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Download Black Beauty: The Autobiography of a Horse Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Black Beauty: The Autobiography of a Horse Audiobook, by Anna Sewell Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (94,809 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Anna Sewell Narrator: Ralph Cosham Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: December 2011 ISBN: 9781470806156
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From its first publication in 1877, Black Beauty has been one of the best-loved animal stories ever written. The dramatic and heartwarming tale is told by the magnificent black horse himself, from his idyllic days on a country squire’s estate to his harsh fate as a London cab horse and his merciful rescue by two kindly old ladies.

Filled with vivid anecdotes about animal intelligence, the novel derives a special magic from the love of all creatures, great and small, apparent on every page. But the book’s lasting impact comes from its descriptions of a human society struggling to find the goodness within itself and its plea for kindness to all creatures—a message so powerful that this favorite classic began a crusade for animal welfare that continues to this day.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “One of the greatest books ever narrated by a horse, with a fine message: be kind to animals, and they’ll be kind to you.”

    Guardian

  • “One of the best animal stories every written, Black Beauty charts the decline and fall of a well-bred horse brought low by neglectful grooms and overwork in the cab trade…Black Beauty himself is finally saved…less fortunate is his high-spirited friend in harness Ginger, whose ignoble death in the streets of London makes for one of the most powerful passages in all children’s literature.”

    The Cambridge Guide to Literature in English

  • “The first major animal story in children’s literature. The author wrote it ‘to induce kindness, sympathy, and an understanding treatment of horses’…Sewell’s careful observation and extensive description of equine behavior lend verisimilitude to the novel.”

    Merriam Webster’s Encyclopedia of Literature

  • “The classic children’s story of a horse whose gentle nature triumphs over abuse and misfortune. Anna Sewell’s original remains beloved to preteen girls in particular, not just for the adventures Black Beauty goes through but also for Sewell’s lyrical descriptions of a past era.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Black Beauty recounts his experiences with both kind and cruel owners.”

    School Library Journal

  • “There is no religion without love, and people may talk as much as they like about their religion, but if it does not teach them to be good and kind to man and beast, it is all a sham.”

    from the book

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 ولاء درويش | 2/16/2014

    " Amazing story when you know that is the only book which Anna wrote at all :)) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Madison | 2/5/2014

    " It was a amazing book!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Naomi | 2/4/2014

    " This book was my one true love for the week it took my hungry 9 year old mind to read it. I shall love it forever. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ti-Leigh Telford | 1/28/2014

    " Such a lovely book. I had seen the film and loved it. So I thought the book would be just as poignant. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bj Travis Thomas | 1/27/2014

    " Read this book when I was a girl and, even though I was not and never have been a horse person, loved it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 maria | 1/12/2014

    " A very good book which teaches care for horses and all animals as they have feelings as well. This is the perfect book for someone to read before getting a pet, so one can truly understand the responsibility for a life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Becky | 1/10/2014

    " Loved hourses when i was younger. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alexis | 1/9/2014

    " This book is beautiful in a way that not many books are. I've loved it since I was ten years old, and I still love re-reading it to this day. It is a little sad in parts, but the wonderful characters and the truth of the stories they tell is so touching, it's never mattered to me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bree | 1/5/2014

    " This book opened peoples' eyes to reality of cruelty to horses and not just the happy happy world but to live in the real world "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jen Mendeck | 1/3/2014

    " I found a copy at half price books and bought it thinking my 6 year old would like it. I have to say I didn't remember just how much trauma is in the book. I still love Black Beauty's gentle voice, though. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lauren | 12/21/2013

    " still one of my all time favorites "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Allison | 12/19/2013

    " A great classic that I could read over and over again. I remember reading this for the first time in 8th grade. It's a book that will last a life time especially for the animal lover. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kennedy | 12/19/2013

    " First real chapter book I ever read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Fiona | 11/27/2013

    " One of the few books I've read over and over. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Simon | 8/7/2013

    " I liked it better than I thought. I have read several young adult books and enjoyed it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ashleigh | 7/9/2013

    " Good book but it went on a little "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kareena | 7/1/2013

    " There are so many different versions of this book that I am havinmg trouble beliving that this was the original. It is such a sad book that I vowed never to read it again. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amy Bristol | 6/27/2013

    " My Grandma Gardner got this book and The Black Stallion for me for Easter when I was 12. These two books where two of the best books I have ever gotten. Sparked a deep love for horses!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lucy Howard | 5/6/2013

    " Started me loving books about horses and horses themselves. I think i was in the fourth grade when i read this. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amy | 5/5/2013

    " This book is really great if you like horses. It gets a little boring though. Although it shows how horses were treated. My favorite part was when he was at his first home. Overall it was an ok book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Salem | 4/22/2013

    " A heart-warming tale of a horse's adventures, disappointments and joys. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laurel | 4/6/2013

    " I read this aloud to my kids. My 5 year old horse loving girl especially enjoyed it. It was very interesting to read the story from the horse's point of view. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Holli | 12/30/2012

    " I loved how it ended, not too cheesy, but making a for a heartwarming story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lili | 12/10/2012

    " This beautiful tale is a classic, a delightful story that is sad and happy in equal parts. A story a child reads and never forgets. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Girl on | 9/9/2012

    " Absolute classic book, i used to love reading this when i was little, i still have a copy of it now "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amelia Painter | 3/29/2012

    " Read this as a pre-teen, then read it to each of my three children, and now am reading it to the grandchildren. A true classic that will always be in my library. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dae | 6/30/2011

    " I've read this before, but I'm giving it a re-read. This book can be so sad, or so happy. There's something that just draws me into the reading, like it's a familiar friend. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 G00016138 | 6/29/2011

    " A story of a horse, who would have thought that would be an interesting read? In general I liked it "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shannon | 6/27/2011

    " This is my all time favorite book in the whole world. There is so much emotion in the pages of this book. I cried the first time I read it and I still cry now when I read it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Heath | 6/21/2011

    " Better than the movie, although without Danny Elfman music. Goes a bit deeper than the movie does, and different encounters of Beauty. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bj | 6/20/2011

    " Read this book when I was a girl and, even though I was not and never have been a horse person, loved it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gayathri | 6/20/2011

    " Loved the book... Black beauty is a wonderfully narrated book on the treatment of animals when horses were used as a mode of transportation... In current world this will teach children and adults on Kindness to animals as well as to human... I wish Anna Sewell had written more novel... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Leah Rachel | 6/19/2011

    " Childhood favorite of mine! I love this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Thea | 6/14/2011

    " Another favorite as a child, I must have read this ten times. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Anne76 | 6/8/2011

    " I read this many years ago as a child, over and over again. It was one of my favorite books. I still to this day think of Black Beauty and Ginger and check-reins. I guess it made quite an impact! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Barb | 6/6/2011

    " Love it!! One of my favorites!!! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 China | 6/6/2011

    " I'VE NEVER READ THIS CLASSIC! NOW I AM! I DIDN'T KNOW THE PERSPECTIVE WAS FROM THE HORSE!
    "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gabby | 6/5/2011

    " i like that this story is written from beautys POV "

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About the Author
Author Anna Sewell

Anna Sewell (1820–1878) was born in England. A knee injury at fourteen left her disabled, but she rode and drove horses very well. She began learning about horses early in life, spending many hours driving her father to and from the station from which he commuted to work. Her dependence on horse-drawn transportation fostered her respect of horses. She wrote her one book, Black Beauty, in her fifties, and it was published in 1877 just five months before she died. Although it is now considered a children’s classic, she 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.” The book has had a tremendous impact in creating a new wave of humane thinking towards animals. 

About the Narrator

Ralph Cosham (1936–2014), a.k.a. Geoffrey Howard, was a British journalist who changed careers to become a narrator and screen and stage actor. He performed in more than one hundred professional theatrical roles, and several of his narrations were named “Audio Best of the Year” by Publishers Weekly. He won seven AudioFile Earphones Awards, and in 2013 he won the coveted Audie Award for Best Mystery Narration for his reading of Louise Penny’s The Beautiful Mystery.