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Book Review of Black Beauty: The Autobiography of a Horse

Black Beauty: The Autobiography of a Horse
reviewed on + 201 more book reviews

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.

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