When Black Friday comes.....
AS SEEN IN:
"Black Beauty" is an 1877 novel by English author Anna Sewell. It was composed in the last years of her life, during which she remained in her house as an invalid. The novel became an immediate bestseller, with Sewell dying just five months after its publication, long enough to see her first and only novel become a success. With fifty million copies sold, "Black Beauty" is one of the best-selling books of all time. While forthrightly teaching animal welfare, it also teaches how to treat people with kindness, sympathy, and respect. "Black Beauty" became a forerunner to the pony book genre of children's literature.
The story is narrated in the first person as an autobiographical memoir told by the titular horse named Black Beauty—beginning with his carefree days as a colt on an English farm with his mother, 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.
Darkie/Black Beauty/Black Auster/Jack/Blackie/Old Crony—The narrator of the story, a handsome black horse. He begins his career as a carriage horse for wealthy people but when he "breaks his knees" (i.e. develops scars on his knees after a bad fall) he is no longer considered presentable enough and is put to much harder work. He passes through the hands of a series of owners, some cruel, some kind. He always tries his best to serve humans despite the circumstance.
From the Turner Classic Movies website:
['Black Beauty' is a] sentimental, all-star retelling (the ninth and most lavish filming since 1906) of Anna Sewell's beloved animal classic, stretched out in its premiere showing over five nights in hourly episodes. Subsequently shown in two parts over four hours.
Although the story was "Americanized", it still covered many of the same situations as were in the novel. I am not sure if there was any voice-over by Black Beauty. If so, we could make the assertion that he was a Houyhnhnm as seen in the mini-series 'Gulliver's Travels' (based on the novel by Jonathan Swift.)
The full mini-series is available on DVD.
Every so often I dedicate the ASOTV showcase to someone. Today's feature is dedicated to Cindy Weich, a horse-lover who also lived in T-House when I was at UConn......