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English literature pre-1900

Rare first editions, signed and inscribed copies, deluxe and collectible editions of books, pamphlets, and ephemera relating to poetry, novels, short stories, plays, and other original works written in the English language and published before 1900, including literature in English from Scotland, Wales, and the whole of Ireland, as well as literature in English from countries of the former British Empire, including the United States.

Showing items 1-60 of 634

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  1. 125669
    First edition in book form, early states of most plates, with page numbers and no caption, but with Phiz plates replacing the two Buss plates and with the corrected state frontispiece and Weller title page. In later states the plates are entirely re-etched and do not contain page locations. Learn More
    £9,750

    Stock Code: 125669

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  2. 132058detail
    First edition, one of 750 quarto sets for subscribers (there were also copies issued one month later in both large paper and small folio format) of one of the most important publications of its era, notable for establishing Pope as probably the first true professional poet in English. The particular method of publication... Learn More
    £8,500

    Stock Code: 132058

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  3. 132046
    The other tracts in the volume are:
    HALL, David. An Epistle to Friends in Great-Britain, or elsewhere, containing Advice and Consolation, particularly address'd to those who are under Tribulation..."> First edition of this tract for Quaker children. A variant gives the initials of the author, "J.J.", following "A Lover of Truth."
    The other tracts in the volume are:
    HALL, David. An Epistle to Friends in Great-Britain, or elsewhere, containing Advice and Consolation, particularly address'd to those who are under Tribulation... Learn More
    £950

    Stock Code: 132046

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  4. 126189
    First UK edition, earliest practically obtainable impression with seventy-fifth thousand on the title page. The novel, one of the greatest and most successful of all detective stories, had met with enormous enthusiasm when first published in Australia in 1886. The author foolishly sold the copyright for a paltry sum to the... Learn More
    £7,500

    Stock Code: 126189

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  5. 132035
    First edition (with the London edition slightly preceding the US edition), first issue with textual errors. The Song of Hiawatha, Longfellow's epic poem of a Native American love story, is one of the most enduring productions of American Romanticism. Learn More
    £350

    Stock Code: 132035

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  6. 132030detail
    The Imperial Edition, number 7 of 100 sets. A highly striking set of Disraeli's works, beautifully printed, bound and illustrated. Disraeli's novels had a clear political intent, aiming to shift Victorian public opinion and consequently the nation's politics. Learn More
    £5,750

    Stock Code: 132030

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  7. 131944
    A handsomely bound copy of the Imperial Edition, a particularly imposing and well-illustrated edition of Shakespeare. Learn More
    £875

    Stock Code: 131944

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  8. 112478
    First edition of Through the Looking-Glass, tenth thousand of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. A handsomely bound set. Learn More
    £4,850

    Stock Code: 112478

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  9. 132001
    An early manuscript copy of Tighe's epic romance, Psyche; or, the Legend of Love (1805), which was published in a private edition of 50 copies for family and friends. There is no definite clue as to where the manuscript was made, although the volume has the inkstamp of Newport House, Newport, co. Mayo, the seat of the O'Donnell... Learn More
    £750

    Stock Code: 132001

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  10. 131978detail
    First edition of Capell's Shakespeare. "It was the first edition to be prepared from a complete transcript rather than a marked-up copy of the previous edition, and it marked a change of editorial policy in which the textus receptus was rejected in favour of an unusually meticulous collation of the early quartos of which... Learn More
    £2,500

    Stock Code: 131978

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  11. 131682
    Fourth quarto edition of Macbeth, adapted by William Davenant; Davenant's version of Macbeth had first appeared in 1674 (printed twice in that year). As was common practice with play texts in the 17th century, Macbeth is here bound up with 11 other popular plays of that era, allowing it to be seen in its contemporary context.... Learn More
    £15,000

    Stock Code: 131682

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  12. 131986

    This..."> First editions, first issue of Hebrew Melodies, with the 4-line notice of Samuel Rogers's Jacqueline: A Tale on the verso of E4 (omitted in the second issue) and Thomas Campbell's Selected Beauties of English Poetry advertised as "In the Press"; The Giaour is of the issue printed on ordinary wove paper without a watermark.

    This... Learn More
    £2,500

    Stock Code: 131986

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  13. 130665
    New edition. A handsome early Victorian set of Shakespeare's works. Learn More
    £975

    Stock Code: 130665

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  14. 121822
    First editions of the first two great collections of Holmes stories. The first collection, Adventures, is the first issue with the misprint "Miss Violent Hunter" on page 317; there is no corresponding issue point for Memoirs. Learn More
    £6,950

    Stock Code: 121822

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  15. The Works of John Dryden, now first Collected in Eighteen Volumes.
    Second edition, the first published in 1808. An excellent edition in a well-preserved and highly attractive Regency binding. Slightly later engraved armorial bookplates of James Banks Stanhope to front pastedowns. Stanhope was MP for North Lincolnshire and inherited the estates at Revesby from his kinsman Sir Joseph Banks,... Learn More
    £1,750

    Stock Code: 94636

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  16. Ladies of Fantasy:
    First edition, first printing, with the dust jacket designed by Edward Gorey. Learn More
    £125

    Stock Code: 112680

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  17. Miscellaneous Poems.
    First edition of this very scarce early collected edition of Shelley's poetry, in the rare original boards. This Benbow piracy selects Shelley's poetry from various previously published editions, collecting mainly from the Posthumous Poems edition of 1824, but with some notable examples drawn from earlier publications. Excepting... Learn More
    £1,750

    Stock Code: 106345

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  18. 11714
    Second edition (first published 1818) of this humorous poem, detailing the adventures of a new recruit in the navy. Learn More
    £300

    Stock Code: 11714

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  19. 118720
    First edition of the principal collection of Donne's poetical works, issued two years after his death, here bound together with the first edition of his Juvenilia. This copy of Poems has the two inserted leaves with "The Printer to the Understanders" and Hexastichon Bibliopolae, not always present, and has the leaf Nn1 in... Learn More
    £27,500

    Stock Code: 118720

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  20. 101156
    First Clarendon press edition. One of a limited edition of 1,000 sets on large paper with the letters in 2 volumes. Learn More
    £3,750

    Stock Code: 101156

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  21. 131809
    First fully illustrated edition. This was the first edition to feature illustrations accompanying the text, as Bentley's 1833 edition and subsequent printings had featured only a frontispiece. Thomson's "light touch and feeling for period manners provide a charming and accessible gloss to the author's work" (ODNB). The exquisite... Learn More
    £1,500

    Stock Code: 131809

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  22. 126162
    First edition of this rare collection of poems by Mary Elizabeth Southwell Leathley, opening with two feminist pieces both entitled "The Wrongs of Woman". As well as poetry Leathley published children's books and bible stories from the 1840s to 1900s. This privately printed production is rare: Copac records only two copies... Learn More
    £750

    Stock Code: 126162

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  23. The Works.
    First Cunningham edition. A handsomely bound set. Learn More
    £300

    Stock Code: 116025

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  24. 39057
    Michelet, best known for his monumental..."> A note to his sister: "I thought I remembered sending, or bringing, the Michelet to Wakefield. But I suppose I was mistaken. The vol. has somehow been lost, unfortunately. Affectionately yours, George Gissing". Gissing had last visited his family in Wakefield in September 1898.
    Michelet, best known for his monumental... Learn More
    £2,000

    Stock Code: 39057

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  25. 37011
    First edition. David Elginbrod was George Macdonald's first real success, a novel of Scottish country life which effectively challenged 19th-century materialism and contributed to contemporary interest in psychic experiences. Scarce in original cloth. Learn More
    £1,850

    Stock Code: 37011

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  26. 131937
    A handsomely bound set of the Imperial Edition, a particularly imposing and well-illustrated edition of Shakespeare. Learn More
    £675

    Stock Code: 131937

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  27. 130801detail
    First collected edition of Wilde's works, one of 1,000 unnumbered sets on handmade paper. The texts were mostly taken from the last editions to be supervised by the author, in some cases with additional matter here published for the first time. The copyright of The Picture of Dorian Gray was held by Charles Carrington, so... Learn More
    £5,750

    Stock Code: 130801

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  28. 113861
    A lovely copy of Carroll's classic novels, with all the original illustrations by Tenniel. Learn More
    £750

    Stock Code: 113861

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  29. The Coral Island:
    First Edition, first issue (with frontispiece contiguous with title page, gilt illustrated roundel on front cover and shark-attack plate at p. 76), in the less common rose-pink cloth (copies are more commonly encountered in blue cloth). Ballantyne wrote children's stories based on his experiences in Canada as a young man... Learn More
    £2,000

    Stock Code: 105863

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  30. 131860
    First edition thus. The editor, Thomas Shorter (1823-1899) is an interesting figure: born in that cradle of radicalism Clerkenwell, he trained as a watchcase finisher, became a Chartist and was a great admirer of Robert Owen; the title page describes him as Secretary of the Working Men's College. He later founded the London... Learn More
    £175

    Stock Code: 131860

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  31. 131858
    A handsomely bound and attractively illustrated copy of Macaulay's Lays of Ancient Rome (first published in 1842), including the famous poem "Horatius". Learn More
    £275

    Stock Code: 131858

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  32. 131825
    Limited facsimile reprint of the 1893 Kelmscott Press edition of Shakespeare's poems; number 31 of 100 numbered copies initialled by the binder Alfred Brazier and the pressman Ridley Burnett, with a further ten lettered copies for presentation. Learn More
    £475

    Stock Code: 131825

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  33. 131770
    First US edition, second state, text corrected on p. 124 ("state"), p. 263 ("do") and page 362 ("reined"). The London and Montreal editions of this work "were issued some days prior to the Boston edition" (BAL). In the B state binding, with true binder's endpapers at both front and back. The work represents Twain's first... Learn More
    £950

    Stock Code: 131770

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  34. 131712
    A spectacular example of Cedric Chivers's vellucent binding style, with his blindstamp to the head of the rear blank. The Arthurian design for this binding was by Dorothy Carlton Smyth, the most prolific of the women employed by Chivers, and was described in the contemporary Chivers catalogue as "strikingly original in treatment".... Learn More
    £6,500

    Stock Code: 131712

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  35. 131703
    First edition, first impression. Although the stated limitation was of 200 copies, there appear to have been 303 copies printed, with 128 copies left standing unbound in quires (see Nelson), and it is possible that this copy was bound for Hatchards from one of the remaining unbound sheets. Wilde's poem, together with Charles... Learn More
    £5,750

    Stock Code: 131703

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  36. 131643
    First illustrated edition of Byron's classic autobiographical poem, with fine steel engravings and a fold-out map (showing the route of Byron/Childe Harold's adventure from England to Portugal, across the Mediterranean to Malta, through Greece and the Aegean islands to Troy and Constantinople). Childe Harold was first published... Learn More
    £650

    Stock Code: 131643

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  37. 131642
    First illustrated edition, the copy of Princess Augusta of Cambridge (1822-1916), granddaughter of George III and by marriage Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, with her device to covers, her stamp to title page, and inscribed to her by a friend as a Christmas gift in the year of publication, when she was still 19 years... Learn More
    £2,250

    Stock Code: 131642

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  38. 130055
    The true first edition of Swift's masterpiece, Teerink's A edition, with the first state frontispiece. Teerink's A was published on 28 October 1726, AA some time in the middle of November, and the B edition in December. The first state frontispiece has an inscription beneath the portrait, which in the second state was placed... Learn More
    £125,000

    Stock Code: 130055

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  39. i1
    First edition of Nicolas Gueudeville's translation of Utopia, one of the very few copies with a cancel title printed entirely in black, unseen by Gibson. This copy also contains the often removed plate on K4 verso by Bleyswick, which depicts future spouses in a state of undress as they inspect each other before marriage.... Learn More
    £700

    Stock Code: 113046

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  40. 131091detail

    The Works.

    Philadelphia: [1899]

    Limited edition, number 37 of 500 copies printed on japon. A highly desirable set, strikingly bound, attractively printed, and lavishly illustrated. Learn More
    £4,500

    Stock Code: 131091

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  41. 130416comp
    First edition, presentation copy, inscribed by the author at the head of the half-title, "Thomas Beard Esquire, From his old friend Charles Dickens, Devonshire Terrace, Nineteenth May 1846". The inscription is dated the day after publication. Thomas Beard (1807-1891) was almost the oldest of Dickens's friends, and their... Learn More
    £85,000

    Stock Code: 130416

    signed

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  42. 120615
    An excellent and very scarce signed letter of one page from Mary Shelley to her step-sister, enclosing a clipped signature of her late husband, "Yours ever faithfullyPercy B. Shelley" (here still pasted down, presumably clipped by Mary from an earlier letter to her). This entrusted treasure is accompanied by Mary's terse... Learn More
    £25,000

    Stock Code: 120615

    signed

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  43. 117521
    First edition of the first English version of the complete Divine Comedy to be published, which is greatly significant for "assisting to re-establish an audience for Dante, whose reputation had suffered a decline in the previous century" (ODNB). The translator Henry Boyd (1748/9-1832) was a Church of Ireland clergyman. He... Learn More
    £5,750

    Stock Code: 117521

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  44. 131641
    First edition, first issue of Hebrew Melodies, marking the first appearance in print of "She Walks in Beauty", among the most famous poems in the English language. Hebrew Melodies is bound after the fifth edition of Lara, which was first published in 1814. John Murray published Byron's poems in a uniform size, and it was... Learn More
    £1,250

    Stock Code: 131641

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  45. 131639
    Deluxe edition, limited to 350 unnumbered copies only, in a highly attractive custom binding, with the design incorporating the poem's multiple references to wine. Rubáiyáts with Brangwyn's illustrations were published from 1906 onwards; this edition, the most comprehensive and elaborate, includes seven illustrations by... Learn More
    £2,250

    Stock Code: 131639

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  46. 131200
    First edition of this allegorical "Suit of Armour" produced for the edification of Britain's youth and an early example of the unfortunately named "toilet book" - a type of "moveable" book with flaps that could be lifted, for which there was a vogue in the 1820s. The first of these was The Toilet (1820), which focused on... Learn More
    £1,250

    Stock Code: 131200

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  47. 131209

    Sense and Sensibility.

    London: 1833 [but 1832]

    First Bentley edition in an uncommon contemporary binding. This is the third edition overall (pre-dating the first American by a few months), and the first English edition to be illustrated. In 1832-3 Richard Bentley bought the copyright to all Austen's novels, which had not been reissued since 1818, to include them in his... Learn More
    £2,000

    Stock Code: 131209

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  48. 131099
    Limited edition, number 128 of 485 copies on handmade paper; a further 15 copies were issued on vellum. The Canterbury Tales was one of the "most important Golden Cockerel editions for which Eric Gill provided the engravings", and showcases his "originality and verve" (ODNB). This work was seen as one of the finest works... Learn More
    £8,500

    Stock Code: 131099

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  49. 131514
    First Riccardi Press edition, number 151 of 350 numbered copies specially bound by Sangorski & Sutcliffe, from an edition of 1,000 copies on handmade Riccardi Paper; there were also 12 copies on vellum. This is a very scarce and attractive deluxe issue of an already finely produced book, printing some of Elizabeth Barrett... Learn More
    £1,250

    Stock Code: 131514

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  50. 117754
    First edition, sole printing, one of 750 copies printed, of this Oxford play satirising Oscar Wilde. "The motive of this production... is an honest dislike for 'Dorian Gray,' 'Salome,' the 'Yellow Book,' and the whole of the erotic, lack-a-daisical, opium-cigarette literature of the day", the student-authors write in their... Learn More
    £1,750

    Stock Code: 117754

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  51. 131574detail
    An attractive set with an interestingly complex continental history, printed by the Swiss piratical publisher J. J. Tourneisen, bound in Italy, and thereafter in the "British Library" in Malaga, with their stamps to endpapers. Tourneisen, free from the restraints of British copyright law, printed numerous British authors... Learn More
    £850

    Stock Code: 131574

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  52. 130986
    Second edition. The family copy of Byron's daughter Ada Lovelace, one of the most remarkable British mathematicians of the century and a pioneer of computer science, with the library stamp to the front pastedown of Ashley Combe, the summer retreat of Ada and her husband. Her mother Anne Isabella Noel, Lady Byron, had sought... Learn More
    £1,750

    Stock Code: 130986

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  53. 120422
    Provenance: contemporary ownership..."> First edition in book form. "Modern editions of this classic novel almost invariably omit Thackeray's vignettes and often give only a selection from his etchings. The reader is deprived thereby not only of much amusement but also of important clues to the meaning of the story" (Ray).
    Provenance: contemporary ownership... Learn More
    £1,250

    Stock Code: 120422

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  54. 121514
    First Sett edition, one of 250 copies printed, of this scarce privately printed Rubaiyat illustrated by Parsee artist Mera Ben Kavas Sett. In his lengthy foreword Sett stakes his claim that his Rubaiyat "is original in being the interpretation of a Persian (Parsee)", and also notes that "Some of the English publishers found... Learn More
    £750

    Stock Code: 121514

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  55. 118500
    Limited edition, one of 200 copies printed on paper, from an edition of 212 (the additional 12 were printed on vellum). The book was printed just two years before Cobden-Sanderson threw the Doves typeface into the Thames, thus concluding the bitter dispute between him and his partner Emery Walker, and bringing the era of... Learn More
    £1,500

    Stock Code: 118500

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  56. 119978
    First edition of this very scarce early collected edition of Shelley's poetry, appealingly bound with a mysterious occult emblem to front board (flaming skull-and-cross-bones, snakes holding a heart, crowned with a crown and star) and bookplate (skull with a worm, tantalisingly initialled DMF). This Benbow piracy selects... Learn More
    £1,250

    Stock Code: 119978

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  57. 130861
    First editions of Hebrew Melodies (with the first appearance in print of "She Walks in Beauty"), Childe Harold's Pilgrimage Cantos II and IV, The Prisoner of Chillon, and Manfred, together in a highly attractive uniform contemporary binding along with early editions of Childe Harold Cantos I and II (tenth edition), The... Learn More
    £3,750

    Stock Code: 130861

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  58. 130150
    First edition thus, limited issue, number 11 of 20 copies printed on handmade paper by the Chiswick Press and bound by Sangorski and Sutcliffe in red morocco, from a total run of 250 copies. Shelley's elegy for Keats, first published in 1821 (the year of Keats's death) is considered among the finest of Shelley's work, described... Learn More
    £750

    Stock Code: 130150

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  59. 129149comp
    Signed limited edition, number 42 of 275 copies signed by the artist (a further four lettered copies were printed for private distribution). This edition of King Lear, illustrated by the Austrian expressionist Oskar Kokoschka (1886-1980), is particularly striking, and no doubt one of the largest printings of Shakespeare's... Learn More
    £1,750

    Stock Code: 129149

    signed

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  60. 131201
    First edition, first issue without the errata slip. Edited by Mary Shelley, this collection contains hitherto unpublished poems - Julian and Maddalo (with its evocation of Byron), The Witch of Atlas and The Triumph of Life foremost among the longer works - fragments and translations (from Homer, Euripides, Calderon, Goethe... Learn More
    £2,500

    Stock Code: 131201

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Showing items 1-60 of 634

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