Anna Sewell

English novelist

Anna Sewell (30 March 182025 April 1878) was an English novelist. She is well known as the author of the 1877 children's novel Black Beauty, one of the top ten best selling novels for children ever written.

Anna Sewell


London: Jarrold and Sons, 1877
  • To my dear and honoured Mother, whose life, no less than her pen, has been devoted to the welfare of others, this little book is affectionately dedicated.
    • Dedication, p. 5
  • The first place that I can well remember, was a large pleasant meadow with a pond of clear water in it. Some shady trees leaned over it, and rushes and water-lilies grew at the deep end. Over the hedge on one side we looked into a ploughed field, and on the other we looked over a gate at our master's house, which stood by the roadside; at the top of the meadow was a plantation of fir trees, and at the bottom a running brook overhung by a steep bank.
    • Ch. I, p. 9 (the opening paragraph of the novel)
  • [D]o your best wherever it is, and keep up your good name.
    • Ch. III, p. 20
  • [A] bad-tempered man will never make a good-tempered horse.
    • Ch. VII, p. 36
  • Oh! if people knew what a comfort to horses a light hand is.
    • Ch. X, p. 47
  • [T]hey always think they can improve upon nature and mend what God has made.
    • Ch. X, p. 53
  • [W]e shall all have to be judged according to our works, whether they be towards man or towards beast.
    • Ch. XI, p. 56
  • God had given men reason, by which they could find out things for themselves, but He had given animals knowledge which did not depend on reason, and which was much more prompt and perfect in its way, and by which they had often saved the lives of men.
    • Ch. XII, p. 61
  • [T]here 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.
    • Ch. XIII, p. 66
  • [I]f they strain me up tight, why, let 'em look out! I can't bear it, and I won't.
    • Ch. XXII, p. 105
  • I am never afraid of what I know.
    • Ch. XXIX, p. 142
  • If you in the morning
    Throw minutes away,
    You can't pick them up
    In the course of a day.
    You may hurry and scurry,
    And flurry and worry,
    You've lost them forever,
    Forever and aye.
    • Ch. XXXV, p. 170
  • If a thing is right, it can be done, and if it is wrong, it can be done without; and a good man will find a way.
    • Ch. XXXVI, p. 182
  • Do you know why this world is as bad as it is? […] it is because people think only about their own business, and won't trouble themselves to stand up for the oppressed, nor bring the wrong-doer to light.
    • Ch. XXXVIII, p. 192
  • My doctrine is this, that if we see cruelty or wrong that we have the power to stop, and do nothing, we make ourselves sharers in the guilt.
    • Ch. XXXVIII, p. 192
  • [W]e call them dumb animals, and so they are, for they cannot tell us how they feel, but they do not suffer less because they have no words.
    • Ch. XLVI, p. 231
  • My troubles are all over, and I am at home; and often before I am quite awake, I fancy I am still in the orchard at Birtwick, standing with my old friends under the apple trees.
    • Ch. XLIX, p. 247 (the final sentence of the novel)


  • It is good people who make good places.
    • This sentence is widely cited as being by Anna Sewell and from Black Beauty, but it is not to be found in the novel—her only published writing. The closest thing to it is "good places make good horses" in Ch. IX (pp. 45–46).