Writer: Anna Sewell
Publisher: Wordsworth Classics (1993)
Borrowed from: Fanda
Appropriate for: 7 y.o and up
I didn’t have too much expectation for this book. I thought it’s gonna be pretty slow, especially because it’s a classic, and it has animal as the main character. But boy, oh, boy! I could never be more wrong! This book was written beautifully, the story flows nicely until the end, and Black Beauty, the main character, is very very lovable. My apologies for all classic lovers out there!
The story revolves around a beautiful black horse named Black Beauty. It’s told from his point of view, and you can tell that Anna Sewell was really fond of animals, especially horse, since she could make the voice of Black Beauty sound really believable.
Black Beauty was raised in a nice farm in England. He was bought by a good man who had an estate not faraway from the farm. In his new place, Black Beauty found many new friends, and met great new people. He also found out that not all horses were as lucky as he was, because many of them were raised without love by people who didn’t know anything about animals.
A tragedy occurred and Black Beauty had to move to other places, being sold and bought again by mane different kind of people. His adventures were varied from being a rental horse to being a cab horse in crowded London. Luckily, during his journey he always found few good people who really cared about him. Until one day, his journey ended and he made one perfect circle of his life.
This is a simple but very moving story. Anna Sewell knew so much about horses and she mentioned the facts clearly in the book, including why people always put fashion first before the safety of animals. Why is it so important for people to have their horses look fancy with their heads hold uptight even though that means they made their horses be in pain all the time?
To my mind, fashion is one of the most wicked things in the world. Now look, for instance, at the way they serve dogs, cutting of their tails to make them look plucky, and shearing up their pretty little ears to a point, to make them look sharp, forsooth. (p.54)
Sewell also mentioned issues about religions. So many hypocrite people who go to the church every week but can’t treat their animals or other people in a good way.
“I don’t care how much he goes to church. If some men are shams and humbugs, that does not make religion untrue. Real religion is the best and the truest thing in the world, and the only thing that can make a man really happy, or make the world any better. “
Anna Sewell (March 30, 1820 – April 25, 1878) was a British writer. At the age of 14, Anna fell while walking home from school in the rain, injuring both her ankles. Possibly through mistreatment of her injury, she became lame for the rest of her life and was unable to stand or walk for any length of time. For greater mobility, she frequently used horse-drawn carriages, which contributed to her love of horses and concern for the humane treatment of animals.
Sewell’s only publication was Black Beauty, which she wrote between 1871 and 1877. During this time her health was declining. She was often so weak that she couldn’t get out of bed and writing at all was a challenge. She dictated the text to her mother and from 1876 began to write on slips of paper which her mother then transcribed.
This posting is submitted for Fun Year Event with Children’s Literature, hosted by Bacaan Bzee, for category: classic.
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