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“I Shall Never Be Sold”
NPR’s Backseat Book Club delves into Anna Sewell’s oft-adapted, frequently-imitated classic of children’s literature, and the transformative role it had on a fledging animal welfare movement:
Sewell’s decision to write the book as an “animal autobiography” was quite novel in Victorian England, and the little green book with the sad-looking horse on the cover was released to great fanfare. Promoters in the U.S. brought a pirated edition of the book to America hoping it would do for animal rights what Uncle Tom’s Cabin had done for slavery. Within two years, 1 million copies of Black Beauty were in circulation in the U.S., and animal rights activists regularly passed copies of the book to horse drivers and stable hands.