Sunday, 29 April 2012

ANNA SEWELL : BLACK BEAUTY


BIOGRAPHY OF ANNA SEWELL

Anna Sewell




Anna Sewell's house in Old Catton  (Norwich)
Cover of Black Beauty  first edition 
".... there is no religion without love, and people may talk as much as they like about their religion, but if it does not teach them to be good and kind to man and beast, it is all a sham...."
—Black Beauty, Chapter 13, last paragraph.
Anna Sewell was born in Norfolk, England and had a brother named Philip, who was an engineer in Europe. At the age of 14, Anna fell while walking home from school in the rain and injured both ankles. Through mistreatment of the injury, she became unable to walk or stand for any length of time for the rest of her life. Disabled and unable to walk since she was a young child, Anna Sewell began learning about horses early in life, spending many hours driving her father to and from the station from which he commuted to work. Her dependence on horse-drawn transportation fostered her respect of horses. The local estate of Tracy Park, now a golf club, was said to be the inspiration for Black Beauty's “Birtwick Park.” Sewell's introduction to writing began in her youth when she helped edit the works of her mother, Mary Wright Sewell (1797–1884), a deeply religious, popular author of juvenile best-sellers. By telling the story of a horse's life in the form of an autobiography and describing the world through the eyes of the horse, Anna Sewell broke new literary ground.
She never married or had children. In visits to European spas, she met many writers, artists, and philanthropists. Her only book was Black Beauty, written between 1871 and 1877 in their house at Old Catton. During this time, her health was declining, and she could barely get out of bed. Her dearly-loved mother often had to help her in her illness. She sold it to the local publishers, Jarrold & Sons. The book broke records for sales and is the “sixth best seller in the English language.
Sewell died of hepatitis or tuberculosis on 25 April 1878, only 5 months after the novel was published, but she lived long enough to see its initial success. She was buried on 30 April 1878 in the Quaker burial-ground at Lammas near Buxton, Norfolk. In Norwich, England, not far from her resting place, is a wall plaque marking her resting place. Her birthplace in Church Plain, Great Yarmouth is now a museum.
Sewell did not write the novel for children. She said that her purpose in writing the novel was "to induce kindness, sympathy, and an understanding treatment of horses - an influence she attributed to an essay on animals she read earlier by Horace Bushnell (1802–1876) entitled "Essay on Animals".  Her sympathetic portrayal of the plight of working animals led to a vast outpouring of concern for animal welfare and is said to have been instrumental in abolishing the cruel practice of using the checkrein (or "bearing rein", a strap used to keep horses' heads high, fashionable in Victorian England but painful and damaging to a horse's neck). Black Beauty also contains two pages about the use of blinkers on horses, concluding that this use is likely to cause accidents at night due to interference with "the full use of" a horse's ability to "see much better in the dark than men can."

(sources : Anna Sewell - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anna_Sewell)


SUMMARY




Black Beauty by Anne Sewell tells about the fascinating story of the life of a horse in the early 1800's, in England, when horses were a part of everyone's life. Although Black Beauty's colt hood and early life were happy, he is sold from master to master, moving from the country to London and back again.
The story begins when Duchess, a thoroughbred mare, gives birth to Black Beauty. The first four years of Black Beauty's life is filled with playing and frolicking in the field. Black Beauty then sold to a wealthy man named Squire Gordon of Birtwick Park. This is where Black Beauty meets the dream of his life, Ginger a beautiful chestnut mare. They are then both sold, due to injuries from their new cruel masters, and again resold to become cab horses in London where they are cruelly treated.
Black Beauty is a beautiful stallion that has a beautiful spirit, but is disappointed by the cruelty of mankind. Ginger is a beautiful chestnut mare that becomes a lifelong companion to Black Beauty, but due to mistreatment. She dies at the hands of a horse cab driver in London. Squire Gordon is a wealthy man who is kind to Black Beauty and Ginger, but has to sell them both when his wife becomes ill. Joe Green works for Squire Gordon when he is young, but many years later he finds Black Beauty by accident, and becomes his last master by providing a comfortable life.
Jerry Barkeris a London cab driver who also purchases Black Beauty and treats him kindly, until Jerry becomes sick and is forced to sell Black Beauty. Things go from bad to worse. Black Beauty endures a life of mistreatment and disrespect in a world that shows little regard for the happiness of animals. At the end of the story he meets kinds owners and enjoys his life.

No comments:

Post a Comment