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Black Beauty
Cover of Black Beauty
Black Beauty
Discover the classic story of a beautiful horse with an unbreakable spirit. One of the best loved animal stories ever written, the dramatic and heartwarming Black Beauty is told by the magnificent...
Discover the classic story of a beautiful horse with an unbreakable spirit. One of the best loved animal stories ever written, the dramatic and heartwarming Black Beauty is told by the magnificent...
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  • Discover the classic story of a beautiful horse with an unbreakable spirit.
    One of the best loved animal stories ever written, the dramatic and heartwarming Black Beauty is told by the magnificent horse himself, from his idyllic days on a country squire's estate to his harsh fate as a London cab horse. No one can ever forget the gallant Black Beauty, a horse with a white star on his forehead and a heart of unyielding courage.
    Filled with vivid anecdotes about animal intelligence, the novel derives a special magic from the author's love for all creatures, apparent on every page. But the book's lasting impact comes from its moving depiction of a human society struggling to find the goodness within itself, and its pleas for kindness to all creatures, great and small—a message so powerful that this favorite classic began a crusade for animal rights that continues today.

Excerpts-

  • From the book My Early Home

    The first place that I can well remember was a large pleasant meadow with a pond of clear water in it. Some shady trees leaned over it, and rushes and water lilies grew at the deep end. Over the hedge on one side we looked into a plowed field, and on the other we looked over a gate at our master's house, which stood by the roadside. At the top of the meadow was a plantation of fir trees, and at the bottom a running brook overhung by a steep bank.

    While I was young I lived upon my mother's milk, as I could not eat grass. In the daytime I ran by her side, and at night I lay down close by her. When it was hot we used to stand by the pond in the shade of the trees, and when it was cold we had a nice warm shed near the plantation.

    As soon as I was old enough to eat grass, my mother used to go out to work in the daytime and come back in the evening.

    There were six young colts in the meadow besides me. They were older than I was; some were nearly as large as grown-up horses. I used to run with them, and had great fun; we used to gallop all together round and round the field, as hard as we could go. Sometimes we had rather rough play, for they would frequently bite and kick as well as gallop.

    One day, when there was a good deal of kicking, my mother whinnied to me to come to her, and then she said:

    "I wish you to pay attention to what I am going to say to you. The colts who live here are very good colts, but they are carthorse colts and, of course, they have not learned manners. You have been well bred and well born; your father has a great name in these parts, and your grandfather won the cup two years at the Newmarket races. Your grandmother had the sweetest temper of any horse I ever knew, and I think you have never seen me kick or bite. I hope you will grow up gentle and good, and never learn bad ways; do your work with a good will, lift your feet up well when you trot, and never bite or kick even in play."

    I have never forgotten my mother's advice. I knew she was a wise old horse, and our master thought a great deal of her. Her name was Duchess, but he often called her Pet.

    Our master was a good, kind man. He gave us good food, good lodging, and kind words; he spoke as kindly to us as he did to his little children. We were all fond of him, and my mother loved him very much. When she saw him at the gate, she would neigh with joy, and trot up to him. He would pat and stroke her and say, "Well, old Pet, and how is your little Darkie?" I was a dull black, so he called me Darkie, then he would give me a piece of bread, which was very good, and sometimes he brought a carrot for my mother. All the horses would come to him, but I think we were his favorites. My mother always took him to the town on a market day in a light gig.

    There was a plowboy, Dick, who sometimes came into our field to pluck blackberries from the hedge. When he had eaten all he wanted, he would have what he called fun with the colts, throwing stones and sticks at them to make them gallop. We did not much mind him, for we could gallop off, but sometimes a stone would hit and hurt us.

    One day he was at this game and did not know that the master was in the next field, but he was there, watching what was going on. Over the hedge he jumped in a snap, and catching Dick by the arm, he gave him such a box on the ear as made him roar with the pain and surprise. As soon as we saw the master, we trotted up nearer to see what went on.

    "Bad boy!" he said. "Bad boy to chase the colts! This is not the first time, nor the second, but it shall be the last. There—take your money and go home. I shall not want you on my farm again." So we...

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    May 2, 2005
    This graphic novel adapts 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. Husband-and-wife team Brigman and Richardson do a wonderful job illustrating that period, with b&w drawings that pop off the page and give readers an excellent sense of place as well as time. Unfortunately hamstrung by having to shorten a story that spans many years, they have had to cut all of Sewell's descriptions and most of her transitions, leaving short, choppy chapters that represent information rather than tell a story. Sewell originally wrote the story to expose mistreatment of animals in her society, and the cuts leave the adaptation sounding a bit preachy and repetitive. The spirit of the author's brave horse still comes through, as Black Beauty describes his different masters and the other horses he meets in his life. This should be a hit with horse lovers still too young for the original.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    October 10, 2016
    In a brisk adaptation of Anna Sewell’s 1877 animal story, Black Beauty recounts his early life on a farm and the accident that leads him to become a work horse in London, where he is abused by his masters. Brown illustrates in a rich, pastoral style, capturing pivotal events that include a frightening barn fire and Black Beauty’s collapse on cobblestone streets. Though Brown’s adaptation moves quickly through the horse’s many travails, her injuries and mistreatments still strike their intended emotional chords, making her eventual reunion with the kindly groom Joe Green in the bucolic final pages feel very well-deserved. Ages 4–9.

  • DOGO Books payton1403 - The captivating classic, Black Beauty, by Anna Sewell, was the very first book ever written from a horse’s perspective. Created in the 1800 hundred’s, Black Beauty is still being read and cherished centuries beyond. The genre is realistic fiction, classic literature, and historical fiction (if you were to be reading it far past the day it was written). With clear writing and lots of action, Black Beauty is nothing under a 10/10. He was born as “Darkie”, on a small farm in England, in the country. After maturing, he received the name Black Beauty. His mother taught him how to please an owner and carry class. She never told him much about her, so later on, he regretted not knowing her well enough. For example, the book says that “...old Duchess was the mother of them both.” That meant that the horse killed in a hunting accident was a secret brother to Black Beauty and that Duchess kept it a secret from her son. Some of the main characters are Merrylegs, Ginger, and Duchess. Merrylegs is described the most as a “...grey horse with a thick body, and a favorite of the family.” Merrylegs is a very special character and influence to Black Beauty because when he losses his mom, he teaches him important life lessons. The whole structure if Black Beauty is a life that faces the hardest times, but keeps preserving to find his way back home. Also, a similar story from an animal's perspective is a Dog’s Purpose. That book is about a dog’s life journey and why the way he is. The type of person interested in this book would be someone with a passion for animals and a taste in adventure. This a very good book that doesn't just have words written of two hundred and something pages. It has meaning.

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