Written in the last years of her life, Black Beauty has probably become the best and most famous work of Anna Sewell. First published in 1877, the novel directly achieved commercial success as a bestselling book. Now, this book is one of the best-selling in history. It was listed at #58 on BBC’s The Big Read survey in 2003.
This moving children story of a horse has reached millions of audience not only through books but also in its various adaptations, especially films. It has also influenced many works, especially stories for children, and the pioneer of pony book genre.
Book description (as written at Amazon.com):
"A horse is a horse of course unless of course the horse is Black Beauty. Animal-loving children have been devoted to Black Beauty throughout this century, and no doubt will continue through the next. Although Anna Sewell's classic paints a clear picture of turn-of-the-century London, its message is universal and timeless: animals will serve humans well if they are treated with consideration and kindness.
Black Beauty tells the story of the horse's own long and varied life, from a well-born colt in a pleasant meadow to an elegant carriage horse for a gentleman to a painfully overworked cab horse. Throughout, Sewell rails—in a gentle, 19th-century way—against animal maltreatment. Young readers will follow Black Beauty's fortunes, good and bad, with gentle masters as well as cruel. Children can easily make the leap from horse-human relationships to human-human relationships, and begin to understand how their own consideration of others may be a benefit to all. (Ages 9 to 12)"
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