Today in Literary History – November 24, 1877 – Black Beauty is published

Anna Sewell’s only novel, Black Beauty, was published on November 24, 1877. It has gone on to be one of the most successful novels of all time.


Sadly, Sewell died only five months after the publication. Reports differ on wether it was tuberculosis or hepatitis.

Sewell had suffered a fall as a child and as result couldn’t walk easily or stand in one place for long.

She discovered that driving a horse drawn buggy was an easier means of transportation. She also began to care deeply about animal welfare.

She said that Black Beauty was not written for children but to teach adults “kindness, sympathy, and an understanding treatment of horses.”

The title page announces it as having been “translated from the original equine.”

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