From its first publication in 1877, Black Beauty has been one of the best-loved animal stories ever written. The dramatic and heartwarming tale is told by the magnificent black horse himself, from his idyllic days on a country squire’s estate to his harsh fate as a London cab horse and his merciful rescue by two kindly old ladies.
Filled with vivid anecdotes about animal intelligence, the novel derives a special magic from the love of all creatures, great and small, apparent on every page. But the book’s lasting impact comes from its descriptions of a human society struggling to find the goodness within itself and its plea for kindness to all creatures—a message so powerful that this favorite classic began a crusade for animal welfare that continues to this day.
Geoffrey Howard (a.k.a. Ralph Cosham) (1936–2014) was a British journalist who changed careers to become a narrator and screen and stage actor. He performed in more than one hundred professional theatrical roles. His audiobook narrations were named “Audio Best of the Year” by Publishers Weekly, and he won seven AudioFile Earphones Awards, and in 2013 he won the coveted Audie Award for Best Mystery Narration for his reading of Louise Penny’s The Beautiful Mystery.