‘Only ignorance! Only ignorance! How can you talk about only ignorance? Don’t you know that it is the worst thing in the world, next to wickedness? And which does the most mischief heaven only knows. If people can say, “Oh! I did not know, I did not mean any harm,” they think it is all right.’
Black Beauty is the only novel Anna Sewell ever wrote and the first major animal story in children’s literature. Sewell’s story raises questions about animal welfare and asks people to be kind, sympathetic to their horses and animals in general.
The well-bred Black Beauty is an ideal horse—obedient, willing, intelligent and courageous. Although brought up by kind masters, he faces hardships under his successive cruel owners. Eventually, when he is no longer fit to be a cab horse, he is sold to a kind master which is his final home. This classic has gone a long way in ensuring that horses meet better treatment.
About the Author
Anna Sewell was born in Norfolk, England in 1820. Due to an injury, she was confined to her house as an invalid and could only move around using a carriage horse. Sewell wrote her only novel, Black Beauty, during her final years. This biography of a gentle, high-bred horse brought her instant fame and the book has since become a children’s classic.
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