Alice Stopford Green (1847-1929)

[Alice Sophia Amelia Stopford Green; née Stopford; Mrs. J. R. Green] b. Kells, Co. Meath; dg. Archdeacon Stopford (d. 1874); ed. at home; moved to London at her father’s death, m. pioneering social historian John Richard Green, M.A., LL.D., and Honorary Fellow of Jesus’ College, Cambridge, 1877, and collaborated with him on his work; she edited his The Conquest of England (1883) and issued on her own account Town Life in the Fifteenth Century (1894) but abandoned English history for Irish at death of husband in March 1883 (d. Menton, France); issued The Making of Ireland and its Undoing 1200-1600 (1908), inspired by strong anti-imperialist views and containing sections on commerce, learning, Brehon law, &c.; she was opposed the S. African Wars; issued Irish Nationality (1911), very popular in Ireland but attacked by English reviewers for alleged inaccuracy;
closely concerned with Howth gun-running, her home in London being the scene where plans were laid with among Roger Casement, Bulmer Hobson, Darrell Figgis, and others; moved to 90 St. Stephen’s Green, after 1916, making it an intellectual centre; issued Ourselves Alone in Ulster (Dublin 1918, attacking Carson’s policy; participated in the Treaty talks, 1921; appt. to Irish Senate, 1922; contrib. the Catholic Bulletin in the 1920s; A History of the Irish State to 1014 (London 1925), based on questionable historiography of ninth century annals; d. Dublin, 28 May 1929; the Alice Stopford-Green Papers are held in the NLI; presented casket to Senate for its Constitution. JMC ODNB DIB DIW DIH OCIL FDA

[See portrait - infra]

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Historical works (English)
  • Town Life in the Fifteenth Century, 2 vols. (Lodnon; Macmillan 1894, 1908) [Vol 1: xvi, 439pp.; Vol 2: viii, 476pp.].
  • Henry the Second, by Mrs. J. R. Green [Twelve English Statesmen ser.] (London: Macmillan & Co. 1894, 1903, 1908, 1919, 1926), vi, 224pp.
Historical works (Irish)
  • The Making of Ireland and its Undoing 1200-1600 (London: Macmillan 1908), Do., 2nd edn., with add. Appendix (Oct. 1909; rep. 1913),. xxiv, 573pp.; Do. [another edn.] (London: Macmillan 1924), 573pp.; and Do. [rep. of 1st Edn.] (NY: Books for Libraries Press 1972), xvi, 511pp. [see contents].
  • ‘The Irish Parliament in the Seventeenth Century, in Scottish Historical Review, 7, 27 (April 1910), pp.232-43.
  • Irish Nationality [Home University Library of Modern Knowledge, No. 6] (London: Williams & Nordgate [1911], 1922, 1925), 256pp.; [another edn.] (London: T. Butterworth 1929), 252pp. [also Irish trans., as infra].
  • The Old Irish World (Dublin: M. H. Gill & Son 1912), vii, 3 lvs., 197pp., ill. [pls., maps (1 fold.); 23cm.].
  • Loyalty and Disloyalty: what it means in Ireland (Dublin: Maunsel & Co. [1918]), 14pp.
  • Ourselves Alone in Ulster (Dublin: Maunsel & Co. 1918), 40pp., and Do. [new. edn., with notes] (Dublin: Maunsel 1918), 40pp..
  • The Government of Ireland, with a foreword by George Russell (Æ) Labour booklets, 5] (London: Labour Publ. Co. 1921), 16pp.
  • Irish National Tradition (London: Macmillan 1923), 31pp. [rep. from History (July 1917).
  • History of the Irish State to 1014 (London: Macmillan & Co 1925), xi, 437pp., ill. [front. map; maps, plan].
  • Studies from Irish History (London: Macmillan & Co. 1926), 6 pts., 8º. [see details]
  • A Short Geography of the British Islands, by John Richard Green and Alice Stoppford Green (London: Macmillan & Co. 1879), 416, 56pp., ill. [4 lvs. of pls.: maps, some col.; 17cm.]
  • ed. The Conquest of England, by J. R. Green (London: Macmillan 1883), xxxv, 636pp.
  • The Paget papers: diplomatic and other correspondence of Sir Arthur Paget, 1794-1807 ... with two appendices 1808 & 1821-1829, arranged & edited by Sir Augustus B. Paget, with notes by Mrs. J. R. Green (London: Heinemann 1896), ill., ports. [25cm.].
  • Intro., Studies in Oxford History, chiefly in the eighteenth century: a series of papers by John Richard Green and Geo. Roberson, ed. C. L. Stainer [Oxford Historical Society, Vol. 41 (Oxford: Clarendon Press 1901), xx, xxiii, 382pp., ill. [2 lvs. of pls.: front., folded plans & part folded tab [Intro. signed Alice Stopford Green].
  • ed. Stray Studies, by J. R. Green [2nd. ser.] (London : Macmillan & Co. 1903), viii. 276pp.
  • ‘The Centralization of Norman Justice under Henry II’, in Select Essays in Anglo-American Legal History, Vol. 1 (Cambridge 1907), p.111ff.  [See Copac online].
  • ‘Woman’s Place in the World of Letters’, in Nineteenth Century (June 1897), (London : Macmillan & Co. 1913), 31pp. [offprint; BL].
  • A Short History of the English People, with epilogue by Alice Stopford Green [rev. & enl. edn.] (London: [s.n.] 1921), and Do. [rep.] (London: J. M. Dent 1936).
  • contrib. “Memoir” to Forty Years in a Moorland Parish: reminiscences and researches in Danby in Cleveland, by J. C. Atkinson (London: Macmillan 1923).
  • Meanma Gaedhal, [Irish Nationality, in trans.,] Tomás De Nhial d’aistrigh on mBearla. (Baile Atha Cliath: Oifig Díolta Foilseacháin Rialtais, 1938), 190pp. [19cm. ]

Oxford UL also holds University Extension Lectures: Syllabus of a course of lectures on English towns and how they won their freedom (London 1891).

In July 1951 Sotheby's included parts of her library in their auction catalogue - viz., ‘association copies of writings of modern Irish poets and prose authors, with a series of Henry James, the property of the late Alice Stopford Green’ [copy in V&AQ Libraries; see COPAC online];

Bibliographical details
The Making of Ireland and its Undoing 1200-1600 (London: Macmillan 1908), xvi, 511pp., and Do. [2nd edn., with add. Appendix] (London: Macmillan [Oct.] 1909; rep. 1913), xxiv, 573pp.; [another edn.] (London: Macmillan 1924), 573pp.; and Do. [rep. of 1st Edn.] (NY: Books for Libraries Press 1972), xvi, 511pp. CONTENTS: Pt. 1: Trade and Industries; Pt. II: Education and Learning.

See also: The making of Ireland and its undoing 1200-1600 / by Alice Stopford Green (Dublin: Maunsel, 1920) [copy at Southampton UL; see COPAC online].

A. S. Green, Studies from Irish History (1926), reiss. as Irish History Studies (Macmillan 1927), 85pp. -in var. pagings] incls. Irishmen on the sea (14pp.); Old Irish homes; Old Irish farms (16pp., ill. [map]); An Irish school (15pp.); An Irish festival (14pp.; ill [map]);The old Irish peoples (17pp., ill. [map]).

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  • R. B. McDowell, Alice Stopford-Green: A Passionate Historian (Dublin: Allen Figgis & Co. 1967), 116pp., ill.
  • Léon Ó Bróin, Protestant Nationalists in Revolutionary Ireland, The Stopford Connection (Dublin: Gill & Macmillan 1985), 234pp., index.
  • S. Holton, ‘Gender Difference, National Identity and Professing History: the Case of Alice Stopford Green’, in History Workshop Journal , Vol. 53, No. 1 ([Univ. of Adelaide] 2002), pp.118-27.

See also a biographical sketch in Charlotte O’Conor Eccles, ‘Some Irishwomen in London’, in Donohue, 54 (1905) [cited in Anne Brady, Women in Ireland (1988)]; Goddard Henry Orpen, review of The Making of Ireland and its Undoing, 1200-1600, by Alice Stofford Green, in English Historical Review (Jan. 1909), [6pp.].

For comments on Alice Stopford Greene and others connected with the nationalist movement in Ulster, see J. Anthony Gaughan, ed., Memoirs of Senator Joseph Connolly, 1885-1961, A Founder of Modern Ireland (IAP 1996).

Alice Stopford Green

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Donal O’Sullivan, in The Irish Free State and Its Senate (London: Faber & Faber 1940): ‘The speech which Mrs. Green had intended to deliver on the occasion of the presentation was also read, in the form of a message to the Senate. There have been many Irish patriots who were also masters of the English tongue; but the lofty ideals for Ireland expressed in this message, and the passionate love of country which inspired them, can seldom have found expression in language at once so moving and so beautiful. As it is not fitting that this message should lie buried in the limbo of forgotten parliamentary records, it shall be reproduced here in full.’ (p.158; as infra.) O’Sullivan quotes the speech at length and adds: ‘By formal resolution, the Senate gratefully accepted the gift of the Casket on the conditions named by the donor; and it further resolved that, in addition to the vellum roll containing the names of the members, the message of Alice Stopford Green which is printed above should also be inscribed on vellum and enclosed within the Casket. The engrossment was executed, with illuminated capitals, by George Atkinson, esq., R.H.A., the head of the Dublin Metropolitan School of Art; and an ornamental silver band of Irish design was made by the same school, wherewith to enclose the vellums. (Senate Debates, III, 1140-45.) / Alice Stopford Green died on the 28th May 1929, and so did not live to see the end of the Senate on which she had set such high hopes.’ (p.159.)

Donal McCartney, in O[wen] Dudley Edwards & Fergus Pyle, eds., 1916: The Easter Rising (1968): ‘Gaelic Ideological Origins of 1916, ‘[...] a representative patriotic history like A. S. Green’s The Making of Ireland and its Undoing (1908) is worlds away from A. M. Sullivan’s The Story of Ireland (1867) [with its emphasis on Grattan’s Parliament as the high-point]; Mrs Green’s book completely ignores Grattan period but concentrated instead on the Gaelic age when Ireland was a-making, and that with the coming of the English Ireland commenced to be ‘undone’ (p.42); From Alice Stopford Green (who in her turn owed much that wa scholarly in her work to MacNeill), Connolly accepted a glorified picture of early Irish society. He was very impressed by what he described as Gaelic ideas of equality and democracy ... to Connolly’s way of thinking a socialist revolution in Ireland would be in certain respects a return to the early Gaelic system. (p.46).

Francis Byrne characterises Green’s History of the Irish State to 1014 as marred by the anachronistic nationalism of the title (see Irish Kings and Highkings, 1973, Bibliog.).

Léon Ó Bróin, Protestant Nationalists in Revolutionary Ireland, The Stopford Connection (Gill & Macmillan 1985): ‘The phenomenon of men and women of English stock becoming more Irish than the Irish themselves was repeated many times during the last hundred years ... The Stopfords ... obtained forfeited Ulster and [in 1740s] and added to it by speculation ... Edward Stopford, 18th c. bishop of Meath; his son Edward Adderly, Archdeacon of Meath, supported Gladstone and worked with him at Hawarden [sic]; Alice, b. 1848, called ‘untrained intellectual’ by R. B. McDowell [see Alice Stopford-Green, A Passionate Historian, Dublin 1967]; met John Richard Green in the house of her cousin Stopford Brooke; author of the Short History of England (Macmillan), which ran to 20 eds., Green became a consumptive; she edited his Conquest of England posthumously; he left her with £1800 p.a.; bought house at Kensington Sq.; known as Mrs Johnny Green to Beatrice Potter [Webb], who wrote, “She has the originality which springs from a lonely, unhappy and self-absorbed youth, from the enforced independence of a friendless womanhood. Bred in a remote part of Ireland in a poverty-stricken home, she struggled at self-culture against every imaginable adverse circumstance. A brief married life with a man of talent ... Now she has climbed up the social ladder [on his account] ... She aims at a position to be gained by personal merit.’ [Cont.]

Léon Ó Bróin (Protestant Nationalists in Revolutionary Ireland, 1985) - cont.: Later entries in Webb’s Diary, Vol 1. (ed. MacKenzie, 1982) show her warming in admiration towards Mrs Green. JF Taylor, Alice’s ‘devoted Irish lawyer’ (Webb); in 1879 she met Douglas Hyde; her Irish family address at Bushy park Rd.; brother Jemmett died of typhoid, 1902; his family settled in London; Alice assimilated the idea of ‘an immemorial identity of old Ireland’ [Tierney] from Eoin MacNeill; for her controversy with Robert Dunlop, see Dunlop [supra]. ‘An admirer of Collins, she paid a tribute in print to the efficiency of his intelligence service; her house at St. Stephen’s Green was a salon to Russell, Stephens, Best, George Gavan Duffy, James Douglas, Erskine Childers, Mary Spring-Rice, Desmond Fitzgerald, and Collins, whose tall bicycle was frequently seen in the hall by Mary Comerford while he was still on the run.’ (p.167.) Further: she started Irish Book Shop on Dawson St., with others; suspected by British; pleased with truce; identifies with Treaty; elected Senator; work in the Senate; appeals for reconciliation; has heart attack; holds dinner parties; attitude to women [edged them out of limelight in her social life]; her view of Irish nation [a brotherhood of adoption as well as of blood ... hospitality to men of good-will [who] had become faithful members of the Irish people (phrases from a speech on reception of silver casket in Senate). [See O’Bróin, op. cit. index.]

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Roy Foster, Modern Ireland (London: Allen Lane 1988), ‘... the origins of Gaelic society retained the romantic gloss endowed by zealots like Alice Stopford Green.’ (p. 447; the only reference).

Roy Foster, Paddy and Mr Punch (London: Penguin/Allen Lane 1993), prefatorally citing A. S. Green, ‘History is more backward in Ireland than in any other country [...] Here alone there is a public opinion which resents its being freely written, and there is an opinion, public or official, I scarcely know what to call it, which prevents its being freely taught ... Here history has a peculiar doom. It is enslaved in the chains of the Moral Tale - the good man (English) who is prospered, and the bad man (Irish) who came to a shocking end’ The Old Irish World, Dublin & London 1912; Foster, p.1); Foster considers her as a historian who ‘set herself, not to produce a scientific or a poetic history, but simply to reverse the moral of the story; and with the establishment of the Irish Free State ... events seemed gratifyingly to show that the good had come into their kingdom.’ (Foster, p.1). [Cont.]

Roy Foster, Paddy and Mr Punch (London: Penguin/Allen Lane 1993) - cont.: See also Foster’s extended discussion of Green, ‘daughter of an archdeacon in County Meath ..’, which ensues on p.14ff., and incl. a passage contrib. to Catholic Bulletin that envisages the average ancient Irish catholic family discussing Thomism and life matters by the cottage fire, p.14ff.) Foster educes a Freudian explanation involving blindness and memory, giving rise to her concept of ‘Irish national memory’, a recurrent phrase in her writings; Mrs Green’s pre-invasion Ireland was a classless egalitarian ‘Commonwealth’, where ‘the earliest and the most passionate conception of “nationality” flourished’, bibl., The making of Ireland and Its Undoing (1908); Irish Nationality (1911); A History of the Irish State to 1014 (1925). See also remarks on the Ordnance Survey team which Alice Stopford Green ‘interpreted [...] team grandiloquently as “a kind of peripatetic university, in the very spirit of the older Irish life”, and believed that their work magically “revealed the soul of Irish Nationality and the might of its repression” and was accordingly suppressed.’ (The Old Irish World, 1912, p.56-61; Foster, op. cit., p.6.)

Angus Mitchell, ‘Ireland, South America, and the Forgotten History of Rubber’, in History Ireland (July/Aug. 2008), pp.41-45: In England a young journalist, E. D. Morel, bgan to speak out against the atrocities [involved in the rubber trade] and was mentored and guided in his efforts by the Irish historian Alice Stopford Green. Green facilitated the necessary introductions that helped to establish Morel as an active coice condemning the destruction and inhumanity. She helped finance several projects, introduced him to her netowrk of radical friends and had his articles placed in journals where she had influence. / In 1904 Morel and Green found a new ally in the British consular official Roger Casement, author of an official report comdemning Leopold’ s rubber-hungry regime. Casement took his crusade to Latin America.’ (p.43; see further under Roger Casement, supra.)

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Viking raids: ‘What was the effect of this new peril [and] attack from Europe from the sea? In the first place the highways of the sea, never before closed, were barred by the Scandanavian freebooters. [...] The terrors of the sea journey drove travellers to the land route, and the way across England to the continent became so important that clerics of the tenth century could not imagine that any other way had ever been possible […]. Scholars and Christian monks fled from the heathen barbarians, carrying to Europe their treasures and manuscripts.’ (The Old Irish World, p.77; cited in in George A Little, Dublin Before the Vikings, 1957, p.138.)

Public Announcement (Sinn Féin, Belfast Executive; q.d.): ‘Fellow Gaels! If you are anxious to defeat the English government, / in its policy of preventing the Irish people from learning the true history of our country come to the Lecture on “Ireland, England and the Spanish Armada”, to be delivered by A. Stopford Green / (Author of Idea of a Nation, The Making of Ireland and Its Undoing, Old Irish World, Irish Nationality, &c. &c.), in St. Mary’s Hall, on Thursday, 13 Oct. at 8 o’clock. Admission 3d & 6d. A limited number of reserved seats. Educate that you may be Free.’ [vide Charles Gavan Duffy.]

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The Casket - a speech by Alice Stopford Green intended to accompany presentation of a silver casket to the Senate for its Constitution:

I ask leave to send a few words as to the casket which I offer to the Seanad.

Senators will agree that we should place no emblem before us in this Assembly that is not of Ireland, in spirit and in workmanship, carrying in it the faith both of the Old Irish world and of the New. I have insisted, therefore, that the form of the casket should go back in direct descent to the “shrines” designed by the Irish over a thousand years ago. The artist has magnificently proved the power of that spiritual inheritance which has been bequeathed to us from an Old Ireland; and has shown that a really living art has no need to copy in slavish routine, and can to-day be as free and original and distinguished as in the times of ancient renown, supposed to have been lost.

Thus the shrine in its intense vitality carries to us its own message. That if we want to revive here an Irish nation we must dig our roots deep into its soil, and be nourished by that ancient earth. In Old Ireland, a land of many peoples, it was not privileges of race that united Irishmen in one country and under one law. It was a common loyalty to the land that bore them. “This then is my foster-mother, the island in which ye are, even Ireland . Moreover, it is the mast and the produce, the flower and the food of this island that have sustained me from the Deluge until to-day.” This feeling was the refrain of Irish nationality, the loyalty of a people made one by their sonship to the land that bore them, an early and passionate conception of nationality. A sudden and brief outburst by an Irish poet of the old time has no parallel in European mediaeval history - “The counsels of God concerning virgin Eriú are greater than can be told.”’ [158]

From the beginning, Ireland has been rich in her hospitality to men of good-will coming within her borders. And at all times there have been incomers who have honourably responded to that generosity, and have become faithful members of her people. She has had her reward among the strangers who under her wide skies have felt the wonder of the land, and the quality of its people, and have entered into her commonwealth.

Through the long record of wars and assaults, in every generation in turn, men who came as warriors, even the roughest of them, remained as men of Ireland . They took their share in defence of their new home, and endured, if need were, in evil times outrage, ruin and death in the cause of Irish freedom and independence. No real history of Ireland has yet been written. When the true story is finally worked out - one not wholly occupied with the many and insatiable plunderers - it will give us a noble and reconciling vision of Irish nationality. Silence and neglect will no longer hide the fame of honourable men. We shall learn the ties which did in fact ever bind the dwellers in Ireland together. Whether we are of an ancient Irish descent, or of later Irish birth, we are united in one people, and we are bound by one lofty obligation to complete the building of our common nation. We have lived under the breadth of her skies, we have been fed by the fatness of her fields, and nourished by the civilization of her dead. Our people lie in her earth, and we ourselves must in that earth await our doom. We have shared our country’s sorrows, and we expect her joys. “The mother that has nursed us is she, and when you have looked on her she is not unlovely.” To Ireland we have given our faith. In Ireland is our hope.

Journal of Proceedings of the Irish Senate (1924), pp.298-99; quoted in Donal O’Sullivan, in The Irish Free State and Its Senate (London: Faber & Faber 1940), pp.158-59; see O’Sullivan’s remarks, under Commentary, supra.)

Note: The Casket Speech was quoted by Sean O’Faolain, in ‘This is Your Magazine’, The Bell [first editorial], 1940 - as follows: ‘From the beginning, Ireland has been rich in her hospitality to men of goodwill coming within her borders. And at all times there have been incomers who have responded honourably to that generosity and have become faithful members of her people. She has had her rewards among the strangers who, under her wide skies, have felt the wonder of the land, and the quality of its people, and have entered into her commonwealth.’ To this quotation he added the remark: adding: ‘Whatever you are, then O reader, Gentile or Jew, Protestant or Catholic, priest or layman, Big House or Small House - The Bell is yours’) [See full text of the speech - supra.]

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Justin McCarthy, gen. ed., Irish Literature (Washington: University of America 1904); gives extract from Mrs. J. R. Green, Town Life in the 15th c. [1894]. See also Irish Book Lover, 4, 7; Also ‘A Castle at Ardglass’ [non-title excerpt from The Old Irish World], in Sophia Hillan King and Sean MacMahon, eds., Hope and History: Eyewitness Accounts of life in Twentieth-Century Ulster (Belfast: Friar’s Bush Press 1996), pp.23-25.

Seamus Deane, gen. ed., The Field Day Anthology Anthology of Irish Writing (Derry: Field Day Co. 1991): selects no part of her works, but cites in a foot-note (Vol. 3, ftn 9, 497) as best-known works, The Making of Ireland and its Undoing (1908), and the pamphlet Ourselves Alone and [sic] Ulster (1918).

Cathach Book. (Cat. 12) lists The Making of Ireland and Its Undoing 1200-1600 (London: Macmillan 1908), Do., with Appendix to 2nd edn. (1909); [Whelan 32; Hyland 214, 220]; Ourselves Alone in Ulster (1918).

Emerald Isle Books (1997) lists The Making of Ireland [&c.] (London: Macmillan 1908), 511pp. [Commerce, Trade, Learning, the Bards and Brehons, &c.] another edn. (Macmillan 1924), 573pp. [Part I: Trade and Industries, pp.1-203; Pt. II: Education and Learning, pp.235-557]

Belfast Public Library holds no fiction; hist. works incl. Fragments (1920); History of the Irish State to 1014 (1925); Irish Nationality ([1912]; Loyalty and Disloyalty, what it means in Ireland (n.d.); The Old Irish World (1912); Ourselves Alone in Ulster (1918) [var?1915, Cathach Bks. Cat. 12]. MORRIS holds History of the Irish State (1925) 437p.; Irish National Tradition (1917) 24p.; Irish Nationality (1919) 256p.

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Hill of Uisneach: Green’s Irish Nationality (1912), called a survey of early Irish ‘nationhood’ and bearing a dedication ‘To the Irish Dead’ makes reference to the fourfold division centred at the Hill of Usnech [sic], where ‘all meet in the middle of the island [and where] the Stone of Division still stands.’ She speaks of ‘the unchanging intention - the taking of Irish land’ as the mark of English history in Ireland, and ends with an aspiration towards ‘the natural union [which] approaches the Irish nation’. (q.p.)

Romantic charm: Alice Stopford Green comments on the derogatory view of Irish topography in C. L. Falkiner’s Essays Relating to Ireland, &c. (1909): ‘How was it that these Englishmen left none of their “romantic charm” there? What strange history lies hidden behind this saying?’ (‘The Way of History’, in The Old Irish World, Gill, 1912, p.16; cited in Luke Gibbons, Transformations in Irish Culture, Field Day/Cork UP 1996, p.5.)

John Richard Green - b. Oxford, 1837; d. Menton, 1883; Anglican clergyman and librarian at Lambeth palace; while in Lambeth, he spent much of his time writing; his most famous work A Short History of the English People (1874); his books, many with personal bookplates, were donated by his widow to the UCD Library in the 1920s and are held in Special Collections - online.

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