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Dark Horse: A Life of Anna Sewell by…

Dark Horse: A Life of Anna Sewell

by Adrienne E. Gavin

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0750928387, Hardcover)

Black Beauty, published in 1877, is one of the bestselling novels ever written; it reputedly outsold Dickens and broke publishing records when it was pirated in America in 1890. Yet there are few darker horses than Anna Sewell, it author. This first biography of Anna Sewell for over thirty years uses recently discovered letters and other sources to give us a complete picture of the enigmatic woman behind the novel.

Born in Norfolk and raised as a Quaker, Anna's life changed forever when, aged fourteen, she suffered a bad fall running home from school. Despite being left permanently disabled, she remained 'quite fearless', becoming skilled at driving and riding horses, and was determined to rise above the physical challenges of the world before her. She became heavily involved in practical charity work, taught children and adults and travelled abroad for her health - at one spa striking up a friendship with Tennyson.

Driven by a strong faith, and resolute in character, it was Anna's indignation upon witnessing cruelty to animals which led her to write Black Beauty - 'its special aim,' she wrote, 'being to induce kindness, sympathy, and an understanding treatment of horses.' Near the end of her life, housebound and lying on her sofa, she completed the novel over six years, dictating some of it to her mother. Exceeding her expectations, it brought numerous fan letters to her door and, more importantly, motivated a worldwide change in attitudes towards animals. Yet Anna was never to see the full effects of her work, for within five months of publication she was dead.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:38 -0400)

This biography reveals the life of Anna Sewell - her experiences, her beliefs, and the sympathy with animals and their suffering that drove her to write her famous work, 'Black Beauty'.

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