Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

Free US/UK Kindle Classic
Who out there has not read the 1877 novel, Black Beauty, by English writer Anna Sewell? 
(US Edition)  (UK Edition)  It was a best seller at publication and has sold well ever since.  But I wonder if it has started to fall out of favor as horses pass out of everyday lives?

Black Beauty has long been considered a children's book, but was not written as such - it was written to inspire kindness toward horses by revealing cruel practices.  Nevertheless the language is simplistic and can be read by children - especially children who want something with a little bite.  As an adult, I was happy to revisit this favorite of my youth.  It was one of the first "complicated" books I read.

The book is narrated by Black Beauty.
I was quite happy in my new place, and if there was one thing that I missed it must not be thought I was discontented; all who had to do with me were good and I had a light airy stable and the best of food. What more could I want? Why, liberty! For three years and a half of my life I had had all the liberty I could wish for; but now, week after week, month after month, and no doubt year after year, I must stand up in a stable night and day except when I am wanted, and then I must be just as steady and quiet as any old horse who has worked twenty years. Straps here and straps there, a bit in my mouth, and blinkers over my eyes.
But the humans speak as well:
"Your master never taught you a truer thing," said John; "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—all a sham, James, and it won't stand when things come to be turned inside out."
You would think that would be enough to make it popular again in this era of bestselling books about animals!

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1 comment:

  1. With the increased usage of cell phones, TV, etc. we need to get young children and teens more interested in reading books, but first you will have to get their attention. We all love a good spooky story. It could be the inner child in us that still fears the dark. I wrote a series of spooky stories for my grandchildren. They are intended to be read around the family camp fire (the fireplace). Moral lessons are also contained within these stories. My grandchildren loved the stories so much that I decided to publish them in ebook form on the KINDLE bookstore under the title SPOOKY MOON STORIES by RAYMOND THOR. Click here:


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