London: J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd., 1966. Item #03300
Anna Sewell's Black Beauty Finely Bound by Bayntun-Rivière
Beautifully Illustrated by Lucy Kemp-Welch
SEWELL, Anna. Black Beauty. Illustrated with 8 colour plates and many line drawings by Lucy Kemp-Welch. London: J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd., .
Later edition. Octavo (8 1/16 x 5 1/4 inches; 204 x 134 mm.). xii, 226 pp. Eight full-page color plates and numerous black and white line drawings throughout the text.
Bound ca. 1966 by [Bayntun Rivière] for Brentano's in full blue polished calf, covers with double gilt borders, spine with five raised bands, decoratively tooled in compartments, two red morocco gilt lettering labels, gilt board edges, gilt-turn-ins, all edges gilt, marbled end-papers. Small neat book-plate on front paste-down. A fine copy.
A superlative copy of the classic - and quite novel - story of a horse, told in his own words, wherein he recounts his life as a well bred steed from early childhood in a pleasant meadow, through numerous owners - some kind and some cruel - until fate returns him to the meadow in which he was born. Though animal autobiographies had been published before for children, Black Beauty stands apart from those in that it offered social criticism of his various owners. Because of that, the book was read, appreciated and loved by adults as well as juveniles. It has never been out of print since its original publication, has been adapted to the screen on fourteen different occasions, and has forever fostered and cemented the special bond between young girls and horses. Ultimately, Black Beauty's continual and lasting value is as one of the first - and certainly most influential - arguments for the humane treatment of animals.
"Beauty's color is no accident (Sewell's book is clearly modeled on Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin, 1852), and the most poignant moments in the narrative occur when Beauty, while recognizing the inevitability of servitude, nevertheless longs wistfully for freedom" (Robert Dingley, in Nineteenth-Century British Women Writers, p. 354).
"Anna Sewell (1820–1878), author, was born on 30 March 1820... her ‘life of constant frustration’ (Mrs Bayly, 71) began when, aged about fourteen, she slipped and fell... injuring both her ankles [that led to] a lameness which, although varying in its severity, was permanent and meant that at times she could not walk outside or stand for very long. She also suffered from a debilitating invalidism which varied in its intensity but remained with her for life characterized at times by pains in her chest, loss of strength in her back, and a ‘weakness’ in her head leading to periods of ‘enforced idleness’ (Mrs Bayly, 245).