Black Beauty is an 1877 novel by English author Anna Sewell. It was composed in the last years of her life, during which she was confined to her house as an invalid. The novel became an immediate bestseller, with Sewell living just long enough (five months) to see her first and only novel become a success.
Although not originally intended as a children's novel, but for people who work with horses, it soon became a children's classic. With 50 million copies sold, Black Beauty is one of the best-selling books of all time. While outwardly teaching animal welfare, it also contains allegorical lessons about how to treat people with kindness, sympathy and respect. Despite recollections to the contrary, there is no evidence that this book was ever banned in South Africa .