lennox sisters

So, I hear you liked TURN.


Apres the Season 4 finale, I know there’s going to be a lot of crying, and hand-wringing, and rewatching, and these are all good and proper things to do in the wake of a TV show you’ve enjoyed.

But after the smoke clears from all of that, you’re maybe going to go looking for your next 18th century fix, just something in between rewatches or while you’re trying to flesh out your next story idea. (Hey, now that we have our canon, go hog-wild on story ideas, guys, seriously.) 

So I’ve saved you some trouble and made you all a helpful list.

Obviously there are a lot of movies and TV shows out there - this is just a selection that I wish more people knew about.

Note: Everyone enjoys a show or movie for different reasons. These shows are on this list because of the time period they depict, not because of the quality of their writing, the accuracy of their history or the political nature of their content. Where I’m able to, I’ve mentioned if a book is available if you’d like to read more.

Before we get to the rest of the list, there are three excellent shows that are either currently on television or about to be very soon:

Poldark (BBC/PBS) is based on a series of books by an author named Winston Graham. It was made into a PBS series in the 70s starring Robin Ellis as the handsome Captain Poldark, who returns from the American Revolution to find his family farm in tatters and his long-time love interest married to his cousin. Drama ensues. The 70s series is worth your time, and the recent remake with Aidan Turner in the title role is also definitely worth a go. (If you like leading men who make terrible life decisions and the women who put up with them, this is totally your show.)

Harlots (Hulu) - If you really loved the TURN ladies, thought Lola and Philomena deserved more than they got, or are just interested to learn more about what life might have been like for the lower classes in London in the 1750s, have we got a deal for you. Harlots follows the lives of 18th century sex workers in this new drama, which was just recently renewed for a totally deserved second season. Female-lead ensemble drama. A little violent at points and deals with some pretty heavy-duty topics like rape, murder, and bastardy, but in a humane and understanding way. Totally bingeable.

Outlander (Starz) - Based on the wildly popular series of books by Diana Gabaldon, this time traveling drama jumps between a couple of different centuries and follows the story of Jamie and Claire, two very strong personalities trying to literally find their place in history. (Hewlett talks about the blade his grandfather picked up at Culloden; that battle forms a critical part of this show’s storyline.) It’s a real pretty show with very high production values.

And, without further ado, the rest of the list!

John Adams:  If you haven’t watched this already, do yourself a favor and go pick it up from the library. Starring Paul Giametti in the title role, this HBO miniseries follows John Adams’ role in the formation of America, through his early days in Congress up through his own presidency. As with any biographical show, characters that we know and love from other media (Rufus Sewell’s Hamilton comes to mind, but see what you think of David Morse’s Washington, too) are presented in a slightly different light and provide some food for thought about how history can be selective in how it remembers us. The costuming is great, the sets are fantastic, and the acting is first-rate.

The Patriot: An oldie but a goodie. Mel Gibson plays a highly fictionalized version of Francis Marion, the Swamp Fox while Jason Isaacs turns in a really stellar hottie we love to hate in Colonel Tavington. A little heavy-handed at times, this is a good movie to laugh over with friends.

Sons of Liberty: I’ll be really honest - for a show from the History Channel, the history on this show is pretty awful. But the cast is pretty. This one’s up to you, really. It fills a hole.

Garrow’s Law: William Garrow was a barrister and a pioneering legal mind in the 18th century, and this show (which ran for 3 seasons) is based on real Old Bailey cases and Garrow’s defenses, while also working in his fraught social life. Were you interested in learning a little more about Abe Woodhull’s erstwhile legal training? This is the show for you.

City of Vice: A miniseries that explains the origins and work of the Bow Street Runners, one of London’s first police forces.  Does a great job of opening up some of the early 18th century underside of London including a smidge of 18th century gay culture.

A Harlot’s Progress: William Hogarth was an 18th century artist, printmaker and social commentator whose “A Harlot’s Progress” famously depicts the downfall of a woman who goes into prostitution. This 2006 series explores the relationship that inspired the ‘Harlot’ piece.

The Incredible Journey of Mary Bryant: At around the same time America was busy trying to figure itself out, halfway around the world another one of Britain’s colonial possessions - Australia - was just getting started. Hundreds of convicts found themselves stuffed in ships and sent to the other side of the world - a sentence deemed almost more humane. This 2005 series with Romala Garai follows a very famous convict, Mary Bryant, and her experiences.

Banished: Another take on penal colonies in Australia. Currently available on Hulu.

Black Sails: A more recent offering from Starz, this show explores the backstory of the pirates in Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island. Lots of great representation issues, a whole lot of ‘how does your story get told’ - and there’s a real big community on Tumblr who loves it and very actively produces all kinds of fic.

Clarissa - Simcoe fans, this one is totally for you. Based on the epistolary novel by Samuel Richardson, Clarissa follows a girl of the same name as the infamous rake Lovelace tries to seduce her. Another look at what how women can be corrupted. Also, for you fandom nerds in the crowd, Lovelace was one of the first characters to inspire fix-it fic. Yes, really! Fix-it fic in the late 1700s. Lovelace is one of the original men for whom the ‘No, really, I can reform him’ trope was created. (Richardson, his creator, was so horrified by this reaction by his fans that he actually revised the book several times to try and make Lovelace even more villainous and irredeemable, with little success. Then as now, women apparently love the idea of a bad boy.)

Amazing Grace - The history of slavery in England and its colonies is complicated and nuanced; this story deals with one of the more famous names from that story, William Wilberforce, and his contribution.

Belle - Based on the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle, the mixed race daughter of a Royal Navy Admiral. Another look at racial politics in England.

The Aristocrats - One of my all-time favorite TV miniseries and based on the nonfiction book by Stella Tilyard, this show follows the (actual, nonfictional) Lennox sisters, daughters of the Duke of Richmond as they grow up, marry, and adjust to rapid social change from the early 1700s into the 1790s.

The Duchess  - About the same time the Lennox sisters were out in society, so was Georgiana, the Duchess of Devonshire. This is based on (I’m not sure how closely) Amanda Foreman’s biography of Georgiana, one of the leading ladies of her day.

Dangerous Liasons - Another story about corruptible young women, this one has 3 very well deserved Oscars to its name and an absolutely stunning Glenn Close.

Barry Lyndon - a very evocative, sumptuous film by Stanley Kubrick. Short on action, but very, very Aesthetic, as only Kubrick can do.

The Scarlet Pimpernel - Based on the book by Baroness Orczy, The Scarlet Pimpernel is largely considered to be one of the world’s first ‘superhero with a secret identity’ stories. Sir Percy Blakeney uses his identity as a dim-witted fop to provide cover for his activities rescuing French aristocrats from the guillotine during the French Revolution. The 1982 version with Anthony Andrews and the 1999 version with Richard Grant are both a lot of fun.

Speaking of the French, where would we be without them? Our small domestic dust-up with Britain has far-reaching international consequences, setting in motion so many other social movements in Europe. The French, for instance, will have their own revolution several years after ours, which, of course, will lead to a total political shakeup ending with an artillery officer named Napoleon Bonaparte on the throne as Emperor. (You may have heard of him. He goes on to have his own series of large wars and, you know, completely changes the geo-political landscape of Europe. Like you do.)

La Revolution Francaise, filmed for the 200th anniversary of the Revolution, is available on YouTube in it’s entirety with English subtitles! Starts in 1774 and goes through the 1800s. C’est merveilleux.

Marie Antoinette - Sofia Coppola’s wild, modern romp through the life of one of the 18th century’s most notorious women. It may not be great history, but darn me if it isn’t fun to watch.

Farewell, My Queen - Another story about Marie Antoinette - this one is in French.

Nicolas Le Floch: An 18th century crime procedural set at the court of Louis XVI. The whole show is in French, so watch with subtitles, but the costumes are a lot of fun and it gives an interesting picture of the life a character like Lafayette would have left behind when he came to America. (He gets name dropped a few times, actually, though he never actually appears.)

Ekaterina: A 2014 miniseries from Russia discussing the rise of Catherine the Great, the Empress of Russia from 1762 to 1796, contemporaneous to the Revolution. The 18th century is a fascinating time in Russian history and Catherine is a really, really interesting lady. Totally go and read about her.

Anno 1790: A Swedish crime procedural set in 1790s Sweden and following Johann Däadh, a doctor recently roped into the police force. Däadh is a bit of a reformer, interested in the rights of man and giving everyone a chance to be heard. Costumes are fun, and there’s a really great slow-burn romance between two of the characters, one of whom is (gasp) married. This show only ran for one season, but it was a really, really good season.

If you’re still jonesing for period dramas after the rest of this list, here’s a lot of shows and tv series set during the Napoleonic Wars that are also totally worth your time - the Richard Sharpe miniseries, the Horatio Hornblower miniseries, the BBC’s War and Peace, Master and Commander, and then, of course, anything based on a Jane Austen novel.

Have fun!

Sophie Muller (director of Perfect’s music video) directed all this:

1982

  • Eurythmics - “The Walk” (editing)

1987

  • Eurythmics - “Beethoven (I Love to Listen to)”
  • Eurythmics - “I Need a Man”

1988

  • Eurythmics - “You Have Placed a Chill in My Heart”
  • Eurythmics - “Brand New Day”
  • Eurythmics - “Do You Want to Break Up?”
  • Eurythmics - “Heaven”
  • Eurythmics - “I Need You”
  • Eurythmics - “Put the Blame on Me”
  • Eurythmics - “Savage”
  • Eurythmics - “Wide Eyed Girl”
  • Sade - “Nothing Can Come Between Us”
  • Sade - “Turn My Back on You”
  • Sade - “Love Is Stronger Than Pride”
  • Shakespears Sister - “Break My Heart”
  • Shakespear’s Sister - “Heroine”
  • Annie Lennox featuring Al Green - “Put a Little Love in Your Heart”

1989

  • Shakespears Sister - “You’re History”
  • Shakespears Sister - “Run Silent”
  • Sarah Brightman - “Anything but Lonely”
  • Eurythmics - “Don’t Ask Me Why”

1990s[

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1990

  • Eurythmics - “Angel”
  • Julia Fordham - “Lock and Key”
  • Sinéad O'Connor - “The Emperor’s New Clothes”

1991

  • Nanci Griffith - “Late Night Grande Hotel”
  • World Party - “Thank You World”
  • Curve - “Coast Is Clear”
  • Shakespears Sister - “Goodbye Cruel World”

1992

  • Annie Lennox - “Why”
  • Annie Lennox - “Precious”
  • Annie Lennox - “Cold”
  • Annie Lennox - “Money Can’t Buy It”
  • Annie Lennox - “Legend in My Living Room”
  • Annie Lennox - “The Gift”
  • Annie Lennox - “Primitive”
  • Annie Lennox - “Keep Young and Beautiful”
  • Annie Lennox - “Walking on Broken Glass”
  • Annie Lennox - “Love Song for a Vampire”
  • Annie Lennox - “Little Bird”
  • Shakespears Sister - “Stay”
  • Shakespears Sister - “I Don’t Care”
  • Shakespears Sister - “Hello (Turn Your Radio On)”
  • Vegas - “Possessed”
  • Sade - “No Ordinary Love”
  • Curve - “Fait Accompli”
  • Aaron Neville - “Somewhere, Someday”

1993

  • Björk - “Venus as a Boy”

1994

  • Hole - “Miss World”
  • The Jesus and Mary Chain Featuring Hope Sandoval - “Sometimes Always”
  • The Jesus and Mary Chain - “Come On”
  • Sparks - “When Do I Get to Sing My Way?”

1995

  • Come - “Cimarron”
  • Sophie B. Hawkins - “As I Lay Me Down”
  • Sparks - “When I Kiss You”
  • The Stone Roses - “Ten Storey Love Song”
  • Lisa Loeb & Nine Stories - “Do You Sleep?”
  • Jeff Buckley - “So Real”
  • Weezer - “Say It Ain’t So”

1996

  • The Cure - “The 13th”
  • Kè - “Strange World”
  • Gary Barlow - “Forever Love”
  • Shakespears Sister - “I Can Drive”
  • No Doubt - “Don’t Speak”
  • No Doubt - “Excuse Me Mr.”
  • No Doubt - “Sunday Morning”
  • The Lightning Seeds - “What If…”

1997

  • Blur - “Beetlebum”
  • Blur - “Song 2”
  • Blur - “On Your Own”
  • Maxwell - “Whenever, Wherever, Whatever”
  • Curve - “Chinese Burn”
  • No Doubt - “Live in the Tragic Kingdom”
  • No Doubt - “Oi to the World”

1998

  • James Iha - “Be Strong Now”
  • Maxwell - “Luxury: Cococure”
  • Sparklehorse - “Sick Of Goodbyes”
  • Garbage - “When I Grow Up” (live version)
  • Garbage - “The Trick Is to Keep Breathing”
  • Rufus Wainwright - “April Fools”

1999

  • Blur - “Tender” (Unreleased)
  • Sinéad O'Connor - “Chiquita”
  • Natalie Merchant Featuring N'dea Davenport - “Break Your Heart”
  • Sparklehorse - “Pig”
  • Manic Street Preachers - “You Stole the Sun from My Heart”
  • Garbage - “When I Grow Up” (U.S. version)
  • Semisonic - “Secret Smile”
  • The Cardigans - “Hanging Around”
  • Sarah McLachlan - “Possession” (American version)
  • Sarah McLachlan - “I Will Remember You”
  • Emiliana Torrini - “To Be Free”
  • Beth Orton - “Central Reservation”
  • Sarah McLachlan - “Ice Cream”
  • Supergrass - “Mary”

2000s[

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2000

  • No Doubt - “Simple Kind of Life”
  • Ute Lemper - “The Case Continues”
  • Doves - “Catch The Sun”
  • Bentley Rhythm Ace - “How’d I Do Dat?”
  • Alisha’s Attic - “Push It All Aside”
  • Alisha’s Attic - “Pretender Got My Heart”
  • JJ72 - “Oxygen”
  • PJ Harvey - “Good Fortune”
  • Sade - “By Your Side”
  • Coldplay - “Trouble” (U.K. Version)
  • Jamelia – “Boy Next Door”[3]

2001

  • Turin Brakes - “The Door”
  • Sade - “King of Sorrow”
  • Turin Brakes - “Underdog (Save Me)”
  • No Doubt - “Bathwater”
  • PJ Harvey - “A Place Called Home”
  • Nelly Furtado - “Turn off the Light”
  • Sophie Ellis-Bextor - “Take Me Home”
  • PJ Harvey - “This Is Love”
  • Radiohead - “I Might Be Wrong”
  • Sophie Ellis-Bextor - “Murder on the Dancefloor”

2002

  • Amy Studt - “Just a Little Girl”
  • Sophie Ellis-Bextor - “Move This Mountain”
  • Sugababes - “Freak Like Me”
  • Coldplay - “In My Place”
  • Amy Studt - “Misfit”
  • The Beu Sisters - “I Was Only 17”
  • Sparta - “Cut Your Ribbon”
  • Pink - “Family Portrait”
  • No Doubt (featuring Lady Saw) - “Underneath It All”
  • Sophie Ellis-Bextor - “Music Gets the Best of Me” Day Version
  • Sophie Ellis-Bextor - “Music Gets the Best of Me” Night Version

2003

  • Nickel Creek - “Speak”
  • Dolly Parton - “I’m Gone”
  • Dido - “Life for Rent”
  • Pink - “Trouble”
  • The Raveonettes - “That Great Love Sound”
  • Sophie Ellis-Bextor - “I Won’t Change You” [co-produced]

2004

  • Dixie Chicks - “Top of the World”
  • The Killers - “Mr. Brightside”
  • Sixpence None the Richer - “Don’t Dream It’s Over”
  • Maroon 5 - “This Love”
  • Maroon 5 - “She Will Be Loved”
  • Nelly Furtado - “Try”
  • Mindy Smith - “Come to Jesus”
  • Sarah McLachlan - “World on Fire”
  • Sarah McLachlan - “Stupid”
  • The Strokes - “The End Has No End”
  • Natasha Bedingfield - “These Words” (UK version)
  • Vanessa Carlton - “White Houses”
  • Loretta Lynn Featuring Jack White - “Portland, Oregon”

2005

  • KT Tunstall - “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree”
  • Garbage - “Why Do You Love Me”
  • Garbage - “Bleed Like Me”
  • Garbage - “Sex Is Not the Enemy”
  • Garbage - “Run Baby Run”
  • Gwen Stefani - “Cool”
  • Coldplay - “Fix You”
  • Faith Hill Featuring Tim McGraw - “Like We Never Loved at All”
  • Gwen Stefani - “Luxurious”

2006

  • Shakira featuring Wyclef Jean - “Hips Don’t Lie”
  • Dixie Chicks - “Not Ready to Make Nice”
  • She Wants Revenge - “These Things”
  • Faith Hill - “Stealing Kisses”
  • Lily Allen - “Smile”
  • Beyoncé featuring Jay-Z- “Deja Vu”
  • Beyoncé - “Ring the Alarm”
  • The Raconteurs - “Level”
  • Gwen Stefani - “Wind It Up”
  • Siobhán Donaghy- “Don’t Give It Up”

2007

  • Sophie Ellis-Bextor - “Catch You”
  • Mika - “Grace Kelly”
  • Gwen Stefani - “4 in the Morning”
  • Mika - “Love Today”
  • Rufus Wainwright - “Going to a Town”
  • Garbage - “Tell Me Where It Hurts”
  • Sophie Ellis-Bextor - “Today the Sun’s on Us”
  • Maroon 5 - “Won’t Go Home Without You”
  • Gwen Stefani - “Early Winter”

2008

  • The Kills - “U.R.A. Fever”
  • The Kills - “Cheap and Cheerful”
  • The Kills - “Last Day of Magic”
  • Leona Lewis - “Better in Time”
  • Leona Lewis - “Footprints in the Sand”
  • The Ting Tings - “That’s Not My Name”
  • Gavin Rossdale - “Love Remains The Same”
  • Kings of Leon - “Sex on Fire”
  • Cold War Kids - “Something Is Not Right with Me”
  • Duffy - “Stepping Stone”
  • Sarah McLachlan - “U Want Me 2”
  • Duffy - “Rain on Your Parade”
  • Kings of Leon - “Use Somebody”

2009

  • Paloma Faith - “Stone Cold Sober”
  • Beyoncé - “Broken-Hearted Girl”
  • Shakira - “Did It Again”[4] / Lo Hecho Está Hecho
  • Pink - “I Don’t Believe You”
  • Shakira - “Give It Up to Me”[5]
  • Broken Bells - “The High Road”

2010s[

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2010

  • Sade - “Soldier of Love”
  • Sade - “Babyfather”
  • Armin van Buuren vs. Sophie Ellis-Bextor - “Not Giving Up on Love”
  • Cheryl Cole - “Promise This”
  • Cheryl Cole - “The Flood”
  • Brandon Flowers - “Only The Young”
  • Kings of Leon - “Radioactive”

2011

  • The Kills - “Satellite”
  • Ellie Goulding - “Lights”
  • Noah and the Whale - “L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N.”
  • Birdy - “Skinny Love”
  • Sade - “Love Is Found”

2012

  • Alicia Keys - “Girl on Fire”
  • No Doubt - “Settle Down”
  • Beyoncé - “I Was Here”
  • No Doubt - “Push and Shove”
  • Labrinth feat Emeli Sandé - “Beneath Your Beautiful”

2013

  • Rihanna - “Stay”
  • Tom Odell - “Hold Me”
  • Garbage and Screaming Females - “Because the Night”
  • Lana Del Rey - “Young and Beautiful”[6]
  • Pink feat. Lily Rose Cooper - “True Love”
  • Birdy - “Wings”
  • Sophie Ellis-Bextor - “Wanderlust” (Álbum trailer)
  • Sophie Ellis-Bextor - “Young Blood”[7]
  • John Mayer featuring Katy Perry - “Who You Love”
  • Robin Thicke - “Feel Good”
  • Katy B - “Crying for No Reason”

2014

  • Sophie Ellis-Bextor - “Runaway Daydreamer”
  • Tim McGraw - “Lookin’ for That Girl”[8]
  • Birdy - “Words As Weapons”
  • Katy B - “Still”
  • Sophie Ellis-Bextor - “Love Is a Camera”
  • OneRepublic - “Love Runs Out”
  • Gwen Stefani - “Baby Don’t Lie”
  • Gwen Stefani - “Spark the Fire”
  • Labrinth - “Jealous”

2015

  • Garbage - “The Chemicals”
  • Selena Gomez - “Good for You”
  • Misty Miller - “Happy”


I’m so proud!!!

So, I hear you liked Harlots.

You’re maybe looking for an 18th century fix, just something in between seasons or while you’re trying to flesh out your next story idea. Obviously there are a lot of movies and TV shows out there - this is a selection that I wish more people knew about.

Note: Everyone enjoys a show or movie for different reasons. These shows are on this list because of the time period they depict, not because of the quality of their writing, the accuracy of their history or the political nature of their content. Where I’m able to, I’ve mentioned if a book is available if you’d like to read more. If you enjoy Harlots as a female driven show or a show with feminist feelings, this is not necessarily a list for you.

Garrow’s Law: William Garrow was a barrister and a pioneering legal mind in the 18th century, and this show (which ran for 3 seasons) is based on real Old Bailey cases and Garrow’s defenses, while also working in his fraught social life.

City of Vice: A miniseries that explains the origins and work of the Bow Street Runners, one of London’s first police forces.  Does a great job of opening up some of the early 18th century underside of London including a smidge of 18th century gay culture.

A Harlot’s Progress: William Hogarth was an 18th century artist, printmaker and social commentator whose “A Harlot’s Progress” famously depicts the downfall of a woman who goes into prostitution. This 2006 series explores the relationship that inspired the ‘Harlot’ piece.

The Incredible Journey of Mary Bryant: For men and women who broke the law, punishment was often severe -  imprisonment, hard labor, or hanging might be the answer to any number of offenses. If the judge was feeling lenient, another sentence might be imposed - transportation. Hundreds of convicts found themselves stuffed in ships and sent to the other side of the world. This 2005 series with Romala Garai follows a very famous convict, Mary Bryant, and her experiences.

Banished: Another take on penal colonies in Australia. Currently available on Hulu.

Clarissa - Based on the epistolary novel by Samuel Richardson, Clarissa follows a girl of the same name as the infamous rake Lovelace tries to seduce her. Another look at what how women can be corrupted. Fandom nerds, taken note: Lovelace was one of the first characters to inspire fix-it fic. (Yes, really! In the late 1700s.) Yep - he is one of the original men for whom the 'No, really, I can reform him’ trope was created. (Richardson, his creator, was so horrified by this reaction by his fans that he actually revised the book several times to try and make Lovelace even more villainous and irredeemable, with little success. Then as now, women apparently love the idea of a bad boy.)

The first half of this list deals with stories that move in the lower to middle class levels of society. Of course, the 18th century is lousy with aristocratic types, and they have a number of stories of their own, too.

Amazing Grace - The history of slavery in England and its colonies is complicated and nuanced; this story deals with one of the more famous names from that story, William Wilberforce, and his contribution.

Belle - Based on the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle, the mixed race daughter of a Royal Navy Admiral. Another look at racial politics in England.

The Aristocrats - One of my all-time favorite TV miniseries and based on the nonfiction book by Stella Tilyard, this show follows the (actual, nonfictional) Lennox sisters, daughters of the Duke of Richmond as they grow up, marry, and adjust to rapid social change from the early 1700s into the 1790s.

Dangerous Liasons - Another story about corruptible young women, this one has 3 very well deserved Oscars to its name and an absolutely stunning Glenn Close.

The Duchess  - About the same time the Lennox sisters were out in society, so was Georgiana, the Duchess of Devonshire. This is based on (I’m not sure how closely) Amanda Foreman’s biography of Georgiana, one of the leading ladies of her day.

Marie Antoinette - Sofia Coppola’s wild, modern romp through the life of one of the 18th century’s most notorious women. It may not be great history, but darn me if it isn’t fun to watch.

Farewell, My Queen - Another story about Marie Antoinette - this one is in French.

youtube

Uncle ACE (Kindness REMIX feat. Robert Owens).

Scenes of my hometown & where I grew up in Ilford, Essex.

Directed by Adam Bainbridge
Camera by Phil Thompson
Edited by Adam Bainbridge and Jeff Sternberger at 2150 Editorial

— CLICK THROUGH FOR THE ANSWERS TO THE QUESTIONS IN THE VIDEO –

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