'I have heard men say, that seeing is believing; but I should say that feeling is believing.' Anna Sewell's famous 'Autobiography of a Horse, published in 1877, is one of the bestselling novels in English. It was written not for children, but to expose and prevent cruelty to horses, and is a classic of Victorian literature that continues to ...
'I have heard men say, that seeing is believing; but I should say that feeling is believing.' Anna Sewell's famous 'Autobiography of a Horse, published in 1877, is one of the bestselling novels in English. It was written not for children, but to expose and prevent cruelty to horses, and is a classic of Victorian literature that continues to captivate readers young and old. Black Beauty's moving story recounts his idyllic colthood and his experiences at the hands of a variety of owners, good and bad. Describing his life as a horse in Victorian England, he tells of his equine companions and human carers, and of the unthinking brutality to which horses were often subjected. A sympathetic hero who faces danger and excitement, Black Beauty never wavers in his principles, and the powerful lessons he teaches influenced animal welfare in England and America. This edition restores the original 1877 text and explores the multiple ways in which the novel has been read: as accessible horse-care manual, protest novel, feminist text, autobiography, slave narrative, and classic animal story. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
This is one of the best horse stories of all time, it still rings true over a hundred years after it was written: horses haven't changed, even if the work they do is different now, and nor have the humans who deal with them. Every horse-loving child should read it.
My favourite edition of this favourite story is not the one illustrated but the Dent 1972 reprint with the superb illustrations by Lucy Kemp-Welsh. they add an extra dimension of reality to the horse. The binding is dark red fake leather and the book looks old-fashioned, so some youngsters might prefer a more modern edition. But no other edition has illustrations that are a patch on these.
Jul 17, 2009
I read this when I was in elementary school and the story has stayed with me ever since. So many scenes in the book have never left me and now in my early 20s I have not sat on a horse since I finished reading this book. It's hard to separate the horse characters in Ms. Sewell's book from actual horses and every time I see a horse, I have to wonder if the horse would appreciate me sitting on him or her.
A very powerful book and recommended for anyone, horse lovers or those indifferent to these elegant creatures.
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