Celia Brayfield on How Anna Sewell Changed Animal Rights
From The History of Literature Podcast with Jacke Wilson
For tens of thousands of years, human beings have been using fictional devices to shape their worlds and communicate with one another. Four thousand years ago they began writing down these stories, and a great flourishing of human achievement began. We know it today as literature, a term broad enough to encompass everything from ancient epic poetry to contemporary novels. How did literature develop? What forms has it taken? And what can we learn from engaging with these works today?
Hosted by Jacke Wilson, an amateur scholar with a lifelong passion for literature, The History of Literature takes a fresh look at some of the most compelling examples of creative genius the world has ever known.
Born in 1820, the devout Quaker Anna Sewell was in her fifties – and terminally ill – when she decided to write a book that would change the way the public viewed and treated animals. Although her novel Black Beauty has since become a familiar classic, Sewell did not live to see its success, dying just five months after its publication. In this episode, Jacke talks to author Celia Brayfield (Writing Black Beauty: Anna Sewell and the Story of Animal Rights) about a remarkable book and its remarkable author. PLUS Jacke continues his stroll through the selected poems of Emily Dickinson with a look at Poem 224 (“An awful Tempest mashed the air -“).