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Anna Sewell (1820-1878) was born and lived in Norfolk, England. Her knee was injured as a child and she struggled with her health for the rest of her life. She was bedridden by the time she started writing her only work: Black Beauty (1877).
Sewell was a great lover of horses and her Quaker faith promoted a kind and gentle way with animals. Sewell wrote Black Beauty with hopes of changing the public's attitude about the cruel practices inflicted on horses. Black Beauty is told from the horse's perspective, an unusual and effective choice.
Public reaction was strong to the sympathetic horse Beauty. The painful fad of "tail docking," trimming the horse's tail so that it stood up uncomfortably, and "bearing reins," which held the horse's neck in a forced position, soon become unpopular.
Sewell's only writing experience had been helping edit her mother's own popular juvenilia. She didn't live to see the success of her work.
At Sewell's funeral, her mother stopped the funeral procession to ask several carriages to remove their bearing reins. The carriage drivers did as they were asked and the funeral proceeded.