“Now I say that with cruelty and oppression it is everybody’s business to interfere when they see it.”
Having been injured in early childhood, author Anna Sewell would have difficulty walking for most of her life. As such she had to rely on horse-drawn carriages to get around. It was this experience that inspired her love of horses. “Black Beauty” is a fictional autobiography told from the perspective of the horse. This use of an anthropomorphic protagonist was ground-breaking for its time.
The novel follows the story of a young colt through his life, from his early carefree days with his mother on an English farm, to his difficult life pulling cabs in London, and ultimately to his happy retirement in the countryside. Black Beauty’s experiences are one of both cruelty and kindness as he passes from master to master. The novel masterfully explores the relation between men and animals and strives to impress upon the reader that all animals should be treated with kindness and compassion.
Transcending time and place, Anna Sewell’s moving classic has inspired kindness, tolerance and hope since it was first published in 1877. Now one of the bestselling children’s books of all time, and with themes that are possibly more relevant today than ever before, the story of Black Beauty continues to captivate children.
Ages: 9 to 12 years
Paperwork: 256 pages