Now a classic of children's literature, though not originally published for children, this new edition of Anna Sewell's famed "Autobiography of a Horse" is the only available critical edition, with illuminating features not found elsewhere. One of the bestselling novels in English, Black Beauty was originally written to expose and prevent cruelty to horses. Told by Black Beauty himself, this moving story recounts his idyllic colt-hood and his experiences at the hands of a variety of owners, good and bad. Describing his life as a horse in Victorian England, he tells of the unthinking brutality to which horses were often subjected. A sympathetic hero who faces danger and excitement, Black Beauty taught powerful lessons that influenced animal welfare in England and America. Indeed, the novel was known in America as "the Uncle Tom's Cabin of the Horse."
This edition is edited by Sewell's biographer, Adrienne E. Gavin, whose wide-ranging introduction draws on the latest scholarship to examine the multiple ways in which the story has been read: as children's classic, protest novel, horse-care manual, feminist text, slave narrative, autobiography, and more. Also included are illustrations and material from the first American edition, such as an appendix on "Killing Animals Humanely." In addition, there is a glossary of equine terms and an appendix of variants between the first British and American editions.
About the Series: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the broadest spectrum of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, voluminous notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
Adrienne E. Gavin is a Professor of English Literature at Canterbury Christ Church University. She is the author of Dark Horse: A Life of Anna Sewell. She has published widely on children's literature, and is editor of the forthcoming The Child in British Literature: Literary Constructions of Childhood, Medieval to Contemporary.