Book: Black Beauty

Author: Anna Sewell

Rating: 4/5

Summary:

Black Beauty-Anna Sewell

The book is an autobiography from the point of view of the titular horse, named Black Beauty. The first part of the book deals with Beauty's birth in a meadow, his time spent as a foal with his mother and the advice she gives him to behave well to be treated well. Then he is sold to the Squire Gordon who is a horse lover and cares very well for his animals. Here he meets the grooms John Manly and James Howard who are loving, neat and efficient. Beauty spends the better part of three years here and makes friends with the other horses: Ginger, Merrylegs and Sir Oliver. This idyllic life ends with the beginning of the second part where Beauty is sold, along with Ginger to Earlshall Park. The life is harder there and the painful bearing rein is used on the horses. A riding accident causes his knees to be ruined and he is sold as a job horse to a new master who cannot take the trouble of rearing a horse and sells him again. Next, Beauty is sold to a hardworking cab driver called Jerry. On the runs in the streets he meets his friend Ginger who is miserable due to the harsh treatment meted out to her and subsequently he watches her corpse being carted away a few months later. Jerry falls ill and Beauty is sold again. The horse then passes from one master to another, most of whom overwork and mistreat him till at last he is sold to the Blomefield family for whom his old groom Joe Green is working. Green recognizes Beauty and he lives out his last days in peace and happiness.


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Social/Historical context:

This book was written at the end of the 19th century by Anna Sewell, a lady who was crippled from her teenage. As a result she had a great interaction with horses and understood them well. This book was the first of it's kind, written from the point of view of an animal and hence it captured the imagination of the public in a very novel way. It went a long way in ensuring better treatment of horses, hitherto seen as mere beasts of utility and paved the way for humane treatment of all animals.

Writing Style:

The book is written in the first person from the perspective of a horse. The language is extremely simple and the point of view is very consistent for its time. The book moves at a relaxing pace and is extremely absorbing without being dull or loose. Plot points are tight and the other characters, whether human or horses, are complex and completely fleshed out thus adding to the well crafted feel of the book. True to style, the human characters are explored more distantly than the other horses, as befits the perspective of a horse.

My Thoughts:

I was 9 when I first read this book and since then it has always remained my favourite. While actively promoting animal welfare, the book also deals with the timeless human values of companionship and compassion. Also, most unusually for its time, the book explores the philosophy of wrongdoing through ignorance and its cure through knowledge as exhibited by the groom Little Joe. It paved the way for other animal based classics such as those by Jack London and Rudyard Kipling. A treat for readers of all ages.


Book Reviewed by Sayan Mukherjee

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What Other Visitors Have Said

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yeah of course!! 
it was really interesting. I am a 12 year old girl with a love of books and I simply loved black beauty. children should read this book. I have only one …

yes 
it is an awesome book which displayes the feelings and life of a horse called black beauty and the many homes he passed through and the different masters …

yeahh  
i am in school and i am doing a review on this book , this is what i wrote: This book is a story told by a horse, in his own words. It is a story of …

Well duh 
First I had to read this for a project then I found out I liked it

yep 
it just has an unusual charm in it, and is very touchy!!! ...something unforgettable!

yes , a bit Not rated yet
it is a very boring and simple book it should have more fiction and exitement like some fun going in a coaster in a funland but as a horse no atleast …

i love black beauti Not rated yet
What a book!!!! I think It is the best book ever . I read before 1 year when I was 11 . Its suppeerrbbb... I love Black Beauty . Sometimes I was read …

definitely Not rated yet
I love this book very much, the author paints a very clear picture of how everything looks, feels and happens. This language is descriptive and easily …

not so much Not rated yet
I did not feel it so interesting

yes it was awesome it reminded a bit of warhorse Not rated yet
it reminded me of warhorse how horses were exploited for mans use instead of being loved and cared for

yes Not rated yet
it is an awesome book which displayes the feelings and life of a horse called black beauty and the many homes he passed through and the different masters …

Very Not rated yet
I loved this book ever since I was a little girl :) I used to go to the library and get books to read when I say it. I love the fact that its from a horse's …

Yup! Not rated yet
I read this when I was in school may be in 7 or 8 class I don't remember it nicely but I couldnot forget the story of this lesson it's very touchy I am …

yes Not rated yet
I like this story very much

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