Black Beauty I. Title: Black Beauty Author: Anna Sewell Publication: Tom Doherty Associates, Inc. Date of Publication: July1989 II. A. Author’s Autobiography Running down a steep carriage road in the rain, a young girl fell and hurt herself. Despite doctoring and the prayers of her devout Quaker parents, the injuries didn’t heal. The year was 1834, the place Yarmouth, England, and fourteen-year-old Anna Sewell would never be able to run again. “My ankles,” she wrote later, “are twisted like the leg of the wagon horse who fell on the cobbles last year and had to be shot.” It was typical of her to notice and remember the fate of a horse as a “who”, as a person, not a thing. Even before her accident, Anna Sewell had felt a special affection for horses. For all living creatures, but most of all for horses. After she hurt herself, her love of horses grew, because horses became her faithful, helping companions. Though she could barely walk on her lamed feet, she could still ride out alone on horseback. She could still take pleasure in the countryside; on a horse she could still run in the rain. And with one of her ponies hitched to a chaise, she could drive herself to visit neighbours or to meet her father, a bank manager, at the train station. Her horses gave her independence, and she treated them as her best friend. As a young woman, Anna Sewell went to Germany for a year to be treated for her lameness. She came back somewhat better, and for a few years; she was able to walk more strongly. But the improvement didn’t last. Her health grew worse. She never married, but lived at home the rest of her life. Toward the end, even her beloved horses could not help her, as she could not find strength to go outside the house. During this time, the last eight years of her life, she expressed her lifelong love and respect for horses by penning the only book she ever wrote, Black Beauty. Despite her pain, Anna Sewe…
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