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Black Beauty

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
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This unique tale is narrated by a lovely, gentle horse named Black Beauty and has remained a children's classic since it was first published in 1877. It earned eternal name and fame for its author Anna Sewell, an invalid who died within a few months of publication. According to current estimates, it has sold more than fifty million copies world wide, been translated into many languages and delighted generations of children.

The original title page reads: Black Beauty: Translated from the original Equine by Anna Sewell and this gives the reader an instant glimpse into what the book will be about. As an autobiography written by a horse and told from his point of view, it was indeed an original and unique concept for the time. Strangely enough, Anna Sewell never intended the book to be exclusively read by children. She meant it to be a manual for those who worked with horses so that they would develop more compassion and kindness when dealing with these mute beasts. While it apparently talks about animals, the book is a great source of education for human beings too and teaches them how to treat each other with respect, dignity and kindness.

The famous opening lines, “The first place I can well remember was a large pleasant meadow....” set the tone for the rest of the book. It traces the journey of the beautiful and noble horse, born in privileged circumstances whose life takes a turn for the tragic when her wealthy owner falls on hard times. Sold into a fashionable household, Beauty is ill-treated and uncared for till his health is finally broken. He is sold to a London cabbie and has to earn his keep pulling heavy carriages in all kinds of weather.

The treatment of animals, their welfare and the conditions in which they're kept, the often inhuman and cruel attitude of people and animal rights are some of the topics touched upon. It is a book that can be read on several levels. For child readers, it is a delightful tale told by an animal. Adults would recognize the essential humanitarian appeal made by the author. In fact, such was the impact of the book that it led to several landmark legislations regarding animal welfare in Britain and America.

Filled with memorable characters, vivid descriptions and poignant scenes, Black Beauty is indeed a fabulous book to settle in with for a pleasant read.

First Page:

BLACK BEAUTY The Autobiography of a Horse by Anna Sewell [English Quaker 1820 1878.] [Note: 'Black Beauty' was originally published in 1877. This etext was transcribed from an American edition of 1911. Some small corrections were made, after being confirmed against other sources.] To my dear and honored Mother, whose life, no less than her pen, has been devoted to the welfare of others, this little book is affectionately dedicated. Contents Part I Chapter 01 My Early Home 02 The Hunt 03 My Breaking In 04 Birtwick Park 05 A Fair Start 06 Liberty 07 Ginger 08 Ginger's Story Continued 09 Merrylegs 10 A Talk in the Orchard 11 Plain Speaking 12 A Stormy Day 13 The Devil's Trade Mark 14 James Howard 15 The Old Hostler 16 The Fire 17 John Manly's Talk 18 Going for the Doctor 19 Only Ignorance 20 Joe Green 21... Continue reading book >>

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Reviews (Rated: 5 Stars - 10 reviews)

July 23, 2014
Great story, and I think I could listen to this reader all day.
June 11, 2014
Great book and reader.
Reviewer: - May 13, 2014
Wow i love this book so much i would read it over and over again.
March 26, 2014
great book
Reviewer: - February 16, 2014
Subject: Accent
It would be more interesting if this audio book were recorded by either an American or Australian: these accents sound like music to my ear. :)
November 14, 2013
A nice book.
Reviewer: - October 15, 2013
Great book and reader!
Reviewer: - August 8, 2013
Subject: black beauty
A wonderful book, it should be read by everyone.
Reviewer: - July 30, 2013
Subject: Black Beauty review
I love Black Beauty. I've got three horses I called after the three in the book - and I love them to bits. I'd never think of parting with them. My chestnut mare, Ginger, recently had colic and I nearly lost her. Thank God she didn't die. She's only three and I love her to bits - I had to call the vet to her. A must read for all who love horses.
Reviewer: - July 27, 2013
This book has been my favorite since I was able to read: 3 years old. I've always loved horses and I ride them quite a lot and this book has taken all the good things about horse riding and caring for animals and originality and put it all in this book! A toast to Anna Sewell! You should definitely read this amazing book!


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