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Announce your Goodreads writing > Historical fiction

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message 1: by +Chaz (new)

+Chaz
Hi, I’ came across this site by accident but would like to try this out. It seems to hold many different subtopics. I am interested in Historical fiction as I have been writing one for five years with 150,000 words on paper. I would like to find out what people want in this genre. When possible I would like to send a few pages, say 5 to 10 pages for evaluation and input; but only honest responses. I hope there is an interest here. I’m getting a lot of help from a member name Minnie, but I need different viewpoints.

Peace
Charles



message 2: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Dec 16, 2008 09:34AM) (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments Hello Charles. Welcome to our group. It's nice to see you here.

I found your Goodreads writing webpage. Below is a link to it: ====>
http://www.goodreads.com/story/show/1...

Is that the writing about which you'd like to receive comments?

If not, please post the writing in question at your Goodreads writing webpage. Then post the link to it here.

I hope some folks will see this topic and follow up on it.

You said you would like to find out what people want in the genre of historical fiction. I myself enjoy fictionalized biographies. Back in the 1950s I enjoyed reading _Love is Eternal_ by Irving Stone, the fictionalized story of Abraham Lincoln and his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln. After that I continued to read other kinds of historical fiction and usually enjoyed it.

The latest fictionalized biography I'm reading is _The Master_ by Colm Toibin.
Below is a link to that discussion in this group: ====>
http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/8...

I wish you the best of luck with your writing.


message 3: by Andy (new)

Andy | 25 comments Hi Charles,
Let us know a little about the story. I don't usually read historical fiction, but I'd be happy to take a look at it.



message 4: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckymurr) I guess it depends on when the history takes place....I love civil war books-historical fiction, such as Gods & Generals.....is that what you are asking? What era?


message 5: by +Chaz (new)

+Chaz I guess I should read all the messages. The book covers the treatment of and the internment of Japanese Americans. The main story is the Fall of the Philippines 1941 1942 and the imprisonment of 11,000 American and 87 Army and Navy nurses.


message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

A most fascinating time in our history, and applicable to the present. I think what I want from something of that sort of depiction, are day to day problems they faced,and solutions, the pulling together of opposite "types", people that in "real life" would not have given each other a second glance, much less conversation, but in these terrible circumstances manage somehow to pull together and make life almost bearable for each other.

Also, to know what happened to them afterwards, if they made it out alive, what their emotional afterwards was like as opposed to their physical being.


message 7: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Apr 04, 2009 02:25AM) (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments Pontalba wrote: "A most fascinating time in our history, and applicable to the present. I think what I want from something of that sort of depiction, are day to day problems they faced,and solutions, the pulling t..."

Good ideas, Pontalba. Seeing people from different walks of life thrown together arbitrarily, would probably make interesting reading.

Years ago, a writer named Irving Wallace wrote books which brought stangers together in different circumstances. The book, _The Prize_ (1969) stands out in my mind as one of these. He would introduce each character separately, and then would tell the story of their interaction with one another when they all met.

I enjoyed Irving Wallace's books. I wonder if anyone ever reads them anymore.


message 8: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 6330 comments I loved James Clavell's Far East historical novelizations. I liked Shogun, but Tai-Pan was probably my favorite. King Rat was probably the most haunting. It's about the allies in a Japanese prison camp & how a corporal becomes the king of the camp because he sells food - rats that he raises. Even camp guards were his customers. It's horrifying.

Harold Lamb is another favorite author of historical novelizations. Omar Khayyam was probably my favorite, although Tamerlane the Earth Shaker is a close second.

I also loved the Bicentennial Series by John Jakes. Like the others, it gave me a much better sense of history than a straight text. It showed me how technology actually worked in their lives & how the various decisions by the leaders of the day caused ripples through society.

I'll be interested in reading yours too, Charles.


message 9: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Apr 05, 2009 04:21AM) (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments Jim wrote: "I loved James Clavell's Far East historical novelizations. I liked Shogun, but Tai-Pan was probably my favorite. King Rat was probably the most haunting..."

Jim, thanks for the recommendations and the links.


message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

I read Irving Wallace many years ago, The Man, The Prize, The Seventh Secret, Second Lady are the ones I recognize from the Amazon listing for him. I enjoyed him at the time, he had some interesting premises.

Jim, you mention James Clavell...I've read at least Shogun and Nobel House, but that too has been many years ago. Details have fled, although I suppose I'd remember it as I read along again.

I love stories like that as it shows a totally unfamiliar [to me:] place, historical events "on the ground" so to speak, the every day things that happened to people as a result of the huge historical events of the times.

I read the John Jakes when they came out as well. I loved James Michener's books too, Hawaii, Centennial, Tales of the South Pacific are the only ones of his I've read though, I think.


message 11: by Mary (new)

Mary Paladin | 20 comments One of my favorite all time series! Loved John Jakes' Kent Family Chronicles et all..........


message 12: by Mary (new)

Mary Paladin | 20 comments Please do post your project, Charles...
I have been writing a middle grade historical fiction novel for the past year and, although written for ages 8-12, I think the "wants" are the same: good setting, good plot, good voice, good details. I look forward to reading it...


message 13: by Nina (new)

Nina | 6069 comments Several years ago a writer friend of mine wrote a novel based on letters she had access to written by women in the Philippines who were internned by the Japanese. The title, "Guests of the Emperor," by Janice Young Brooks. It was made into a Monday night movie when NBC did that kind of thing. So another one on that sort of theme sounds quite interesting. nina


message 14: by Nina (new)

Nina | 6069 comments Mary wrote: "One of my favorite all time series! Loved John Jakes' Kent Family Chronicles et all.........."I also loved those books. nina




message 15: by Nina (new)

Nina | 6069 comments Joy H. (of Glens Falls) wrote: "Jim wrote: "I loved James Clavell's Far East historical novelizations. I liked Shogun, but Tai-Pan was probably my f..."

I remember Shogun and The Prize were "good reads," but can't picture the stories now. nina


message 16: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments Wiki says: "John Jakes' _North and South_ trilogy was made into three miniseries on ABC in the 1980s and 1990s."

Netflix has the DVDs. The Netflix summary says:
====================================================
North & South: The Complete Collection(1985)
Author John Jakes's sweeping Civil War saga chronicles the fortunes of two close-knit families -- the Hazards, a family of Northern industrialists, and the Mains, owners of a Southern plantation. Against great odds, both families strive to preserve their close friendship while the nation is being torn apart by war. Co-stars Patrick Swayze, Kirstie Alley, Georg Stanford Brown, David Carradine, Lesley-Anne Down and Robert Mitchum.

=====================================================

I've ordered the DVDs since I don't have time to read the books.

I wish they had DVDs of Jakes' "The Kent Family Chronicles" and _The Patriots The American Bicentennial Series Vol. 1 and Vol. 2_, which were mentioned by posters above.


message 17: by S.A. (new)

S.A. (suerule) | 21 comments Can I put in a word for a fellow independent author, John Timbers. His historical series based on Caesar's Commentaries is excellent reading. Books 1- 3 Caesar's Tribune/Master of Gaul/Albion Ablaze are out now through http://www.Authorsonline.co.uk and two more are planned.





message 18: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 6330 comments I'll have to check out John Timbers's books. Thanks for the heads up, Sue.

I never could get into "Caeser's Commentaries". I have an old, paperback copy at home. It's on my 'gee I'd like to read, but only if terminal boredom is the alternative' list. Sometimes I can skim through books like that & get caught in places. I'll have to pull it out & try again.


message 19: by S.A. (new)

S.A. (suerule) | 21 comments John has created a fictional series based on the Commentaries. Highly readable!!


message 20: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Apr 06, 2009 05:42AM) (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments S.A. wrote: "Can I put in a word for a fellow independent author, John Timbers. His historical series based on Caesar's Commentaries is excellent reading. Books 1- 3 Caesar's Tribune/Master of Gaul/Albion Ablaz..."

Thanks, Sue and Jim for the links about John Timbers and the info about his book: ====>
_Caesar's Tribune_.

Goodreads description says:
"Caesar's Tribune is a fictional character who is also way ahead of his time but in a very different way..."

There's a sample excerpt from the book here: ====>
http://www.authorsonline.co.uk/book/4...

Sounds like there's some interesting fantasy going on in the telling of the story. Nice.


message 21: by John (new)

John Timbers | 16 comments Sue told me that she had been 'taking my name in vain' by giving me a mention here. My series on Caeasr's Commentaries on his Gallic Wars will eventually comprise five novels based on the adventures of the same fictional character. Some of these adventures give a highly original slant on Caesar's campaigns, but the general trend is intended to be an accurate interpretation of Caesar's story that is sadly neglected.


message 22: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Apr 06, 2009 01:30PM) (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments John wrote: "Sue told me that she had been 'taking my name in vain' by giving me a mention here. My series on Caeasr's Commentaries on his Gallic Wars will eventually comprise five novels based on the adventure..."

Hi John! Nice to see you here. Thank you for the comment.

From my high school Latin, all I remember about Julius Caesar is: "Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres." and "Veni, vidi, vici". :) Of course, there was Elizabeth Taylor in the movie "Cleopatra" with Rex Harrison as Caesar and Richard Burton as Antony. I don't remember much more than that.

So, to me, your theme is something new and different, even if the story is from ancient times. From the excerpt I read online, I can see that your story has an interesting approach. Good luck with the series.

PS-John, how did you become interested in the Gallic Wars?


message 23: by John (new)

John Timbers | 16 comments Joy H. (of Glens Falls) wrote: "John wrote: "Sue told me that she had been 'taking my name in vain' by giving me a mention here. My series on Caeasr's Commentaries on his Gallic Wars will eventually comprise five novels based on ..."

Joy H. (of Glens Falls) wrote: "John wrote: "Sue told me that she had been 'taking my name in vain' by giving me a mention here. My series on Caeasr's Commentaries on his Gallic Wars will eventually comprise five novels based on ..."

I read Caesar in school too and decided to pick it up again during a forced sabbatical,when I discovered that it wasn't as dry as dust after all.




message 24: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments John wrote: "I read Caesar in school too and decided to pick it up again during a forced sabbatical,when I discovered that it wasn't as dry as dust after all."

John, after asking you how you become interested in the Gallic Wars, I happened upon your profile in which you said:
====================================================
"I am a retired Artillery officer, a retired business development executive in the Defence Electronics industry, and a retired editor of a widely read military magazine and journal."
====================================================
So that explains a lot as well. It all ties together.


message 25: by [deleted user] (new)

Caesar's Tribune sounds fascinating. Although I have to add that Cicero is one of my long time favorites, I do however acknowledge he could be rather vain. *g*

I'll definitely be looking at Caesar's Tribune and it's sequels.


message 26: by John (new)

John Timbers | 16 comments It was Cicero who really started the pain of Latin students from their day forth. He is the man who praised Caesar's prose as being a near perfect style. Actually, the relationship between Cicero and Caesar seems to have changed with the weather, or rather with the company that Cicero was keeping at the time. As a New Man, i.e. a Plebeian 'noble' from out of town Rome, he wanted nothing more than to be recognised by the Optimates, the Patrician society of Rome. They looked down on him the way that only old aristocrats can when dealing with the nouveau riche. On the other hand Caesar was Cicero's student and admired his old teacher, despite his vanity, and tried to help him whenever he could, lending him huge amounts of money and giving his brother a Legateship in his army. Cicero often repaid him with sharp-tongued disloyalty.


message 27: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Apr 07, 2009 12:46AM) (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments John wrote: "It was Cicero who really started the pain of Latin students from their day forth. He is the man who praised Caesar's prose as being a near perfect style. Actually, the relationship between Cicero a..."

When you think about it, isn't amazing that all these details have been passed down through the centuries and still survive after all this time. Where is the original source material for all of this information?

I suppose it's in museums all around the world. But can you imagine the wisdom of the original people who saved all these details? I find it a struggle just to maintain my own family's records.

We really have to thank the historians who had to wade through all the artifacts and make sense of them. I suppose this type of thing is always a labor of love.

Historians and Museum Curators must all be pack-rats at heart, saving, saving, saving... :)


message 28: by John (new)

John Timbers | 16 comments I believe from my early research that most of the best material is in German Musuems, Mommsen being the 'father' of Roman history. I think the earliest surviving manuscripts date back to about 1000 AD, but their provenance goes back through church records way before that. I suspect that Caesar was used to teach monks their Latin from the earliest times, when Caesar's records would have still existed in Roman libraries. You can hear it now: "For your sins, you can write out a 100 times …"


message 29: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Apr 07, 2009 02:35AM) (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments John wrote: "I believe from my early research that most of the best material is in German Musuems, Mommsen being the 'father' of Roman history. I think the earliest surviving manuscripts date back to about 1000 AD..."

As you know, Caesar's dates are: born 100BC, Died 44BC. One wonders how all the details were preserved for over a thousand years until the existence of "earliest surviving manuscripts". I suppose the surviving manuscripts were copied from manuscripts which didn't survive. It's interesting to speculate about all of this. One usually doesn't think about it. We tend to take historical facts for granted.

As a history major, I remember doing a paper about Hitler's ascendance to power. I took my information from the NY Times microfilm at the NY Public Library in NYC. That was the only real research (besides books) which I did as an undergraduate. I can't imagine doing research on ancient times, using only the original source material. Fortunately, nowadays we have the Internet with scanned material online to make research so much easier.

PS-You've reminded me of my own past. (g) When I taught elementary school, I remember having the kids who misbehaved write out the class rules as a disciplinary measure. Some things never change. :)


message 30: by S.A. (new)

S.A. (suerule) | 21 comments An anecdote. In Rome there is a memorial to Caesar - can't remember now but I think it marks the spot where he was murdered.

When I visited it in 2006, there were fresh flowers on it. That's the power of the myth the man built around himself.


message 31: by John (new)

John Timbers | 16 comments S.A. wrote: "An anecdote. In Rome there is a memorial to Caesar - can't remember now but I think it marks the spot where he was murdered.

When I visited it in 2006, there were fresh flowers on it. That's the p..."


That was no myth, Sue. The ordinary people of Rome loved him as their great champion against the Patrician Optimates. You will recall Shakespeare's oft quoted speech from Mark Antony: "I come to bury Daesar, not to praise him." Which Brutus &Co allowed him to make after the assassination. It was in fact a well documented speech, and brought the masses to tears – and anger against the assassins. He was fêted like a male Princess Di, and, of course, they really did make him a god!



message 32: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Apr 07, 2009 10:00AM) (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments John wrote: "He (Caesar) was fêted like a male Princess Di, and, of course, they really did make him a god!"

Good analogy... brings the idea home.


message 33: by Nina (new)

Nina | 6069 comments Joy,

Do I remember right that you took Latin in school..I did also but only for one year..My husband on the other hand took it four years along with Greek for two years..He read all the classics in Latin or Greek.. My connection with them was only English. nina


message 34: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments Nina wrote: "Joy, Do I remember right that you took Latin in school..I did also but only for one year..My husband on the other hand took it four years along with Greek for two years..He read all the classics..."

Nina, I studied 3 years of Latin in high school. I've always felt it was excellent training, not only for learning the derivation of English words, but also for acquiring skill in understanding syntax and sentence structure. It also trained the brain to think logically. It exercised the brain the same way math does. Memorizing those declensions and conjugating those verbs kept our brains busy.


message 35: by John (new)

John Timbers | 16 comments I studied Latin at school for seven years, taking exams at 16 and 18 – what we called O and A levels. In those far off days even the scientists and doctors had to have a Latin O level to get into the big UK unis like Oxford and Cambridge. I chose to go on to Sandhurst, the UK equvalent of West Point, but language studies continued and I've never regretted studying Latin for all the reasons that Hoy gave above.


message 36: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments John wrote: "I studied Latin at school for seven years, taking exams at 16 and 18 – what we called O and A levels. In those far off days even the scientists and doctors had to have a Latin O level to get into t..."

Wow! Seven years of Latin! Nowadays there are so many other things for the kids to learn that Latin is probably rare in the curriculums. I wonder if anyone studies Latin these days.

It was the discipline of Latin which was a huge part of the benefit of studying it. It took real concentration. I suppose the kids nowadays can get that from math, but the verbal benefits are lost. Remember the days when we "diagrammed" sentences? Diagramming sentences developed a strong understanding of sentence structure. I doubt if today's students are given that background. I wonder.

Today the kids enjoy texting on their cell phones... shortening, shortening, shortening, until all sentence structure disappears.

"Momma's little baby loves shortening, shortening... " LOL Who remembers that old song? :)


message 37: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 75 comments Joy H. (of Glens Falls) wrote: "John wrote: "I studied Latin at school for seven years, taking exams at 16 and 18 – what we called O and A levels. In those far off days even the scientists and doctors had to have a Latin O level ..."

I studied Latin for six years, four mandatory and two elective, and like you Joy I loved the logic of the language and figuring out the syntax - it was like a puzzle. It wasn't till I took the college boards and AP exams that I found out how useful it was in sussing out the meaning of vocabulary words I didn't actually know, and I still look for the Latin root when I hit an unfamiliar word to see if I can figure out its meaning that way. Once we had the grammar down, we did Caesar's Gallic Wars, I remember - it's amazing that anyone sticks with Latin after that baptism - but eventually worked our way up to Ovid and Virgil's Aeneid, which was amazing.
In college I took a course in Anglo-Saxon (preChaucerian) English, which doesn't really resemble English very much at all, and that was fascinating too in a lot of the same ways - but talk about something there's not a lot of call for! I keep waiting for someone to come up to me on the street and say "Quick,I need someone to translate this section of The Seafarer!", but no one ever has... :)


message 38: by Nina (new)

Nina | 6069 comments Joy H. (of Glens Falls) wrote: "Nina wrote: "Joy, Do I remember right that you took Latin in school..I did also but only for one year..My husband on the other hand took it four years along with Greek for two years..He read all th..."I agtee with all you have said praising Latin but when I was thirteen I really thought studying it was a pain; except on Monday mornings.Our teacher had prizes for the ones who found the most Latin derivatiies in words from our Sunday paper. It was an exciting project So all was not lost on me. nina




message 39: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments Margaret wrote: "...In college I took a course in Anglo-Saxon (preChaucerian) English, which doesn't really resemble English very much at all, and that was fascinating too in a lot of the same ways - but talk about something there's not a lot of call for!..."

Wow, Margaret, "preChaucerian"...that's going WAY back! Johnny Carson used to call subjects like that "esoteric". :) He used that word a lot. It covers a lot of circumstances. :)


message 40: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Apr 08, 2009 07:59PM) (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments Nina wrote: "...I agtee with all you have said praising Latin but when I was thirteen I really thought studying it was a pain..."

Nina, while we walked to school, we used to chant the Latin declensions to the rhythm of our steps: "Ille, illa, illud, illius, illius, illius...
I still remember that much. :)


message 41: by John (last edited Apr 08, 2009 11:44PM) (new)

John Timbers | 16 comments Most schools in Britain have given up on the 'dead' languages, but there has been a revival lately as some real teachers have started teaching them creatively with children'stories. It's funny how things stick in your mind: Caesar adsum iam forte, Brutus aderat. Oh, yes, and veni, vidi, vici, which never applied to the conquest of Britain, but to Palestine, after Caesar's visit to Egypt in pursuit of Pompey. It is interesting that even German uses Latin to construct its more technical words, translating the Latin first, then stringing together the bits in the same way.
As for Anglo Saxon, we only use the rude bits these days.


message 42: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments John wrote: "Most schools in Britain have given up on the 'dead' languages, but there has been a revival lately as some real teachers have started teaching them creatively with children'stories. It's funny how things stick in your mind: Caesar adsum iam forte, Brutus aderat..."

I googled and found the following:
===================================================
Caesar had some yam for tea (Caesar adsum iam forte)
Brutus had a rat. (Brutus aderat.)
Caesar sick in omnibus (Caesar sic in omnibus)
Brutus sick in hat! (Brutus sic in at.)
===================================================
Some fun! :)
What's the real translation?


message 43: by John (new)

John Timbers | 16 comments Caesar,I am now here perchance.
Brutus had arrived.
Caesar is so in everything.
Brutus is just so.

As you can see, in English it means nothing; it was just a bit of schoolboy Latin fun.


message 44: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments Thanks for the translation, John.
The originator must have been very clever.

We had a fun verse in French. It went like this:
Parlez-vous Francais,
Mosholu Parkway,
Oui, Oui?
No not here.

Mosholu Parkway is a parkway in the Bronx in NYC.


message 45: by John (new)

John Timbers | 16 comments Yes, as always, we darned Anglo Saxons are so literal with our Franglais translations (or should that be 'liberal'?)
Like that one, though. Hadn't heard it before.


message 46: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Apr 10, 2009 04:08AM) (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments Speaking of translations, today I found an interesting website ("Ultralingua") which not only does translations, but gives other EXTENSIVE information which I found interesting. The URL is: ====>
http://ultralingua.com/onlinedictiona...

To see what I mean by "extensive" you'll have to try it out. It's too hard to explain well. The subtitle of the website is: "World-class dictionary, translation, and grammar software", but that doesn't fully explain it. It gives additional related information which, I'm sure, would interest folks who are fascinated by language.

Try putting in a word to be translated and see what they come up with. I tried it with the word "oui" and "yes", i.e., translated both ways between French and English. I found out, among other things, that "faire oui de la tête" means "nod". :)


message 47: by Nina (new)

Nina | 6069 comments When one of my son's took Latin in High school he had to read "Winnie the Pooh," and I still remember the title, "Winnie Ille Pooh." He thought it was fun as I was then reading the English version to his two little sisters.My other son took Latin five years and when he went to KU he quizzed out on Spanish. The University then sent him to Puebla Mexico for a crash course in Spanish..He is still quite fluent and maybe that is what attracted him to his wife who is HOnduran. nina


message 48: by John (new)

John Timbers | 16 comments "Wiinie ille Pooh" is pure 'dog' Latin, certainly NOT bear! The Romans a) didn't have a 'W' in their alphabet, they prounounced 'V' as a 'W', rather like many Indian English-speakers do. b) They seldom used or pronouns, except as emphasis. 'Vinni ille pooh' would translate as 'Winnie that pooh!', which is rather insulting for a bear of little brain, but impeccable manners.


message 49: by Nina (new)

Nina | 6069 comments Winnie Ille Pooh was a small book written in Latin and that is what my son had to read as an assignment from his Jesuit Latin teacher. I remember looking at it. And yes, I do know that a "W" is pronounced as a "V" as my name in German is pronounced that way..My maiden name was Weber. And my mother in law's maiden name was Biwer, pronounced like Beaver..nina


message 50: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments Speaking of Winnie the Pooh, one of my favorite Pooh videos is on YouTube.
It's called "Winnie the Pooh Funny Exercises".
You can see it at:
http://tr.youtube.com/watch?v=3U8pAM4...

I can sympathize with Winnie. :)


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