Wednesday, June 26, 2019


For years, the end credits for ‘Masterpiece Mystery’ has contained word puzzles – a series of random letters are colored red and when lined up they spell out a word or three which have some relevance to the episode just seen.  (There have been times when they served as a little preview clue to the upcoming episode.)

I don’t know why, but I’ve always enjoyed most the ones to be found in episodes of ‘Endeavour’ and ‘Sherlock’.
Let’s take a look at the word puzzle from the most recent episode (in the US, that is) of ‘Endeavour’ – “Pylon” (S06E01).  I also apologize for the quality of my screen shots.  For some reason, the red letters tended to wash out, so I circled them.

At one point, a little girl in the episode was seen reading Ms. Sewell’s claim to literary fame – “Black Beauty”.

So – in keeping with my belief that television should be  teaching tool, let’s take a look at the authoress.
From Wikipedia:
While living in Old Catton, Sewell wrote the manuscript of “Black Beauty” – in the period between 1871 and 1877. During this time her health was declining; she was often so weak that she was confined to her bed. Writing was a challenge. She dictated the text to her mother and from 1876 began to write on slips of paper which her mother then transcribed.

Although the book is now considered a children's classic, Sewell originally wrote it for those who worked with horses. She said "a special aim was to induce kindness, sympathy, and an understanding treatment of horses".  In many respects the book can be read as a guide to horse husbandry, stable management and humane training practices for colts. It is considered to have had an effect on reducing cruelty to horses; for example, the use of bearing reins, which are particularly painful for a horse, was one of the practices highlighted in the novel, and in the years after the book's release the reins became less popular and fell out of favour.

Sewell sold the novel to Norwich publisher Jarroldson 24 November 1877, when she was 57 years old. She received a single payment of ₤40 (£3,456 or US $4,630 in 2017) and the book was published the same year.

After the publication of her only novel, Sewell fell seriously ill. Sewell was in extreme pain and completely bedridden for the following months, and she died on 25 April 1878 of hepatitis or tuberculosis, only five months after the publication of “Black Beauty”.

Be seeing you!

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