Black Beauty Book Summary, Analysis, Characters, Anna Sewell


What is the summary of the book Black Beauty written by Anna Sewell? Information about the summary, characters and analysis of Black Beauty.

black beauty

Black Beauty

“Black Beauty” is a novel by Anna Sewell, first published in 1877. It is one of the most well-known and beloved animal stories in English literature, and has become a classic of children’s literature. The book tells the story of a horse named Black Beauty, from his birth in a lush meadow to his eventual retirement in a peaceful field.

The central theme of “Black Beauty” is the mistreatment of animals and the importance of treating them with kindness and compassion. Throughout the book, Black Beauty experiences both good and bad treatment at the hands of various owners, and his story serves as a powerful commentary on the cruelties inflicted on animals in Victorian society.

The book is structured as a first-person narrative, with Black Beauty serving as the narrator. He tells his own story, from his happy early days with his mother to his eventual sale to a wealthy family in London. Along the way, he experiences both kindness and cruelty at the hands of various owners, including a kind farmer, a cruel carriage driver, and a sympathetic cab driver.


Through Black Beauty’s experiences, the book explores a number of themes related to animal welfare and human kindness. One of the central messages of the book is that animals are sentient beings that deserve to be treated with respect and compassion, and that humans have a responsibility to care for them properly.

Another important theme of the book is the importance of empathy and understanding. Black Beauty’s story serves as a reminder that all animals, including horses, have their own unique personalities and experiences, and that it is important to see the world from their perspective in order to truly understand and care for them.

Overall, “Black Beauty” is a powerful and influential book that has had a profound impact on the way that animals are viewed and treated in society. Its message of compassion and empathy for animals has resonated with readers of all ages for more than a century, and it continues to be a beloved classic of children’s literature.

Book Summary

“Black Beauty” is a novel by Anna Sewell that tells the story of a horse named Black Beauty and his experiences with various owners throughout his life. The book is written in the form of an autobiographical memoir, with Black Beauty serving as the narrator of his own story.

The novel begins with Black Beauty’s happy childhood on a farm in the English countryside, where he lives with his mother and siblings. Black Beauty is a spirited and curious young horse, and he loves exploring the meadows and fields around his home.

However, things take a turn for the worse when Black Beauty is sold to a new owner and sent to work as a carriage horse. He experiences a series of mistreatments and cruel treatments at the hands of his new owners, including harsh whipping and neglectful care. Despite these hardships, Black Beauty remains strong and resilient, and he continues to hope for a better life.

As Black Beauty moves from owner to owner, he experiences both kindness and cruelty. He is sold to a wealthy family in London, where he is treated with kindness and respect. However, he is eventually sold again to a harsh and cruel cab driver who mistreats him and overworks him. Black Beauty’s experiences with this cruel owner highlight the harsh realities of the working life of horses in Victorian England, where animals were often seen as mere machines to be used and discarded.


Through Black Beauty’s experiences, the book explores a number of important themes related to animal welfare and human kindness. One of the central messages of the book is the importance of treating animals with kindness and respect, and of recognizing their individual personalities and needs. The book also highlights the cruelty and mistreatment that animals can suffer at the hands of humans, and it serves as a call to action for readers to be more compassionate and empathetic towards animals.

Another important theme of the book is the power of friendship and companionship. Black Beauty forms strong bonds with other horses and animals throughout his life, and these relationships help to sustain him through the hardships and challenges that he faces.

Despite the difficult experiences that Black Beauty endures, the novel ends on a hopeful note. He is eventually retired to a peaceful meadow, where he is able to live out his days in comfort and happiness. The novel’s ending serves as a reminder of the importance of compassion and empathy towards animals, and of the power of hope and perseverance in the face of adversity.


  1. Black Beauty – The main character and narrator of the story. Black Beauty is a black horse with a white star on his forehead. He is a spirited and intelligent horse who is mistreated by various owners throughout his life, but he remains resilient and hopeful for a better life.
  2. Ginger – A chestnut mare who becomes Black Beauty’s friend and companion during their time working together as carriage horses. Ginger is initially wary of Black Beauty, but they eventually form a close bond based on their shared experiences of mistreatment and cruelty.
  3. Squire Gordon – A wealthy landowner who buys Black Beauty and treats him with kindness and respect. Squire Gordon recognizes Black Beauty’s intelligence and spirit, and he provides him with a comfortable and happy home.
  4. Jerry Barker – A cab driver who buys Black Beauty after Squire Gordon is forced to sell him. Jerry is initially kind to Black Beauty, but he eventually becomes overworked and harsh towards the horse.
  5. Captain – A young foal who is born on the farm where Black Beauty is raised. Captain is playful and curious, and he forms a close bond with Black Beauty and his mother.
  6. Merrylegs – A small pony who is owned by a kind farmer. Merrylegs becomes friends with Black Beauty, and he serves as a source of companionship and support throughout the novel.
  7. John Manly – A groom who works for Squire Gordon. John is a kind and skilled horseman, and he takes good care of Black Beauty during his time at the estate.
  8. Mrs. Gordon – Squire Gordon’s wife, who is also kind to Black Beauty and treats him with respect and care.
  9. Mr. York – A horse dealer who buys Black Beauty from Jerry Barker. Mr. York recognizes Black Beauty’s value and intelligence, and he provides him with a comfortable home before he is eventually sold to his final owner.

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