Anna Sewell (1820 - 1878) was the English novelist that wrote Black Beauty.
The novel was written during the final years of Sewell's life. She was so ill during this period that she was confined to her house and often bed-ridden. Her mother helped by taking dictation and transcribing text from Sewell's own hand. Sewell wanted people that work with horses to have more empathy for them and to treat them more kindly.
Sewell died just five months after Black Beauty was published. The story became a great success and is now one of the best-selling novels of all time with over fifty-million copies sold worldwide. Sewell died so soon after the novel's publication that she didn't live long enough to see how popular the story would become.
Black Beauty has become a favorite of young readers everywhere, it is sometimes read in Middle School and is a particular favorite of young girls where it dominates "the pony book genre" and is also popular in children's literature.