Anna Sewell (1820 - 1878) was the English author of the acclaimed children's novel, Black Beauty (1877), selling over fifty million copies world-wide. Sewell was the forerunner of the pony book genre, which never seemed to lose its appeal (especially for young girls!). Its themes appealed to parents and children alike: treat people with kindness, sympathy, and respect.
Sewell was born into an impoverished Quaker family in Norfolk, England. Her mother, Mary Wright Sewell, was also a children's author. Tragically, at the age of 4, Anna slipped and fell, severely injuring her ankle; she never regained the ability to walk unassisted. She relied on a cane or horse-drawn carriage for the rest of her life. From this tragedy, her love of horses, and interest in writing was borne.