Anna Sewell (1820-1878) was a British author. Her only publication was Black Beauty, which she wrote between 1871 and 1877. While the old-English aspects of the story will be lost on modern children, the main message about kindness to animals is timeless.
Presenting the story from the perspective of the horse from birth to old age without some of the mystical aspects of other animal stories is an excellent plotline. A classical story of a classical time, this book will forever be one of the best animal stories ever written. Kindness and consideration to the animals that better our lives is part of the ethical mandate of humans.