This was written, of course, as a tract against cruelty to animals, especially horses - at a time before the invention of the automobile - but it is also an absorbing story, the autobiography of a horse. It is much better written than its American imitator "Beautiful Joe." Sewall makes you really feel what a horse had to endure, in what amounts to slavery to humans.
In his life, Black Beauty encounters all sorts of owners, from noblemen to coal carters, and the equine vicissitudes he doesn't experience himself (such as military use) are recounted to him by other horses he meets.
Most memorable is his life as a cab horse, and here I was surprised by how much discussion there was of politics and of the exploitation of the cab drivers by their employers.
Excellent, if at times brutal, story about Black Beauty surviving some owners thriving with others. This was written at a time when horses made up much of our culture and most of our transportation, and we used them up like we are often wont to do whenever we grow arrogant as a species. Sewell wrote this to both awaken people to the suffering of horses and rouse us from our arrogance in general. Good book. A younger or sensitive child might want to wait a bit to read it, or perhaps read it only during the day and not at night. The same child will be able to bring more from the story than some older kids, as well.
complete and unabridged hardcover copy of the classic Black Beauty - a must read for all boys and girls
A pretty easy read but it took me a while to get into the story. Overall, a good book, but I'm not sure what I got out of it other than the knowledge of how badly horses were treated in the 1800's. I'm glad that there are laws to protect animals today.