Just a small reminder that Nat had the great pleasure to read "Black Beauty" for Chivers Children's Audio Books last year. I'm very pleased to give you some good news about the scheduled issue date for this complete and unabridged audio-book which will be out on March 2nd, 2009 in the UK.

This edition comes on 6 CDs and is yet not listed with big retailers which will hopefully change soon. For your convenience here's the ISBN: 9781408405574. BBC Audiobooks (a UK library service) currently lists a suggested price of 31.50 GBP (ex VAT). Happy researching with your preferred retailer... As far as I know audiobookcollection's website is still off-line, but you can always mail them or give them a call.

 

Black Beauty was published in 1877, just a few months before author Anna Sewell's death; her classic tale is the only book she ever wrote. It's one of the ­first and remains one of the best-loved animal stories. Told in the ­first person, it is the autobiography of a horse, narrated by Black Beauty himself; in this special case that would be Nat, of course.

The story evolves from Black Beauty's simple beginnings under the shady trees in the meadow; his life takes many twists and turns, from a riding horse on a country estate to a cruelly mistreated cab horse on the busy streets of London, to his ­ final years in happy retirement in the country. Black Beauty has many owners, some of whom treat him badly, but throughout it all he keeps his sweet temper and ­fine spirit. Moved from place to place and job to job, his life is hard and uncertain - until a chance encounter leads to a new turn of events...

 

Anna Sewell (1820-1878) was born in Great Yarmouth, and ­ first learned to ride in Norfolk, later moving with her family to London. When she was a teenager, Anna injured her ankles and for the rest of her life suffered from mobility problems. As a result she relied heavily upon horse-drawn carriages and this may have given her a particular empathy with horses.

Please note that all given info is subject to change and is meant to keep you up-to-date.

 

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