London, South Kensington
6 June 2006
THE PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN
SEWELL, Anna (1820-78). Black Beauty: His Grooms and Companions. The Autobiography of a Horse. Translated from the Original Equine. London: Jarrold and Sons, . 12° (160 x 100mm). Wood-engraved frontispiece by C. Hewitt, 8-pages of publisher's advertisements at the end (occasional light spotting, margins of title cropped slightly affecting presentation inscription). Contemporary green half morocco gilt, spine with title in one compartment and gilt-ruled circles in the other 5 (extremities rubbed). Provenance: a loosely-inserted later note states: "[The book] has come to me through my Aunt who was employed as housekeeper to an old Lady Sewell in Buxton Lamas (Uncle was the chef in the 1930s)."
FIRST EDITION. HIGHLY IMPORTANT PRESENTATION COPY OF A CLASSIC OF CHILDREN'S LITERATURE, the title inscribed "Mary Sewell, from her loving child A.S., 187[?8]." The book bears the printed dedication: "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." Mary Sewell (1797-1884), Anna's mother, a Quaker and a member of the Anti-Slavery Association, was a well-known author of children's books in her own right. Her daughter's only published work, Black Beauty, had a strong moral purpose in promoting the welfare of horses and is said to have been instrumental in the abolition of the cruel practice of using the checkrein. Carpenter & Prichard p.64; Woolff 6250a.
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