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Black Beauty:  The Autobiography of a Horse

Black Beauty: The Autobiography of a Horse

Black Beauty:  The Autobiography of a Horse
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Black Beauty: The Autobiography of a Horse Hardcover - 1945

by Sewell, Anna

  • Used
  • Hardcover
Used - VG


New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1945 WYSIWYG pricing--no added shipping charge for standard shipping within USA. Illustrated Junior Library edition. Blue-green and tan cloth with pictorial vingette tipped onto front board, color pictorial endpapers, 301 pp, many line drawings, 8 ff plates, in black slipcase with illustrated title sheet tipped onto front. Top and bottom edges of boards and head and tail of spine are slightly rubbed from being inserted into slipcase, but interior shows almost no wear. Slipcase is clean, but deteriorating around edges. This edition is printed on good quality paper that shows no browning. Shipping weight 2 lbs.. . VG/In Slipcase. Illus. by Fritz Eichenberg. 23½ X 16 cm.
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About this book

First published under the full title: Black Beauty: His Grooms and Companions. The Autobiography of a Horse. Translated from the Equine, by Jarrold and Sons London in 1877, the novel now known as simply Black Beauty was written by English author Anna Sewell. The first American editions from 1890 have the added title 'The “Uncle Tom's Cabin” of the Horse' as promoters of the novel hoped it would do for animal welfare what Stowe's novel did for the abolition of slavery.

Anna Sewell was born in 1820 in Great Yarmouth, England. She suffered an accident as a child that left her crippled and dependent on carriage horses as her main source of mobility. She began writing Black Beauty in 1871, and continued through 1877 though her health was deteriorating. In December 1876 she wrote in her diary "I have been confined to the house and to my sofa, from time to time, when I am able, been writing what I think will turn out a little book, its special aim being to induce kindness, sympathy and an understanding treatment of horses". Her mother, Mary Wright Sewell, was a successful children's author, and Anna helped edit her books, and later her mother helped Anna transcribe Black Beauty.

An animal autobiography, told by the magnificent black horse himself, this is the dramatic and heartwarming tale of Black Beauty's life-from his idyllic days on a country squire's estate to his harsh fate as a London cab horse. Although not originally intended as a children's novel, but for people who work with horses, it soon became a children's classic. Two years after the release of Black Beauty in the United States there were one million copies in circulation. Today Black Beauty is one of the best-selling books in history, with over 50 million copies sold in 50 different languages.

The earliest dated inscribed copies are Christmas 1877. Although the book was an immediate bestseller, Sewell lived just long enough to see her first and only novel become a success – she died on 25 April 1878.

First Edition Identification

First editions of The Autobiography of a Horse. Translated from the Original Equine were published by Jarrold and Sons in London on November 24, 1877. 247 pages with 8 pages of publisher’s advertisements in the rear. The 'C' binding was probably the standard trade issue, with 'A' and 'B' being either publisher's presentation bindings, or a more expensive deluxe issues. 

The first US edition was published in Boston by The American Humane Education Society in 1890. First US edition. First issue with Introductory Chapter dated February 12, 1890 and ads on endpapers dated March, 1890.