HAPPY BIRTHDAY – Anna Sewell, born 30 March 1820
“We call them dumb animals, and so they are, for they cannot tell us how they feel, but they do not suffer less because they have no words.”
In 1877 Black Beauty was published and it was an instant best-seller. Today it remains one of the best selling books of all time. Sadly its author only lived just long enough to know it was a success. She was an invalid for much of her life. She was also born into a Quaker family and the Quaker beliefs shaped her views on the humane treatment of animals.
I found Black Beauty distressing to read as a child, because I could hardly bear to read of the mistreatment of those poor horses. Fortunately, the book did have a good effect and treatment of horses improved greatly as a result. Anna Sewell did not write her classic for children, but for adults. The book has been called “the most influential anti animal cruelty novel of all time”! There have been several film and theatrical versions.
Anna Sewell died on 25 April 1878, aged 58.
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