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Black Beauty Paperback

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Brown (December 8, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 161382100X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1613821008
  • Product Dimensions: 0.4 x 5.9 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,057,518 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


A handsome foal with promising beginnings is passed from owner to owner and soon learns the particular cruelties of hard masters and the rich in this horse story. The audio version, narrated by Martin Jarvis, abridges and brings alive the high points of Sewell's classic. --Midwest Book Review

About the Author

Anna Sewell (1820-78) was born in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk. Black Beauty, her only book, was completed and published in 1877, just a few months before she died, so she did not live to know of the book's huge success. Apart from being a good story, Black Beauty was instrumental in changing people's attitudes towards horses, and domestic animals in general.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 6 customer reviews
I love horses, and I saw the movie and liked it.
I first read this book when I was ten or eleven, and, although I cried at the sad, sad parts, I still loved the book.
Sewell's choice to anthropomorphize Black Beauty allows her to present his story in a very personal manner.
Ball State Grad-RMN

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By John B. Goode TOP 500 REVIEWER on June 17, 2012
Format: Paperback
This truly is a timeless classic, a bestseller and groundbreaking book in it's time.

It was written by Anna Sewell who was an invalid at the time. It was her first and only book. She had been particularly close to horses due to a childhood injury to both her ankles that limited her walking mobility but not riding.

It was one of the first animal biographies written in the first person and highlighted abuses and difficulties that horses faced in their everyday lives in the Victorian era. This book was instrumental in changing the way society looked at animals and horses in particular and changed the way that horses were treated. It is also a treatise of sorts on compassion and how to treat your fellow man and animals. It's quite possibly the first guidebook on the humane treatment of horses.

As for the book itself, even more than a hundred years later the writing is still easy to read and follow. It is like an old friend that I can pick up any day and still read with pleasure. The story is poignant and sad but also happy. I highly recommend this book to children and adults who have not read this already, anyone who is interested in animals and especially horses and life in the Victorian era. 5 stars definitely.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sharon Miner on February 9, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Anna Sewell (English Quaker 1820-1878) was one of the first equine advocates, if not the first to write a children's novel about a wonderful horse and the cruelty of man. Black Beauty is the autobiography of a horse.

Told from the horse's point-of-view, Black Beauty describes his birth, early training and his fondness for his first master, Squire Gordon, stablemates Ginger and Merrylegs and grooms John and James.

For fashion's sake, some owners insisted the grooms harness the carriage horses with their head's held high with the check rein. This made it difficult for the team to pull as well as caused other long term problems. Squire Gordon was against such devices.

When James plans on moving on, little Joe Green is trained for his position. The young boy makes a grave error in Beauty's care after the horse is ridden hard to fetch the doctor for the mistress, and the doc rides him hard back. Beauty survives the incident, but when the mistress needs to move due to her illness, all the horses must be sold.

After that, Beauty describes his life with various owners. Some are ignorant, some cruel but a handful give him the best care they can including a cab driver. Life is hard, and the author gives details of the cruelty of some grooms, drivers and owners.

At least Sewell gives the story a happy ending.

I first read this as a teen, before I took riding lessons. Looking back, I think Sewell's insight helped me decide my path on my journey to becoming a professional horsewoman.

I would recommend this book for all horse lovers except the very young.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ball State Grad-RMN on January 31, 2012
Format: Paperback
Black Beauty: The Autobiography of a Horse, by Anna Sewell is a spellbinding story of a horse's life in nineteenth century England. This novel is especially interesting because Sewell anthropromorphizes Black Beauty and makes him the first person narrator. The plot of Black Beauty revolves around Beauty's life and interaction with other human and nonhuman animals as well as his sale from one owner to the next. Most importantly, Sewell wrote this novel to call attention to the treatment of animals in nineteenth century England.
Sewell organizes this book into four sections. In the first section, Beauty tells the story of his youth with his first two masters: Farmer Grey and Squire Gordon. The author describes Farmer Grey as a man who gave his horses "good food, good lodging, and kind words." After Beauty turned four, Farmer Grey sold him to Squire Gordon. Beauty led a relatively comfortable life with Squire Gordon. The only exception was when a new stable boy forgot to cover Beauty with a blanket on a cold night and he became very ill. The first section of the book ends when Gordon is forced to sell Beauty because of his sick wife.
In the second section of this book, Beauty's health begins to rapidly deteriorate due to inept owners as well as indolent, corrupt, and abusive grooms. Beauty's first owner after Squire Gordon is a nobleman referred to as the Earl of W-----, who is indifferent to his horses. Beauty's bad situation is made worse after his regular groom leaves and a man by the name of Rueben Smith is left in charge. The climax of this section occurs when Smith drunkenly rides Beauty over a freshly paved road of "large sharp stones, over which no horse could be driven quickly without risk of danger.
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