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Literary study guides from educational experts feature in Book People's hand-picked selection. They're ideal for anyone who is interested in English literature.

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Literary Study Guides

  • Woven Shades of Green

    Tim Wenzell

    Product Code: BZIEL
    Paperback
    Woven Shades of Green is an annotated selection of literature from authors who focus on the natural world and the beauty of Ireland. The anthology begins with the Irish monks and their largely anonymous nature poetry, written at a time when Ireland was heavily forested. A section follows devoted to the changing Irish landscape, through both deforestation and famine, including the nature poetry of William Allingham, James Clarence Mangan, essays from Thomas Gainford and William Thackerary, and novel excerpts from William Carleton and Emily Lawless. The anthology then turns to the nature literature of the Irish Literary Revival, including Yeats and Synge, but also the poetry of many others, and an excerpt from George Moore's novel The Lake. Part four of the anthology shifts to modern Irish nature poetry, beginning with Patrick Kavanaugh, and continuing with late twentieth-century, early twenty-first-century poetry of Seamus Heaney, Eavan Boland, and others. Finally, the anthology concludes with a section on various Irish naturalist writers, and the unique prose and philosophical nature writing of John Moriarty, followed by a comprehensive list of environmental organizations in Ireland, which seek to preserve the natural beauty of this unique country.
    • £25.50
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  • American Travel Literature, Gendered Aesthetics and the Italian Tour, 1824 62

    Brigitte Bailey

    Product Code: BZGCF
    Paperback
    American Travel Literature analyses US tourist writings about Italy from 1824 to 1862 to explain what roles transatlantic travel, aesthetic response, and the genre of tourist writing played in the formation of the United States. Its interdisciplinary methodology draws on antebellum visual culture, tourist practices, and shifting class and gender identities to describe tourism and tourist writing as shapers of an elite (and then normative) national subjectivity. Bringing perspectives from art history and aesthetics, the book historicises aesthetic practices by tracing nineteenth-century US representations of Italy. It draws connections between tourist writing and visual culture as means of understanding the depth of Americans' turn towards visual iconography in articulating social and national identities.
    • £24.99
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  • The Dictator Novel

    Magali Armillas-Tiseyra

    Product Code: BYMHP
    Paperback
    Where there are dictators, there are novels about dictators. But "dictator novels" do not simply respond to the reality of dictatorship. As this genre has developed and cohered, it has acquired a self-generating force distinct from its historical referents. The dictator novel has become a space in which writers consider the difficulties of national consolidation, explore the role of external and global forces in sustaining dictatorship, and even interrogate the political functions of writing itself. Liteary representations of the dictator, therefore, provide ground for a self-conscious and self-critical theorization of the relationship between writing and politics itself. The Dictator Novel positions novels about dictators as a vital genre in the literatures of the Global South. Primarily identified with Latin America, the dictator novel also has underacknowledged importance in the postcolonial literatures of francophone and anglophone Africa. Although scholars have noted similarities, this book is the first extensive comparative analysis of these traditions; it includes discussions of authors including Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Ngugi wa Thiong'o, Alejo Carpentier, Augusto Roa Bastos, Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, Jose Marmol, Esteban Echeverria, Ousmane Sembene , Chinua Achebe, Aminata Sow Fall, Henri Lopes, Sony Labou Tansi, and Ahmadou Kourouma. This juxtaposition illuminates the internal dynamics of the dictator novel as a literary genre. In so doing, Armillas-Tiseyra puts forward a comparative model relevant to scholars working across the Global South.
    • £39.50
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  • Mad, Bad, Dangerous to Know

    Colm Toibin

    Product Code: BYLSL
    Paperback
    An intimate study of three of Ireland's greatest writers from one of its best-loved contemporary voices 'A father...is a necessary evil.' Stephen Dedalus in Ulysses In Mad, Bad, Dangerous to Know Colm Toibin turns his incisive gaze to three of Ireland's greatest writers, Oscar Wilde, W.B. Yeats and James Joyce, and their earliest influences: their fathers. From Wilde's doctor father, a brilliant statistician and amateur archaeologist, who was taken to court by an obsessed lover in a strange premonition of what would happen to his son; to Yeats' father, an impoverished artist and brilliant letter-writer who could never finish apainting; to John Stanislus Joyce, a singer, drinker and story-teller, a man unwilling to provide for his large family, whom his son James memorialised in his work. Colm Toibin illuminates not only the complex relationships between three of the greatest writers in the English language and their fathers, but also illustrates the surprising ways they surface in their work.
    • £7.99
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  • Words & Pictures

    Jenny Uglow

    Product Code: BYIAV
    Paperback
    As children, learning to read, we look first at the illustrations - but how do these tell their stories differently to the words? Words & Pictures explores this question through three encounters between writers and artists. It looks at how artists have responded to two great, contrasting works, Paradise Lost and Pilgrim's Progress; at Hogarth and Fielding, great innovators, sharing common aims; and at Wordsworth and Bewick, a poet and engraver, both working separately, but both imbued with the spirit of their age. A brief coda turns to a fourth relationship: writers and artists who collaborate from the start, like Dickens and Phiz, and Lewis Carroll and Tenniel. Sometimes amusing, sometimes moving, this is a book to pore over and enjoy. The visions it considers link daily life to the universal, the passionate and the sublime.
    • £8.79
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  • At Home in the World

    Maria DiBattista

    Product Code: BYAZV
    Paperback
    A bold literary history that says women's writing is defined less by domestic concerns than by an engagement with public life In a bold and sweeping reevaluation of the past two centuries of women's writing, At Home in the World argues that this work has been defined less by domestic concerns than by an active engagement with the most pressing issues of public life: from class and religious divisions, slavery, warfare, and labor unrest to democracy, tyranny, globalism, and the clash of cultures. Maria DiBattista and Deborah Epstein Nord show that even the most seemingly traditional works by British, American, and other English-language women writers redefine the domestic sphere in ways that incorporate the concerns of public life. Exploring works by a wide range of writers, including canonical, neglected, and contemporary figures, this compelling and concise literary history uncovers the public concerns of women writers who ventured into ever-wider geographical, cultural, and political territories, forging new definitions of what it means to create a home in the world.
    • £14.89
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  • The Art of Time

    Nina L. Molinaro

    Product Code: BXXNI
    Paperback
    Ethics, or the systematized set of inquiries and responses to the question 'what should I do?' has infused the history of human narrative for more than two centuries. One of the foremost theorists of ethics during the twentieth century, Emmanuel Levinas (1906-1995) radicalized the discipline of philosophy by arguing that 'the ethical' is the foundational moment for human subjectivity, and that human subjectivity underlies all of Western philosophy. Levinas's voice is crucial to the resurging global attention to ethics because he grapples with the quintessential problem of alterity or 'otherness,' which he conceptualizes as the articulation of, and prior responsibility to, difference in relation to the competing movement toward sameness. Academicians and journalists in Spain and abroad have recently fastened on an emerging cluster of peninsular writers who, they argue, pertain to a discernible literary generation, provisionally referred to as Generacion X. These writers are distinct from their predecessors; they and their literary texts are closely related to the specific socio-political and historical circumstances in Spain; and their novels relate stories of more and less proximity, more and less responsibility, and more and less temporality. In short, they trace the temporal movement of alterity through narrative.
    • £25.50
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  • Resuming Maurice

    Philip Mosley

    Product Code: BXVTD
    Paperback
    Resuming Maurice is a collection of personal essays on greater and lesser known writers whose lives and careers have sparked some of Philip Mosley's own literary and historical interests. Drawing on the experience of a 40-year academic career, he also introduces elements of personal narrative into his appreciations of this diverse set of authors whose backgrounds range from English (Vita Sackville West, Whitwell Elwin, George Barker, John Seymour, Virginia Haggard, J. K. Nettlefold), Welsh (Dylan Thomas) and American (Ned Washington) to Belgian (Maurice Maeterlinck), Danish (Karen Blixen), Mexican (Octavio Paz, Rosario Castellanos) and Kenyan (Ngugi wa Thiong'o). Corresponding to the growing academic subdiscipline of celebrity studies, a unifying theme of literary celebrity and its discontents runs throughout the volume. To suggest figuratively the interconnective structure and spirit of the collection, `A convivial preface' ventures an imaginary dinner party attended by these authors with Mosley in the background. Chapter 1, `Resuming Maurice,' on Maeterlinck, is the capstone essay and includes a `Pre-amble' on the celebrity theme. The essays on Barker, Elwin, Seymour and Nettlefold have strong East Anglian connections, while the one on Virginia Haggard invokes the Norfolk origin of her famous great-uncle, the Victorian novelist Sir Henry Rider Haggard. The collection aims at the `common reader' (in Virginia Woolf's sense), a broad audience of literary enthusiasts and especially those interested in how literary history and criticism, biography and memoir, and celebrity studies may intersect in productive and engaging ways.
    • £12.34
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  • Faber & Faber

    Toby Faber

    Product Code: BXLJT
    Hardback
    This is the story of one of the world's great publishers told in its own words. Drawing on a wealth of previously unpublished letters, minutes, memoirs and diaries, Toby Faber takes us deep inside the evolution of the company and the excitement, hopes and fears of the people who published and wrote the books that line our shelves today. Highlights include Eliot's magnificent reader reports, Beckett on swearing and censorship, the publication of Finnegan's Wake, the rejection of Orwell's Animal Farm, P.D. James tasting her first avocado, the first reader's response to Heaney's Death of a Naturalist, Larkin's reluctance to attend poetry readings ('people's imaginary picture of you is always so much more flattering than the reality'), the discovery of Kazuo Ishiguro, and some sticky negotiations over book titles. In the background, the publisher battles the Great Depression, wartime paper shortages and dramatic financial crises to retain its independence. The result is both a vibrant history and a hymn to the role of literature in all our lives.
    • £16.00
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  • Captivating Westerns

    Susan Kollin

    Product Code: BXLEU
    Paperback
    Tracing the transnational influences of what has been known as a uniquely American genre, "the Western," Susan Kollin's Captivating Westerns analyzes key moments in the history of multicultural encounters between the Middle East and the American West. In particular the book examines how experiences of contact and conflict have played a role in defining the western United States as a crucial American landscape. Kollin interprets the popular Western as a powerful national narrative and presents the cowboy hero as a captivating figure who upholds traditional American notions of freedom and promise, not just in the region but across the globe. Captivating Westerns revisits popular uses of the Western plot and cowboy hero in understanding American global power in the post-9/11 period. Although various attempts to build a case for the war on terror have referenced this quintessential American region, genre, and hero, they have largely overlooked the ways in which these celebrated spaces, icons, and forms, rather than being uniquely American, are instead the result of numerous encounters with and influences from the Middle East. By tracing this history of contact, encounter, and borrowing, this study expands the scope of transnational studies of the cowboy and the Western and in so doing discloses the powerful and productive influence the Middle East has had on the American West.
    • £25.95
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  • The Unpunished Vice

    Edmund White

    Product Code: BXKPM
    Paperback
    'I find it impossible to imagine anyone better read than White ... Wisdom and a certain kind of tenderness are to be found on every page' Observer Edmund White made his name as a writer, but he remembers his life through the books he read. For White, each momentous occasion came with books to match: Proust's Remembrance of Things Past, which opened up the seemingly closed world of homosexuality; the Ezra Pound poems adored by a lover he followed to New York; the biography of Stephen Crane that inspired one of White's novels. White's larger-than-life presence on the literary scene lends itself to fascinating, intimate insights into the lives of some of the world's best-loved cultural figures. Blending memoir and literary criticism, The Unpunished Vice is a sensitive, smart account of a life in literature.
    • £7.99
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  • Reading Elizabeth Bishop

    Jonathan Ellis

    Product Code: BXJYB
    Hardback
    Celebrating Elizabeth Bishop as an international writer with allegiances to various countries and national traditions, this collection of essays explores how Bishop moves between literal geographies like Nova Scotia, New England, Key West and Brazil and more philosophical categories like home and elsewhere, human and animal, insider and outsider. The book covers all aspects and periods of the author's career, from her early writing in the 1930s to the late poems finished after Geography III and those works published after her death. It also examines how Bishop's work has been read and reinterpreted by contemporary writers.
    • £125.00
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  • Women, Periodicals and Print Culture in Britain, 1890s-1920s

    Faith Binckes

    Product Code: BXJWN
    Hardback
    This collection highlights the contributions of women writers, editors and critics to periodical culture in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It explores women's role in shaping conversations about modernism and modernity across varied aesthetic and ideological registers, and foregrounds how such participation was shaped by a wide range of periodical genres. The essays focus on well-known publications and introduce those as yet obscure and understudied - including middlebrow and popular magazines, movement-based, radical papers, avant-garde titles and classic Little Magazines. Examining neglected figures and shining new light on familiar ones, the collection enriches our understanding of the role women played in the print culture of this transformative period.
    • £150.00
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  • George Stevens

    Neil Sinyard

    Product Code: BXJSQ
    Paperback
    "George Stevens could do anything," said veteran Hollywood producer Pandro S. Berman, "break your heart or make you laugh." Winner of two Best Director Oscars-for A Place in the Sun (1951) and Giant (1956)-Stevens excelled in a range of genres, gave luster to some of Hollywood's brightest stars and was revered by his peers. Yet his work has been largely neglected by critics and scholars. This career retrospective highlights Stevens' achievments, particularly in his sweeping "American Dream" trilogy (A Place in the Sun, Shane (1953) and Giant). His recurrent themes and characteristic style reveal a progressive attitude towards women's experiences and highlight the continued relevance of his films today.
    • £50.95
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  • Mahabharata

    William Buck

    Product Code: BXJSD
    Paperback
    Few works in world literature have inspired so vast an audience in nations with radically different languages and cultures as the Mahabharata. Written some 2,000 years ago and probably the longest Indian epic ever composed, it is a story of dynastic struggle that culminates in a fatal clash between two branches of a single ruling family. It is a moral and philosophical tale as well as a historical one. In his introduction, Sanskritist B. A. van Nooten notes that apart from William Buck's rendition no other English version has been able to capture the blend of religion and martial spirit that pervades the original epic.
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  • The World in a Book

    Elias Muhanna

    Product Code: BXJNJ
    Paperback
    Shihab al-Din al-Nuwayri was a fourteenth-century Egyptian polymath and the author of one of the greatest encyclopedias of the medieval Islamic world--a thirty-one-volume work entitled The Ultimate Ambition in the Arts of Erudition. A storehouse of knowledge, this enormous book brought together materials on nearly every conceivable subject, from cosmology, zoology, and botany to philosophy, poetry, ethics, statecraft, and history. Composed in Cairo during the golden age of Islamic encyclopedic activity, the Ultimate Ambition was one of hundreds of large-scale compendia, literary anthologies, dictionaries, and chronicles produced at this time--an effort that was instrumental in organizing the archive of medieval Islamic thought. In the first study of this landmark work in a European language, Elias Muhanna explores its structure and contents, sources and influences, and reception and impact in the Islamic world and Europe. He sheds new light on the rise of encyclopedic literature in the learned cities of the Mamluk Empire and situates this intellectual movement alongside other encyclopedic traditions in the ancient, medieval, Renaissance, and Enlightenment periods. He also uncovers al-Nuwayri's world: a scene of bustling colleges, imperial chanceries, crowded libraries, and religious politics. Based on award-winning scholarship, The World in a Book opens up new areas in the comparative study of encyclopedic production and the transmission of knowledge.
    • £21.99
    • RRP £22.00
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  • Comic Books Incorporated

    Shawna Kidman

    Product Code: BXJLE
    Paperback
    Comic Books Incorporated tells the story of the US comic book business, reframing the history of the medium through an industrial and transmedial lens. Comic books wielded their influence from the margins and in-between spaces of the entertainment business for half a century before moving to the center of mainstream film and television production. This extraordinary history begins at the medium's origin in the 1930s, when comics were a reviled, disorganized, and lowbrow mass medium, and surveys critical moments along the way--market crashes, corporate takeovers, upheavals in distribution, and financial transformations. Shawna Kidman concludes this revisionist history in the early 2000s, when Hollywood had fully incorporated comic book properties and strategies into its business models and transformed the medium into the heavily exploited, exceedingly corporate, and yet highly esteemed niche art form we know so well today.
    • £26.99
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  • Leo Tolstoy: A Very Short Introduction

    Liza Knapp (Professor, Departm

    Product Code: BXGFH
    Paperback
    War and Peace and Anna Karenina are widely recognised as two of the greatest novels ever written. Their author, Leo Tolstoy, has been honoured as the father of the modern war story; as an innovator in psychological prose and forerunner of stream of consciousness; and as a genius at using fiction to reveal the mysteries of love and death. At the time of his death in 1910, Tolstoy was known the world over as both a great writer and as a merciless critic of institutions that perpetrated, bred, or tolerated injustice and violence in any form. Yet among literary critics and rival writers, it has become a commonplace to disparage Tolstoy's <"thought>" while praising his <"art.>" In this Very Short Intorduction Liza Knapp explores the heart of Tolstoy's work. Focussing on his masterpieces of fiction which have stood the test of time, she analyses his works of non-fiction alongside them, and sketches out the core themes in Tolstoy's art and thought, and the interplay between them. Tracing the continuing influence of Tolstoy's work on modern literature, Knapp highlights those aspects of his writings that remain relevant today. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
    • £7.19
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  • Working

    Robert A Caro

    Product Code: BWVOB
    Hardback
    Robert A. Caro, 'one of the great reporters of our time and probably the greatest biographer' (Sunday Times), is one of the most acclaimed writers of his generation, whose biographies are widely considered to be masterpieces. In Working he offers a captivating account of his life as a writer, describing the sometimes staggering lengths to which he has gone in order to produce his books and offering priceless insights into the art and craft of non-fiction writing. Anyone interested in investigative journalism and the pursuit of truth, in the writer's process and the creation of literature, in the art of interviewing or simply the psychology of excellence will find a masterclass in all these subjects within these pages. Readers already familiar with Caro's work, meanwhile, will be thrilled at the revelations on offer, including how he discovered the fiercely guarded secrets of his subjects, how he constructed the pivotal scenes in his books and the fullest description yet of his forthcoming final volume of The Years of Lyndon Johnson. Including several of Caro's most famous speeches and interviews alongside the new material, Working is the self-portrait of a man who knows the meaning and importance of great story-telling. It is, like all his books, an utterly riveting example of that too.
    • £15.89
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  • The Saga of Tanya the Evil, Vol. 6 (manga)

    Carlo Zen

    Product Code: BWKSD
    Paperback
    Extoled for her achievements in Dacia, Tanya is sent back to the frontlines for another...debut?! As warm memories in the rear fade into the distance, relations with the once amicable Colonel Lergen and her subordinates go sour. From a barrage of shells to communication errors, the war to sabotage the former salaryman just never seems to end!
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  • Forgotten Futures, Colonized Pasts

    Cara Anne Kinnally

    Product Code: BWJRL
    Paperback
    Forgotten Futures, Colonized Pasts traces the existence of a now largely forgotten history of inter-American alliance-making, transnational community formation, and intercultural collaboration between Mexican and Anglo American elites. This communion between elites was often based upon Mexican elites' own acceptance and reestablishment of problematic socioeconomic, cultural, and ethno-racial hierarchies that placed them above other groups-the poor, working class, indigenous, or Afro-Mexicans, for example-within their own larger community of Greater Mexico. Using close readings of literary texts, such as novels, diaries, letters, newspapers, political essays, and travel narratives produced by nineteenth-century writers from Greater Mexico, Forgotten Futures, Colonized Pasts brings to light the forgotten imaginings of how elite Mexicans and Mexican Americans defined themselves and their relationship with Spain, Mexico, the United States, and Anglo America in the nineteenth century. These "lost" discourses-long ago written out of official national narratives and discarded as unrealized or impossible avenues for identity and nation formation-reveal the rifts, fractures, violence, and internal colonizations that are a foundational, but little recognized, part of the history and culture of Greater Mexico.
    • £31.50
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  • The Hum of the World

    Lawrence Kramer

    Product Code: BWHOK
    Hardback
    The Hum of the World is an invitation to contemplate what would happen if we heard the world as attentively as we see it. Balancing big ideas with playful wit and lyrical prose, this imaginative volume identifies the role of sound in Western experience as the primary medium in which the presence and persistence of life acquire tangible form. The positive experience of aliveness is not merely in accord with sound, but inaccessible, even inconceivable, without it. Lawrence Kramer's poetic book roves freely over music, media, language, philosophy, and science from the ancient world to the present, along the way revealing how life is apprehended through sounds ranging from pandemonium to the faint background hum of the world. Easily moving from reflections on pivotal texts and music to the introduction of elemental concepts, this warm meditation on auditory culture uncovers the knowledge and pleasure made available when we recognize that the world is alive with sound.
    • £27.00
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  • Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Seas

    Jules Verne

    Product Code: BWGGI
    Paperback
    'I am going to sink it.' 'You are not!' 'I am,' he coldly replied. 'Do not take it on yourself to judge me, monsieur.' French naturalist Dr Aronnax embarks on an expedition to hunt down a sea monster, but discovers instead the Nautilus, a self-contained world built by its enigmatic captain. Together Nemo and Aronnax explore the underwater realms of the globe, undergo a transcendental experience amongst the ruins of Atlantis, and plant a black flag at the South Pole. Nemo's mission is finally revealed to be a violent one-and his methods coldly efficient. Verne's classic novel has left a profound mark on subsequent centuries. Its themes are universal, its style alternately humorous and grandiose, its construction masterly. This new and unabridged translation brilliantly conveys the range of this seminal work. The volume also contains unpublished information about the novel's inception.
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  • Re-thinking Ressentiment

    Jeanne Riou

    Product Code: BWDKB
    Paperback
    The charge of "Ressentiment" can in today's world -- less from traditionally conservative quarters than from the neo-positivist discourses of particular forms of liberalism -- be used to undermine the argumentative credibility of political opponents, dissidents and those who call for greater "justice". The essays in this volume draw on the broad spectrum of cultural discourse on "Ressentiment", both in historical and contemporary contexts. Starting with its conceptual genesis, the essays also show contemporary nuances of "Ressentiment" as well as its influence on aesthetic and literary discourse in the 20th century.
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