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Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
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Black Beauty

The Autobiography of a Horse

$12.56 USD

Retail price (USD): $13.95

Discount: 10%

This title is not eligible for purchase with membership credits. Why?

Narrator Geoffrey Howard
Length 5 hours 20 minutes
Language English
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From its first publication in 1877, Black Beauty has been one of the best-loved animal stories ever written. The dramatic and heartwarming tale is told by the magnificent black horse himself, from his idyllic days on a country squire’s estate to his harsh fate as a London cab horse and his merciful rescue by two kindly old ladies.

Filled with vivid anecdotes about animal intelligence, the novel derives a special magic from the love of all creatures, great and small, apparent on every page. But the book’s lasting impact comes from its descriptions of a human society struggling to find the goodness within itself and its plea for kindness to all creatures—a message so powerful that this favorite classic began a crusade for animal welfare that continues to this day.

Anna Sewell (1820–1878) was born in England. A knee injury at fourteen left her disabled, but she rode and drove horses very well. She began learning about horses early in life, spending many hours driving her father to and from the station from which he commuted to work. Her dependence on horse-drawn transportation fostered her respect of horses. She wrote her one book, Black Beauty, in her fifties, and it was published in 1877 just five months before she died. Although it is now considered a children’s classic, she originally wrote it for those who worked with horses. She said “a special aim [was] to induce kindness, sympathy, and an understanding treatment of horses.” The book has had a tremendous impact in creating a new wave of humane thinking towards animals. 

Geoffrey Howard (a.k.a. Ralph Cosham) (1936–2014) was a British journalist who changed careers to become a narrator and screen and stage actor. He performed in more than one hundred professional theatrical roles. His audiobook narrations were named “Audio Best of the Year” by Publishers Weekly, and he won seven AudioFile Earphones Awards, and in 2013 he won the coveted Audie Award for Best Mystery Narration for his reading of Louise Penny’s The Beautiful Mystery.

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Reviews

“One of the greatest books ever narrated by a horse, with a fine message: be kind to animals, and they’ll be kind to you.”

“One of the best animal stories every written, Black Beauty charts the decline and fall of a well-bred horse brought low by neglectful grooms and overwork in the cab trade…Black Beauty himself is finally saved…less fortunate is his high-spirited friend in harness Ginger, whose ignoble death in the streets of London makes for one of the most powerful passages in all children’s literature.”

“The first major animal story in children’s literature. The author wrote it ‘to induce kindness, sympathy, and an understanding treatment of horses’…Sewell’s careful observation and extensive description of equine behavior lend verisimilitude to the novel.”

“The classic children’s story of a horse whose gentle nature triumphs over abuse and misfortune. Anna Sewell’s original remains beloved to preteen girls in particular, not just for the adventures Black Beauty goes through but also for Sewell’s lyrical descriptions of a past era.”

“Black Beauty recounts his experiences with both kind and cruel owners.”

“There is no religion without love, and people may talk as much as they like about their religion, but if it does not teach them to be good and kind to man and beast, it is all a sham.” Expand reviews