SEWELL, Anna (1820-1878). Black Beauty: His Grooms and Companions. The Autobiography of a Horse. London: Jarrold and Sons, . 8º (165 x 134mm). Wood-engraved frontispiece after C. Hewitt. 8-pages of advertisements at rear. (Light spotting, occasional finger soiling.) Original green cloth, front cover with rustic and floreated border in black and gilt enclosing the title in expanding black letters and horse's head stamped in black with reins and bridle in gilt, the horse's head facing right, similar spine decoration (extremities lightly rubbed, a few light scuff marks to front cover, upper joints neatly repaired, lacking brown glazed front free endpaper). PRESENTATION COPY, inscribed to: 'Mary and Catherine Sewell from their affectionate cousin the author Christmas 1877'.
PRESENTATION COPY OF THE FIRST EDITION IN A RARE BINDING VARIANT. The binding of this copy is a variant not recorded by Carter. In common with his 'B' copy the horse's head and rustic portions of the border are in black, while the reins and bridle, and the floral part of the border, are in gilt; however, the titling on the cover is in black and not in gilt. PRESENTATION COPIES INSCRIBED BY THE AUTHOR ARE FEW as she died on 25 April 1878, only five months after publication of her work. Mary and Catherine Sewell were her first cousins, the daughters of Edward Sewell, her paternal uncle, and his first wife Martha Webster Holmes. In the 1871 Census they are recorded as living at 17 Bancroft, Hitchin, with two nephews and a niece. Neither cousin married. Both died in Hitchin, Catherine on 13 February 1903, and Mary 4 March 1915. Carter, More Binding Variants, p. 37; Wolff 6250a.