"It is good people who make good places."
Well-born and well-bred, the handsome horse named Black Beauty spends his early days with his mother at an English farm. Treated with affection and kindness, he is encouraged to be good always.
". . . I hope you will fall into good hands;
but a horse never knows who may buy him,
or who may drive him; it is all a chance for us;
but still I say, do your best, wherever it is,
and keep up your good name."
As Black Beauty grows up and changes hands, will he be able to endure the cruel masters, keeping in mind his mother's lessons of goodness?
Bringing to light the mistreatment of horses in England in the nineteenth-century, Anna Sewell's Black Beauty was a galloping success. One of the bestselling books of all time, it has been adapted for films and theatre, and has been an inspiration for several other works of literature.
Anna Sewell was born in Norfolk, England, on March 30, 1820. Due to their family's financial condition, Sewell was taught at home by her mother, who was an author of several children's books.
At a young age, Sewell slipped and the injuries in her ankles left her crippled for life. Her love for horses developed when she began driving horse-drawn carriages. Sewell was troubled by their inhumane treatment.
Black Beauty: The Autobiography of a Horse was written "to induce kindness, sympathy, and an understanding treatment of horses." Giving an insight into the sufferings and cruel treatment of horses in Victorian England, the book instantly became a bestseller after its first publication in 1877.
Sewell died in Old Catton, Norfolk, on April 25, 1878, after being confined to bed for months.
One of the top ten bestselling novels for children, Black Beauty is considered one of the first major animal story in children's literature. It continues remain a popular children's classic.