by Anna from Victoria
Anna Sewell was born on March 30, 1820 in Norfolk, England. Her father was named Isaac Sewell and her mother was Mary Wright Sewell. Her mother was a Quaker who homeschooled Sewell before letting her go to public school. Her mom taught her to love animals and nature from a young age.
When Sewell was 14 she tripped and fell walking home from school and badly injured her ankles. She would never be able to stand up or walk for a long time again. This made her very dependant on her family. To make life easier for her, Sewell's parents bought her a horse and small carriage so she would be able to move around the town. This made her love horses for letting her be able to leave her house, but she also noticed some of the abuse that horses went through.
When she was in her fifties she began writing a book that she hoped would teach people to be kinder and more understanding of their animals, the classic Black Beauty. Sadly, around this time she developed hepatitis, a disease that killed many people in her era. Even when she was so weak that she had to let her mother write the sentences down as she spoke them, she never gave up writing the book. Eventually she finished it and sent it off to be published, although she died on April 25, 1878, only five months after the book was released. It was an instant bestseller and raised awareness about laws against animal abuse, but Sewell didn't live to see how enormously well her book would do.
Anna Sewell is a personal hero because even as she was dying she wanted to help the animals that made her life so much better. If she had lived longer she would have seen her book became a bestseller and then over the years a classic that is still in print today. Hopefully people will still be buying it and learning from it for years to come.