Black Beauty


By Anna Sewell

cover image of Black Beauty

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Anna Sewell's only published novel, Black Beauty, is an extraordinary classic that deals with animal life and focuses on the importance of good animal treatment. The idea of writing a book about animal rights has been inspired by Sewell's own physical disability which has made her dependent on horse-drawn transportation. The narrator in Black Beauty is himself a personified horse who tells his life story and describes the world through his own lenses. Sewell says that the objective of writing the novel is to sensitize people to the sufferings of "working animals" and she has actually succeeded in fostering legislation protecting horses and in influencing public attitudes towards animal pain. Black Beauty's life crucially changes when he is taken from a country farm to pull cabs in the city of London. The different ordeals that he has to go through often contain a moral lesson that teaches kindness and sympathy not only for the poor animals, but also between human beings themselves. Indeed, the novel does not miss to cover the hardships of London taxi drivers either. Generally, Sewell's seminal classic has had a great influence on other writers of animal stories and has opened up new windows of discovering animal life.

Black Beauty