Title: Black Beauty
Author: Anna Sewell
Genre: children’s, classic, animals
Release Date: November 24, 1877
Length: 195 pages
(total of 49 chapters as 4 parts)
As a young colt, Black Beauty gallops in the fresh green meadows with his beloved mother, Duchess, and their kind master. But when his owners are forced to sell him, he swaps a life of freedom and happiness for one of work and toil. Bravely he works as hard as he can, suffering at the hands of men who treat animals cruelly. But Black Beauty has an unbreakable spirit and a strong will, and is determined to survive.
The first place that I can well remember was a large pleasant meadow with a pond of clear water in it.
What made me get it and thoughts on the cover
What— It’s a well known children’s classic that I don’t know much about.
The cover — All black with engravings of quotes from the book – so beautiful! The endpaper is also so stunning. I thought the horse is female because of the glittery pink used in the title but nope Black Beauty is a male horse.
The book is told in a way like it’s an autobiography written by the horse itself (himself … the horse tells us snippets of his journey like a human I can’t help but refer to it by him), we get to see how he goes from being well taken care of to being treated badly by different masters after being injured in an accident. Along the way he gets to meet other horses, and even though we feel really bad for what Beauty is going through, some of his other acquaintances went through more hardships which made me think that Beauty was actually quite lucky and blessed to have been with a few owners who were very nice and kind to him.
You know how when you watch an animation about characters played by animals you tend to look at that particular animal differently in real life. Well you’ll feel the same here too. After reading this book whenever I see a horse with blinders on or a horse that’s dragging a cart, I think ” Yeah, I know what you’re going through, poor thing”, you also feel more sympathetic towards the people who used to work in a cab driven by horses and the hardships they go through with the different customers they get and long hours they work.
The author managed to write the novel in a way that would be enjoyable to readers of all ages. There’s one thing that I thought was overdone: Anna Sewell tends to write the moral of the story in the same paragraph of a story rather then leaving it out there for the reader to get the lesson intended behind the incident just mentioned. For example, a person would whip an animal and then this other good guy comes to stop the first one from hurting the animal and starts preaching about how bad being cruel is, so just in case whoever is reading didn’t get the message behind a certain part the author lets one of the characters yell it straight to our faces.
I prefer subtle messages, myself.
Quite a change to read from an animal’s perspective, making it an important read. 4.5/5 stars
“we have no right to distress any of God’s creatures without a very good reason; we call them dumb animals, and so they are, for they cannot tell us how they feel, but they do not suffer less because they have no words.”