Summary from Goodreads below:
Black Beauty is a handsome, sweet-tempered colt with a strong spirit. As a young colt he is free to gallop in the fresh green meadows with his beloved mother, Duchess, and their kind master. But when his owners are forced to sell him, Black Beauty goes from a life of comfort and kindness to one of hard labour and cruelty. Bravely he works as hard as he can, suffering at the hands of men who treat animals badly. But Black Beauty has an unbreakable spirit and will, and is determined to survive
Once upon a time, I had a hardcover Black Beauty book with Black Beauty’s face looking at you from the front cover. Unfortunately, that was lost during one of our past moves. I have since purchased a box set of Puffin classics and this was one of those books.
This cover is actually quite good looking and it’s a nice hard cover too. I kept up with what page I was up to in the physical book while I mainly listened to it as an audio book.
There were actually many life lessons to be learned from this novel too. A couple of examples of this are on page 67 where it is said “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 then it is all a sham – all a sham, James, and it won’t stand when things come to be turned inside out and put down for what they are.”
Another example is on page 204 where it is said “My doctrine is this, that if we see cruelty or wrong that we have the power to stop, and do nothing, we make ourselves sharers in the guilt.”
Towards the end, we lose a good character, who was a friend of Black Beauty’s, to death: Ginger. This made me actually pretty sad, but I wasn’t quite wanting to cry. The wording was done very well for that scene though, I think.
However, at the end of the book when Black Beauty ends up at his original home with his original name and back with little Joe Green who was originally at his home too, just older now like he was, made me very happy and actually shocked me a little.
This book is good for bringing animal cruelty and animal abuse to the surface. It is tough to read if you are sensitive to animal cruelty, but someone needs to talk about it in a way that will make people listen, which is what Anne Sewell has done.