First published in 1877, the book Black Beauty, written by Anna Sewall, significantly influenced how people thought and acted toward horses. The story is told from the horse Black Beauty’s perspective and revolves around his life as he encounters various owners, homes, and vocations. He starts out at Farmer Grey’s but then moves to Birtwick Park, where he eagerly meets fellow horses Merrylegs and Ginger. With another owner, he is forced to wear bearing reins, which uncomfortably hold his neck up. Later, a drunken carriage driver nearly ruins Beauty by his obliviousness to Beauty’s loose shoe. But Beauty’s life ends hopefully. Joe Green, his friend and former stable boy, eventually becomes his groom and ensures that Black Beauty will not be sold again. Ultimately, by informing us about horse treatment and endearing us to Black Beauty, this book changes our attitude toward horses.
Black Beauty by Anna Sewall
June 2, 2010