Anna Sewell was the author of the juvenile novel Black Beauty. She was born in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, on March 30, 1820, the daughter of Mary Wright Sewell, a writer of didactic ballads and verses. An injury to an ankle in childhood made her virtually an invalid for life. She had always loved horses, and after reading an essay pleading for better treatment of horses, she decided to write a story incorporating the same plea indirectly. The work, her only book, was published in 1877 under the title Black Beauty: The Autobiography of a Horse.
Black Beauty became popular immediately, was widely translated, and eventually won acclaim as one of the most successful animal stories ever written. Anna Sewell died at Old Catton, near Norwich, on April 25, 1878.