This is the battered paper cover of my childhood copy of Black Beauty
Black Beauty is an unforgettable story. I have never been on a horse, but Anna Sewell’s book made me identify with this gentle, constant character, who sometimes received cruel treatment but was always loyal to those who cared for him. This autobiography, published in 1877, was written as a lesson for those thoughtless people who mistreated animals without a thought. Through the stories of Beauty, Merrylegs and Ginger we witness all aspects of Victorian society and the hope of Anna Sewell that mankind would begin to treat animals with care and respect. Written in the first person, Miss Sewell used anthropomorphism to give the horse human feelings and emotions with which the reader could identify. Dying a few months after the books publication, she was aware of its widespread popularity but perhaps not that it would become one of the best-selling books of all time.
From 1972 to 1974 a popular TV series was shown on Sunday afternoons. The Adventures of Black Beauty told further stories of what might have happened during Beauty’s life.