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Black Beauty

Anna Sewell

Book Overview: 

Black Beauty is Anna Sewell’s first and only novel. The story is told in the “first person” (or first horse) as an autobiographical memoir of a highbred horse named Black Beauty, from his carefree days as a foal on an English farm, to his difficult life pulling cabs in London, to his happy retirement in the country. Along the way, he meets with many hardships and recounts many tales of cruelty and kindness. Each short chapter recounts an incident in Black Beauty’s life containing a lesson or moral typically related to the kindness, sympathy, and understanding treatment of horses. (Summary from wikipedia)

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Book Excerpt: 
. . . way, "to prevent horses from shying and starting, and getting so frightened as to cause accidents."

"Then what is the reason they do not put them on riding horses; especially on ladies' horses?" said I.

"There is no reason at all," said he quietly, "except the fashion; they say that a horse would be so frightened to see the wheels of his own cart or carriage coming behind him that he would be sure to run away, although of course when he is ridden he sees them all about him if the streets are crowded. I admit they do sometimes come too close to be pleasant, but we don't run away; we are used to it, and understand it, and if we never had blinkers put on we should never want them; we should see what was there, and know what was what, and be much less frightened than by only seeing bits of things that we can't understand. Of course there may be some nervous horses who have been hurt or frightened when they were young, who may be the better for them; bu. . . Read More

Community Reviews

"My doctrine is this, that if we see cruelty or wrong that we have the power to stop, and do nothing, we make ourselves sharers in the guilt.

BLACK BEAUTY, with the help of some of her friends and acquaintances, narrates her own life story in this absolute gem of a children's classic. I've always...more

Very cute story and who wouldn't enjoy a story told from point of view of a horse. It brings animal abuse to the light of day which is a good thing.

Do not be expecting an objective review here. I have loved this book since a copy was given to me at the end of my sixth grade school year and have read it so many times I practically know it by heart. And as a matter of fact, I still have that very book! Here is the GR link for it, which did not...more

This was one of my very first 'horse' books. I read it when I was nine or ten, and it left a deep impression on me.

Told from the viewpoint of the horse, it starts with Beauty's gentle upbringing and careful training. Well cared for and well mannered, Beauty is a valued animal with a good life at...more

This is the first book I ever read. I remember the day that I brought it in to show to my teacher, Miss Gerardi. She asked me if I could read it, so I started reading it aloud to her right away.

The story is told in Black Beauty's own words. Beauty's friends are hard to forget, especially high-sp...more

Black Beauty is one of those rare books that can preach without being preachy. Anna Sewell wrote this to illustrate the abuse of horses, in particulary the harsh use of the bearing rein. The bearing rein was used to get the horse's head arched, but made it difficult for the horse to breathe and n...more

Review
Black Beauty by Anna Sewell is a beautiful story meant for older children or very young adults. It was written in the 19th century by a woman who passed away shortly after its publication. I enjoyed the story and have given it a 3 of 5 stars, which is still very good in my book.

A few in...more

Okay it had started as a review but it ended up becoming something totally different. It is rather dark, you have been warned.

"In Defense of Cannibalism"

"I think the story starts when, as a kid, I was a neighbor of this family of slaughterers for a short while and, though they did their work wit...more

I revisited this classic horse story not knowing what to expect, really. I have found that I can't really trust my childhood memories. In this case, however, the years made no difference. The odd thing I noticed while reading this book was how completely I'd internalized the messages regarding an...more

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