments It makes sense to me that Richard might have a foster brother of peasant stock, because when children were wet-nursed weren't the nurses were usually of peasant stock? And their children would be the foster brother or sister of the royal/noble child. But I'm not sure about the foster brother being educated and have no idea what the relationship between Richard and his foster brother might be. In the early modern period people often had their foster brother/sister as a servant.


message 5: by Moppet (new)

Moppet (missmoppet) | 16 comments Forgot to say I agree that it sounds like the author has manipulated the timeline to fit the story. And being an older book it probably won't have an author's note to tell you how or why. Irritating!


message 6: by Misfit (new)

Misfit | 251 comments Moppet wrote: "It makes sense to me that Richard might have a foster brother of peasant stock, because when children were wet-nursed weren't the nurses were usually of peasant stock? And their children would be t..."

No, this foster brother so far seems to feel right at home, not servant-like at all.

OK, so he's at Navarre, utterly charmed by Berengeria (and she in return), but they're harping on his English-ness to beat the band. Better yet, since he's merely a second son of a king he's seated at a lower table than Raymond of Toulouse. I'll leave that for EC and Sharon but does no one care about the Duke of Aquitain and whatever else titles he held?


message 7: by Misfit (new)

Misfit | 251 comments OK, he's just visited Berengeria in her rooms and they've had a hot kissed and pledged twu wuv forever. Henry the younger has died in Normandy while raising funds for the crusade.

I must leave the PC for a while, I'm downloading the Paintshop photo software I got from Amazon vine (woohoo) and with the virus down load updates its sucking all the ram out of this dinosaur.


message 8: by Moppet (new)

Moppet (missmoppet) | 16 comments This really sounds crappy. However well Richard and Berengaria got on, I refuse to believe their marriage was a love match.

Glad to hear you are copping goodies from Amazon, Misfit.


message 9: by Misfit (new)

Misfit | 251 comments Moppet wrote: "This really sounds crappy. However well Richard and Berengaria got on, I refuse to believe their marriage was a love match.

Glad to hear you are copping goodies from Amazon, Misfit."


Always happy to cop goodies, and I also got an Oral B electronic toothbrush. What fun to get to compare with my older Sonicare.

Things just aren't getting better. Henry has died, Richard is king and he's ticked off at something Robin said and declared him outlaw. Of course John is thrilled. Meantime Joanna is widowed and Richard is a-coming to her rescue.


message 10: by Misfit (new)

Misfit | 251 comments Moppet wrote: "This really sounds crappy. However well Richard and Berengaria got on, I refuse to believe their marriage was a love match.

Glad to hear you are copping goodies from Amazon, Misfit."


Always happy to cop goodies, and I also got an Oral B electronic toothbrush. What fun to get to compare with my older Sonicare.

Things just aren't getting better. Henry has died, Richard is king and he's ticked off at something Robin said and declared him outlaw. Of course John is thrilled. Meantime Joanna is widowed and Richard is a-coming to her rescue.


message 11: by Moppet (new)

Moppet (missmoppet) | 16 comments God I really wish I could get on the Vine. It's the only reason I post Amazon reviews, otherwise I wouldn't bother, but I don't think I review enough to have a chance. Oh, well.

This is starting to sound like a Robin Hood book dressed up with some historical trappings.


message 12: by Misfit (new)

Misfit | 251 comments Moppet wrote: "God I really wish I could get on the Vine. It's the only reason I post Amazon reviews, otherwise I wouldn't bother, but I don't think I review enough to have a chance. Oh, well.

This is starting t..."


Dont' know how it works on the UK end (EC?), but its a crapshoot here. I've seen some very lowly ranked reviewers with piss-poor reviews being Vine, its a all a matter of the invite. What's funny is since I only buy books that what I see on my targeted newsletters (no complaints). Recently I bought a vacuum, as well as having to order several desk top shredders for the lads at the other branches. Just for kicks I purposely used my personal Ammy account instead of the one tied to the company email. Voila! Bit changes in the recent offerings. Or so my feeble brain thinks.

I do know there have been some big ticket items given away. One time there was a very pricey treadmill - and only one available. You have to be quick on the draw (and the refresh button) when the newsletter comes out.

Keep reviewing, it isn't just vine. Well before Vine days and when Ammy started with the video reviews they gave out a ton of Flip Videos. You never know...

Back OT, ten years have passed (bizarre how she moves things forward) and Joanna is now enjoying her widowhood.


message 13: by Moppet (new)

Moppet (missmoppet) | 16 comments I will keep reviewing, thanks. Maybe they spin a knife or something. It certainly sounds like your Vine selections work the same way as recommendations. Better not order any more work stuff or you might end up with a newsletter full of paper shredders to choose from.


message 14: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth | 42 comments Lots to comment on here.
The Young King died at Martel in the Limousin in 1183 while fighting his dad and Richard. He was nowhere near Normandy.

Richard did have an educated foster brother. He was the son of Hodierna (she features in Time of Singing and Miss Moppet's Adventures in Time Travel). Hodierna was Richard's wet nurse and had a son called Alexander. He went on to become the famous scholar Alexander Neckham and wrote a book about stuff in daily life. De Nominibus Utensilium, of which I have rough translation. How much of a peasant Hodierna was I don't know. Richard pensioned her off by giving her some lands for her retirement.

Amazon Vine: I got an invite out of the blue. I had always reviewed for Amazon and garnered masses of positive votes for a review I put up warning people that a particular item wasn't what readers expected it to be. So that might have tipped the scales. I always forget to be there Thursday evening, but the times I have remembered, I've had some hair straighteners work £80.00, an epilator (ouch!) worth £65.00, an external hard drive, various bits of software, and all sorts of books. That's how I got to read Wolf Hall way ahead of the Booker. It's bloody marvellous!


message 15: by Misfit (new)

Misfit | 251 comments As I left it to head off to work. Richard is now with widowed Joanna in Sicily and apparently Eleanor and Berengeria are on their way (I think she's going to write R&B as a love match). Alys (called Ann here) is still in England and they're trying to figure out how to ship her back to France if they can't dump her on John.

Hodierna, there was some mention and I had to go back and yes I believe she is Robin's mother. I don't recall much of the foster brother in TTOS, but it has been a while. Interesting, especially the education. This foster brother is constantly referred to as peasant class (unless I'm missing the boat again), and I'm also getting some twu wuv and pining going on between him and Joanna.

This seems to have been written in 1945.


message 16: by Misfit (new)

Misfit | 251 comments As for Vine, yes just keep reviewing and hope you'll get lucky. Sometimes they'll even throw out other goodies, as in when they rolled out the video reviews they gave away a bunch of the Flip Klip videos and I was one of the lucky ones. IIRC I wasn't that highly ranked at the time, 8,000 or so.


message 17: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth | 42 comments I didn't put the foster brother in TTOS because he (Alexander) would have been long gone to his studies in the Church by then, but Hodierna is named in historical records as Richard's wet nurse.


message 18: by Misfit (new)

Misfit | 251 comments Elizabeth wrote: "I didn't put the foster brother in TTOS because he (Alexander) would have been long gone to his studies in the Church by then, but Hodierna is named in historical records as Richard's wet nurse."

Lol, it was still early. No wonder I don't remember him :)


message 19: by Moppet (new)

Moppet (missmoppet) | 16 comments That's very interesting about Alexander. It makes me wonder whether wet-nursing was a means of social mobility, or if Hodierna would have been of relatively high status to begin with.


message 20: by Jemidar (new)

Jemidar I was always under the impression that the higher born the baby the higher born his wet nurse. I should think that a Royal baby would have had a gentle woman, she may have been impoverished but wouldn't gentle birth have been required? Didn't they believe back then that all sorts of other things (like morals etc) were taken in whilst suckling?


message 21: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth | 42 comments Yes, that's right. There's a legend about a countess doing her nut because she found a lesser degree wet nurse suckling her infant and grabbed the baby and made it vomit, saying that only her milk was noble enough for her baby. This and other examples go to show that there were several different operation models in the Middle Ages and not all noble mothers used midwives.


message 22: by Moppet (new)

Moppet (missmoppet) | 16 comments This sounds like another major difference between the medieval and early modern periods - early modern noble mothers were quite happy to have their children fostered out to peasants. Royal children would have a live in wet nurse but she'd be a woman of the people and the main criteria were good health and plenty of milk. The governess, on the other hand, would be a woman of the high nobility.


message 23: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth | 42 comments I don't actually know the status of royal and comital wet nurses for the Angevin period. Hodierna is a Norman name, but would mean nothing in terms of status back then because everyone was busy being integrated. I have come across examples of both wet nurses (no idea of status) and mother-suckled infants during the 12th and 13th. I wonder if the cult of the Virgin Mary has anything to do with this. I guess contraception would play its part too since nursing mothers were not supposed to have sex and also a nursing mother would be far less likely to get pregnant, so some couples busy with the breeding programme might pop one out, hand it over to the wet nurse and get to work on the next. Eeek! So glad I didn't live back then.


message 24: by Sharon (new)

Sharon (sharonk) | 59 comments I think we know more about Richard's "milk brother" Alexander de Neckham than we do for any one else like him. Alexander was very well educated, went abroad to study, and had a distinguished career as an author and churchman, eventually becoming the abbot of Cirencester Abbey. And we know Richard was very generous to Hodierna once he became king. I seem to remember that there is an English village that still bears her name, but I can't remember where I read that, so I can't verify the source! As Elizabeth points out, contraception played a large role in the decision by highborn women not to suckle their own children. Medievals believed that a wife's primary duty was to her husband; children were definitely secondary. And of course, her major "duty" was to produce offspring for him. It might have been better for Henry if Eleanor had been a little less successful in that duty, though!
As for Richard as an "unknown" tourney knight, he was famous for his military skills since the age of 21 when he took the supposedly impregnable castle of Taillebourg in 1178, and unlike his brothers, the "Young King" and Geoffrey, he showed no interest in touraments, preferring the real thing to the dress rehearsal. There is not even any evidence that he ever participated in one. He would eventually permit tournaments to be played in parts of his domains, unlike his father, but that was done for political reasons. As for Richard and Berengaria being a "love match," I'd find that unlikely in the extreme! It is true that the chroniclers accompanying Richard on crusade said this, but medieval kings did not marry for love or lust, and the one time a king was foolhardy enough to try it (Edward IV and Elizabeth Wodville) it did not work out very well. Wheras Richard's marital alliance with Navarre proved to be very successful, as Berengaria's brother Sancho helped to control the Count of Toulouse while Richard was held captive in Germany.
And I'm with you, EC; I would not have wanted to live back then either. Of course I wouldn't have survived my medieval childhood, since I had pneumonia several times as a toddler and back then it would have been a death sentence.


message 25: by Moppet (new)

Moppet (missmoppet) | 16 comments Thanks Sharon. I didn't realise that Richard wasn't interested in tournaments. Either way the unknown knight plot is totally silly.


message 26: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth | 42 comments I Think this is interesting in that years ago this was mainstream historical fiction and no one was turning a hair at what was true and what wasn't. Now, among fans of historical fiction at least, the author would not get away with it. I wonder what has changed the mindset - better access to sources all round?


message 27: by Misfit (new)

Misfit | 251 comments Elizabeth wrote: "I Think this is interesting in that years ago this was mainstream historical fiction and no one was turning a hair at what was true and what wasn't. Now, among fans of historical fiction at least, ..."

I'm guessing the internet has a lot to do with it, as with Wik, et al it is so easy to look up smaller details. As for medievals, after Sharon and EC I'm rather spoiled and picky. I am more forgiving of the older books (I'll overlook the velvet gown), but I think what is really irking me in this one is the constant longing for the green grass of England. I thought he hated it.


message 28: by Old-Barbarossa (new)

Old-Barbarossa Sorry for barging in folks, but I have to say that I find it refreshing to find 2 authors adding comments that show a passion for the subject rather than (as on some other groups) just trying to sell books.
Damn the irony...I will now be on the lookout for your books.


message 29: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth | 42 comments Old Barbarossa, Hi! I am here strictly as a reader and you will NEVER find me touting my books on this forum. I may say 'thanks' if someone directly approaches me, but Goodreads is one of my escapes. I was a reader before I was a writer and as such, I get so cheesed off with other authors doing the promo and 'big me' thing on some of the lists I inhabit. All I want to do is talk books and perhaps a bit of research. It is such a relief to hang out with reading buddies on Goodreads and the HFO forum.
:-)
Misfit, sorry for hijacking the thread for a minute, but it's something I feel strongly about. :-)


message 30: by Misfit (new)

Misfit | 251 comments Old-Barbarossa wrote: "Sorry for barging in folks, but I have to say that I find it refreshing to find 2 authors adding comments that show a passion for the subject rather than (as on some other groups) just trying to se..."

OB, do hunt them down you won't be sorry. And yes EC, I understand your passion on this sensitive topic. It is wonderful getting input from you and Sharon on these books.


message 31: by Moppet (new)

Moppet (missmoppet) | 16 comments Welcome to the conversation, Old-Barbarossa! I highly recommend Elizabeth and Sharon's books - you can't do better for medieval fiction.

Re: promotion, I was quite shocked to find out from Dear Author that RWA members in the US were being advised in the newsletter to promote their book on Goodreads by friending everyone who had it on their shelf and then bombarding them with messages. I've heard other authors say you have to be 'aggressive' with online promotion. I think it's beyond counter-productive. I loathe 'aggressive' marketing tactics, whether it's for books or double-glazing.

Re: historical fiction, no question, the mindset has changed. I love the HF classics from the 50s and 60s I inherited from my mother, but they take far more liberties than books do today. As to why it has changed, I agree with Misfit that the internet makes it much easier to check up on facts, and to do research. I think it's part of major social change - many more people are educated to degree level and beyond than 50 years ago, and there seems to be more of a thirst for authenticity and for credibility in authors. Authors are being marketed differently too: the new editions of Barbara Erskine, for example, make a point of saying that she trained as an historian.

Two more points: HF came back into fashion with The Other Boleyn Girl, which is about a real person rather than a fictional one. I think that meant publishers were looking for more books about real historical figures - preferably a marquee name. And they were looking to break with the 1980s bodice rippers. HF needed a new image and authenticity is now one of the major factors selling a book.

Could well be the Passionate Brood type of book is still being written, but no longer making it to the shelves. Misfit, is it only the inaccuracies which are putting you off, or does the overall quality lack something too?


message 32: by Misfit (new)

Misfit | 251 comments "Could well be the Passionate Brood type of book is still being written, but no longer making it to the shelves. Misfit, is it only the inaccuracies which are putting you off, or does the overall quality lack something too?"

Moppet, I'm not caring for the story that much in general but mostly because I don't like the romancy gushy relationship with Richard, as well as his constant longing for his beloved England (Joanna's doing it too).

Sourcebooks has this one coming out later this year and has offered ARC's to bloggers so it will be interesting to see how the rest of them react to it. I'll probably finish it up tomorrow and that will be Saturday when I'm not mid-week tired so that might have an impact on my impressions. Time will tell.

Lol at Erskine being named as a historian now. Why does every novel in an historical setting have to be called HF? There is a difference. I'm still trying to get over the two new Dracula books from Mina's POV being tagged as HF. Hello?


message 33: by Misfit (new)

Misfit | 251 comments One more point, as for the authors trying to befriend everyone at Goodreads (and I am not talking about Sharon, EC et al) I am talking about receiving invites from authors I have no genre interest in, nor anything in common at all. I not only ignore the requests, I block those authors so they can't do it in the future. This kind of promotional activity puts them on an immediate do not read list.


message 34: by Moppet (new)

Moppet (missmoppet) | 16 comments Barbara Erskine does have a degree in medieval history, so I don't have the problem with her billing that I do with Philippa Gregory's (back on my hobbyhorse for another canter). I just think, years ago readers didn't care whether authors had a history degree or not, now apparently publishers think they do.

I'd categorize the Dracula books as historical fantasy or HF/Urban fantasy.


message 35: by Moppet (new)

Moppet (missmoppet) | 16 comments Back again to ask: do you happen to know if Sourcebooks offer ARCs internationally? They've got so much stuff coming out I want to read!


message 36: by Misfit (new)

Misfit | 251 comments Moppet wrote: "Back again to ask: do you happen to know if Sourcebooks offer ARCs internationally? They've got so much stuff coming out I want to read!"

Not sure, but I think Marg is on their list check with her and see for sure. They just somehow found me and put me on their mailing list. If the library has the books I try not to accept them.

Hobby horse, I like that. I don't have issues with the historian label, but if her books start getting promoted as HF instead of a book with an historical setting that's what gets my dander up.


message 37: by Sharon (new)

Sharon (sharonk) | 59 comments Hi, Old-Barbarossa. EC and I do like to sell our books :) But we both developed a passion for medieval history long before either of us began to write it, and I'm sure it will last till the grave. It is wonderful to be able to talk with people who share that passion and just plain love books. I truly could not imagine life without the Internet.


message 38: by Moppet (new)

Moppet (missmoppet) | 16 comments Misfit wrote: "Moppet wrote: "Back again to ask: do you happen to know if Sourcebooks offer ARCs internationally? They've got so much stuff coming out I want to read!"

Not sure, but I think Marg is on their li..."


Ta, I'll ask her. Would love to read their books through my library, but they will not order from a US publisher. I miss out on so much.


message 39: by Marie Z (new)

Marie Z Johansen (mzjohansen) | 13 comments I had hoped to snag a copy of this one - I enjoy MCB's books generally. Can't buy it yet either. ratz! Thanks for the reviews everyone!


message 40: by Misfit (last edited Aug 27, 2010 06:04PM) (new)

Misfit | 251 comments Marie Z. wrote: "I had hoped to snag a copy of this one - I enjoy MCB's books generally. Can't buy it yet either. ratz! Thanks for the reviews everyone!"

Marie, don't forget the library, that is where my copy came from. If they don't there is always ILL. I love that Sourcebooks is republishing these, but I pass if I can already get them via library. It just seems wasteful somehow, and I've enough books to find homes for :0


message 41: by Marie Z (new)

Marie Z Johansen (mzjohansen) | 13 comments Good point Ms. Misfit! I'll suggest they buy it. I get most things I suggest because, I think, of my Board of Trustees service. We generally can't get new books through ILL. I just went through me stack of "to be read soon" books for review beginning in Sept...and I best get to speed reading! SB really does have a great line up! Thanks for the suggestions! M


message 42: by Misfit (new)

Misfit | 251 comments Marie Z. wrote: "Good point Ms. Misfit! I'll suggest they buy it. I get most things I suggest because, I think, of my Board of Trustees service. We generally can't get new books through ILL. I just went through me ..."

Marie, funny about book requests as I do it all the time. When the new SB edition of Legacy came out I put in a purchase request noting the new edition. They fulfilled my request from a very old edition from the catalog of a newly aquired branch. Oh well.

I do make purchase requests all the time and very rarely does King County say no.


message 43: by Misfit (new)

Misfit | 251 comments Oh and on page #200 or so Richard is now considering marrying Joanna to Saladin's nephew. She's not taking kindly to it either.

Our Richard is still very much heterosexual and had a brief interlude with Ida (I think the daughter of the King of Cypress?)


message 44: by Marie Z (new)

Marie Z Johansen (mzjohansen) | 13 comments Ms. Misfit:
Ha ! I just got a great ILL from King County Library - I am on San Juan Island never knew we were so close !


message 45: by Misfit (new)

Misfit | 251 comments Marie Z. wrote: "Ms. Misfit:
Ha ! I just got a great ILL from King County Library - I am on San Juan Island never knew we were so close !"


Small world indeed Marie. ILL is awesome and half the fun is seeing where it has come from. Another thing to remember with King County is they do reciprocate with Whatcom County - and they doo pick up the Canadian books/authors.


message 46: by Sharon (new)

Sharon (sharonk) | 59 comments Misfit, it sounds as if the MCB book is very sloppily researched. Richard did indeed propose a marital alliance to make peace, which is a fascinating glimpse into his thought process, for this is how wars were settled all the time in Christendom, but it was downright heresy (by medieval standards) to consider it in the Christian-Saracen context. But it was not Saladin's nephew, it was his brother Malik al-Adil, whom I find even more interesting than Saladin. Historians have been arguing about Richard's sincerity for centuries, some so dumfounded by the idea that they are reduced to suggesting it must have been a joke. Others think, more plausibly, it was a clever ploy to drive a wedge between Saladin and al-Adil. Whatever Richard's intentions, Joanna would have none of it. We know about this because it was reported in depth in the Saracen chronicles; Richard somehow managed to keep it a secret from his fellow crusaders, a wise move since the French were already suggesting he was either being bribed by Saladin or a secret Muslim because he and Saladin had been exchanging the obligatory gifts during the negotiating process. Many things surprised me when I began to do serious research on the real Richard, as opposed to the legendary Richard, and his friendships with his Saracen adversaries and his genuine interest in their culture was near the top of the list. I did a blog about it on my website called The Surprising Lionheart and can add the link later if anyone is interested in reading it.


message 47: by Misfit (new)

Misfit | 251 comments Hi Sharon, I'd love to see that post (although I think I may have read it already. I really really appreciate the input I'm getting from both you and EC. I'm still curious how much of MCB's information would have been accepted facts 50+ years ago. I think you should try and read this one.

I think in the end your books on Richard will be the gold standard, just like you've done with Henry and Eleanor along with R3 - and thanks for that.


message 48: by Old-Barbarossa (new)

Old-Barbarossa Misfit wrote: "I think you should try and read this one..."

I think we all need to read something that annoys us now and again to help us re-calibrate.


message 49: by Misfit (new)

Misfit | 251 comments Old-Barbarossa wrote: "Misfit wrote: "I think you should try and read this one..."

I think we all need to read something that annoys us now and again to help us re-calibrate."


Yes we do. One can easily find something like that by looking at Harriet's reviews on Amazon and pick the latest romance she gives five stars to and calls it a "deep historical". Although there is a camp of people who don't think it's proper to pick up a book you know you won't like. Argh.


message 50: by Misfit (last edited Aug 28, 2010 01:12PM) (new)

Misfit | 251 comments OK, I've just come across this if anyone cares to comment,

Page 226. "Or throw off the Norman yoke and back the stay-at-home John, who was all for peace and properity and was to all intents and purposes an Englishman?"

PS, did Eleanor sell off her crown in addition to jewels to raise money for the ransom?


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