"The most influential anticruelty novel of all time."-Bernard Unti
Black Beauty (1877), the only novel from Anna Sewell, was the first book ever written from the singular viewpoint of an animal. The fictional narrative, told by Black Beauty, a genial thoroughbred, was initially written by the author "to induce kindness, sympathy, and an understanding treatment of horses." Over time the book has become a classic book for children, despite its initial adult readership. The book is considered the advent of the Anthropomorphic literary genre.
Black Beauty, the gentle horse and narrator of the story, begins with recollection of an idyllic youth with his mother and other kind horses. When Black Beauty is four years old, his owner sells him to Squire Gordon, who provides a caring home among other horses. One of the squire's other horses, a headstrong chestnut named Ginger, becomes Black Beauty's best friend. When the squire's wife becomes seriously ill, the couple are forced to sell their horses; in a heartbreaking turn of events, Black Beauty is sold in a succession of transactions where he is mistreated, overworked, and separated from Ginger. Although scarred, Black Beauty is resilient and eventually is returned to a life of kindness and care. This deeply moving story aimed towards the awareness of animal welfare was influential reforms in the laws regarding the treatment of horses; yet, its enduring legacy is the massage of compassion that has touched readers for more than 200 years.
With an eye-catching new cover, and professionally typeset manuscript, this edition of Black Beauty is both modern and readable.