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Black Beauty | Study Guide

Anna Sewell

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Black Beauty | Characters

Character Description
Black Beauty Black Beauty is a well-trained black horse who has multiple owners in his life, some good and some bad. Read More
Ginger A chestnut horse who becomes Beauty's close friend, Ginger is ill-tempered and mistrusts humans. Read More
John Manly One of Black Beauty's best caretakers, John Manly is Squire Gordon's head coachman. Read More
Jerry Barker One of Beauty's owners, Jerry Barker owns and drives his own cab. Although he not wealthy, he takes care of his horses and his family as best he can. Read More
Squire Gordon Beauty's owner after Farmer Grey, Squire Gordon is a good man, who advocates for better treatment for all horses. Read More
Joe Green A young boy hired to work with John Manly, Joe Green learns from John and Squire Gordon and eventually becomes an excellent head groom. Read More
Lady Anne A member of the earl's family, Lady Anne is Beauty's primary rider for a time. Beauty helps save her life when she is injured while riding Lizzie.
Mr. B— Mr. B— is the blue party candidate who wants to hire Jerry Barker's cab during election time.
Dolly Barker Dolly Barker is Jerry's eight-year-old daughter, who often brings her father a hot meal.
Harry Barker Harry Barker is Jerry's kindly 10-year-old son, who defends his sister when she is called a "ragamuffin."
Polly Barker Jerry Barker's wife, Polly Barker is a kind-hearted woman who worries about Jerry's health. Her relationship with her former mistress saves the family after Jerry gets sick.
Mr. Barry A good man who knows nothing about horses, Mr. Barry buys Beauty from the livery stable after Beauty is sold by the earl. After two bad experiences with dishonest grooms, Mr. Barry sells Beauty.
Colonel Blantyre Colonel Blantyre is a relative of the Earl of W—. He is riding with Lady Anne when she is injured and is impressed by how upset Beauty seems by Lady Anne's accident.
Miss Ellen Blomefield Merry-faced Miss Ellen Blomefield is one the Blomefield sisters, Beauty's last owners.
Miss Lavinia Blomefield Pale, stately Miss Lavinia Blomefield is one of the Blomefield sisters, Beauty's last owners.
Mrs. Briggs Mrs. Briggs is a customer of Jerry's who wants to hire him to drive her to church every Sunday. When Jerry refuses because he needs a day of rest, Mrs. Briggs stops using his cab for a time but then changes her mind again.
Bill Bushby Arrogant Bill Bushby is a bully who mistreats his horse. When he is thrown, but uninjured, John Manly informs Mr. Bushby of Bill's situation, why it happened, and why he (John) didn't help Bill.
Mr. Bushby A local farmer, Mr. Bushby treats his animals well and is disturbed by his son Bill's treatment of the horse.
Butcher A London tradesman, the butcher scolds his son for overworking the delivery pony and insists the animal have some rest.
The butcher's son The London butcher's son overworks the delivery pony because people have ordered their meat late and the butcher must fill rush orders.
Captain Jerry Barker's other horse, Captain was once a war horse. He is seriously injured in a cab accident and has to be euthanized.
Mr. Clay Mr. Clay is the employer of the man Joe Green reports for abusing his horse.
Sir Clifford Squire Gordon's brother-in-law, Sir Clifford hires James Howard, on the squire's recommendation.
Dick The ploughboy at Farmer Grey's, Dick throws stones at the horses. When he is caught for the third time, he is fired and sent away.
Duchess Beauty's mother, Duchess, is with him for the first few years of his life. She teaches him to always be good and obedient to his masters.
Earl of W— Beauty and Ginger are sold to the Earl of W—, a friend of Squire Gordon's. The earl is theoretically a good owner, but he is less interested in the horses' health and comfort than in appearance and fashion. He does not stop his wife from using the checkrein.
Earl of W—'s wife The Earl of W—'s wife is less concerned about the horses' health than her husband is. She demands the horses be driven with a tight checkrein, no matter how unhealthy or uncomfortable it is for the horses.
Filcher Mr. Barry's first groom, Filcher, steals Beauty's food. When a friend of Mr. Barry's notices Beauty is not being well fed, Filcher is caught, arrested, and imprisoned.
Mrs. Fowler Mrs. Fowler is Polly's former mistress who later offers Jerry a good job outside of London.
Lord George The earl's son, Lord George injures Ginger by riding her too hard.
Girl The girl is a child whose father hires one of Skinner's cabs that Beauty is pulling. She notices Beauty's weakened condition and begs her father to hire a second cab, for their luggage would make Beauty's load too heavy.
George Gordon George Gordon is Squire Gordon's son. He is seriously injured in a fall while hunting and later dies.
Mrs. Gordon Squire Gordon's wife, Mrs. Gordon gives Black Beauty his name and is as kind to the horses as her husband is. When she becomes gravely ill, the squire is forced to sell his horses and move to a warmer climate for her health.
Governor Grant Governor Grant is the unofficial leader of all the cab drivers who work in the same part of London as Jerry. Governor Grant admires Jerry and helps the family when Jerry becomes ill.
Thomas Green Little Joe Green's father, Thomas Green helps in the stables when Joe is too small to work alone.
Farmer Grey Beauty's owner for the first four years his life, Farmer Grey treats his horses well. He sells Beauty to Squire Gordon.
Hotspur Hotspur is the energetic, high-spirited horse Jerry Barker buys after Captain's death. Like Beauty, Hotspur is a former carriage horse fallen on bad times.
James Howard John Manly's assistant in Squire Gordon's stables, James Howard is a good young man who has learned to be an excellent groom. Later he earns a promotion and becomes head groom for the squire's brother-in-law.
Jakes Jakes is the baker's cart driver who listens to good advice and loosens Beauty's rein.
The lady The lady is an upper-class woman who encounters Beauty struggling uphill and persuades Jakes to loosen Beauty's rein. Because she speaks kindly and civilly, Jakes follows her advice.
Langley Langley is a military man and friend of Squire Gordon. When the squire berates him for using the checkrein, Langley agrees to consider what the squire says but doesn't stop using the checkrein immediately.
Larry One of Jerry Barker's fellow cabbies, Larry is willing to drive his horses at top speed to please a customer even when speed isn't necessary.
Lizzie Lizzie is a nervous horse who belongs to the earl. She gets startled while Lady Anne is riding her and unintentionally hurts Lady Anne.
Nelly Manly Nelly Manly is John Manly's sister who, along with her brother, was helped by the Gordons.
Max Owned by the earl, Max is another horse who has had experience with the checkrein.
Merrylegs A pony who lives at Squire Gordon's, Merrylegs works with the children and tries to encourage them to be gentle with horses.
Sir Oliver Sir Oliver is one of Squire Gordon's horses. He tells Beauty about his experiences with humans who cropped his tail.
The old ostler The old ostler is the head groom and horse handler at an inn where Squire Gordon and his wife stop for the night. The ostler admires how James Howard handles Beauty and Ginger.
Peggy Peggy is a horse with an unusual gait caused by short legs and the need to keep pace.
Rob Roy Rob Roy is horse that is euthanized after being injured while hunting. Beauty later learns Rob Roy was his brother.
Rory A job horse with whom Beauty is often teamed, Rory is seriously injured when an ignorant driver crashes into them.
Seedy Sam A cab driver who works for a large company that rents horses to their drivers, Seedy Sam complains to the other drivers about how badly the company pays and how desperate he is for a day off. Soon after, he grows ill and dies, presumably from overwork.
Nicholas Skinner The owner of the cab company to which Beauty is sold and for which Seedy Sam worked, Nicholas Skinner is a cruel, selfish man who mistreats his horses and his employees.
Alfred Smirk Mr. Barry's second groom, Alfred Smirk is vain and lazy and does not take good care of Beauty. Beauty falls ill because of Smirk's bad care.
Reuben Smith A groom who works for the earl, Reuben Smith is an excellent groom when sober, but has a drinking problem; while drunk, he rides Beauty too hard. Beauty falls and injures his knees, permanently scarring them, and Smith is thrown and killed.
Farmer Thoroughgood Farmer Thoroughgood buys Beauty at his grandson's suggestion and helps nurse the horse back to health. Later he sells Beauty to his "forever home."
Dick Towler Dick Towler is the man who left a lit pipe in the inn stable, causing a fire and the death of two horses.
Willie Farmer Thoroughgood's grandson, Willie persuades his grandfather to buy Beauty and is responsible for helping nurse Beauty back to health.
Woman with a sick child The young woman with a sick child is a poor woman trying to find her way to the hospital. When Jerry Barker drives her there—for free—he encounters Mrs. Fowler, who offers him work and a place to live when he and his family are in need.
Mr. Wright Mr. Wright is the kind gentleman who allows Jerry Barker to finish his lunch and see Dolly safely across the street before hiring the cab. Mr. Wright later scolds a drunk carter for mistreating a horse.
York The earl's coachman, York opposes use of the checkrein but cannot stand up to the earl's imperious wife, who insists on it.
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