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Anna Sewell (1820 - 1878) was an English novelist. She is best known as the author of the 1877 novel Black Beauty, one of the top ten best selling novels for children ever written. Sewell wrote the manuscript of Black Beauty - in the period between 1871 and 1877. During this time her health was declining. She was often so weak that she was confined to her bed and writing was a challenge. She dictated the text to her mother and from 1876 began to write on slips of paper which her mother then transcribed. Although the book is now considered a children's classic, Sewell originally wrote it for those who worked with horses. She said "a special aim [was] to induce kindness, sympathy and an understanding treatment of horses". In many respects the book can be read as a guide to horse husbandry, stable management and humane training practices for colts. It is considered to have had an effect on reducing cruelty to horses; for example, the use of bearing reins, which are particularly painful for a horse, was one of the practices highlighted in the novel and in the years after the book's release the reins became less popular and fell out of favor. Sewell sold the novel to London publisher Jarrolds in 1877, when she was 57 years old. She received a single payment of £40 (£3,456 or US $4,630 in 2017) and the book was published the same year.