Saturday, March 30, 2013

Anna Sewell's Black Beauty was a bestseller

It is the birthday of English writer Anna Sewell (1820), who wrote Black Beauty (1877), one of the most beloved children's stories of all time. It was an immediate bestseller but the only book she ever wrote. Sewell was disabled most of her life. At age 14, as she walked home in the rain she slipped and fell, injuring both ankles. The injuries were not properly treated and she was unable to stand or walk without help the rest of her life. She became dependent on horse-drawn carriages to get around and came to admire the horses and the work they did. She wrote Black Beauty in the voice of the magnificent horse, revealing the kindness and cruelty horses received in Victorian England. Sewell died at age 58, five months after the book was published.

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