16 Facts About Anna Sewell


Anna Sewell is known as the author of the 1877 novel Black Beauty, her only published work, which is considered one of the top ten best selling novels for children, although the author intended the work for an adult audience.


Anna Sewell was born on March 30,1820, in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, into a devout Quaker family.


Anna Sewell's father was Isaac Phillip Sewell, and her mother, Mary Wright Sewell, was a successful author of children's books.


Anna Sewell had one sibling, a younger brother named Philip.


Life was difficult for the family, and Isaac and Mary frequently sent Philip and Anna Sewell to stay with Mary's parents in Buxton, Norfolk.


In 1832, when she was twelve, the family moved to Stoke Newington and Anna Sewell attended school for the first time.


In 1836, Anna Sewell's father took a job in Brighton, in the hope that the climate there would help cure her.


Anna Sewell's mother expressed her religious faith most noticeably by authoring a series of evangelical children's books, which Sewell helped to edit, though all the Sewells, and Mary Sewell's family, the Wrights, engaged in many other good works.


Anna Sewell assisted her mother, for example, to establish a working men's club, and worked with her on temperance and abolitionist campaigns.


In 1845, the family moved to Lancing, and Anna Sewell's health began to deteriorate.


Anna Sewell traveled to Europe the following year to seek treatment.


Anna Sewell dictated the text to her mother and from 1876 began to write on slips of paper which her mother then transcribed.


Anna Sewell said "a special aim was to induce kindness, sympathy, and an understanding treatment of horses".


Anna Sewell sold the novel to Norwich publisher Jarrolds on 24 November 1877, when she was 57 years old.


Anna Sewell was in extreme pain and completely bedridden for the following months, and she died on April 25,1878, aged 58 of hepatitis or tuberculosis, only five months after the publication of Black Beauty.


Anna Sewell was buried on 30 April 1878 at Quaker burial ground in Lamas near Buxton, Norfolk, not far from Norwich.