black beauty 黑神駒英文大意
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For other uses, see Black Beauty (disambiguation).
Black Beauty (in full: Black Beauty: The Autobiography of a Horse, first published November 24th 1877) is Anna Sewell's first and only novel, composed in the last years of her life between 1871 and 1877 while confined to her house as an invalid.
The story is told in the first person (or "first horse") as an autobiographical memoir told by a highbred horse named Black Beauty—beginning with his carefree days as a foal on an English farm, to his difficult life pulling cabs in London, to his happy retirement in the country. Along the way, he meets with many hardships and recounts many tales of cruelty and kindness. Each short chapter recounts an incident in Black Beauty's life containing a lesson or moral typically related to the kindness, sympathy, and understanding treatment of horses, with Sewell's detailed observations and extensive descriptions of horse behaviour lending the novel a good deal of verisimilitude.
The book became an immediate best-seller, with Anna living just long enough (five months) to see her first and only novel become a success. Anna said of her purpose in writing "its special aim being to induce kindness, sympathy, and an understanding treatment of horses"—an influence she attributed to an essay on animals she read earlier by Horace Bushnell (1802-1876) entitled "Essay on Animals". Her sympathetic portrayal of the plight of working animals led to a vast outpouring of concern for animal welfare and is said to have been instrumental in abolishing the cruel practice of using the checkrein (or "bearing rein", a strap used to keep horses' heads high, fashionable in Victorian England but painful and damaging to a horse's neck).
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