Black Beauty
Anna Sewell
Contributed by Machelle Schuler
Character Analysis
Black Beauty

Black Beauty is the narrator of the story. He is a beautiful strong horse who always strives to do his best. He learned good manners from his mother and lived by those principles for the rest of his life.


Duchess is Black Beauty’s mom. She advises him to always try his best and to be of good character.

Farmer Grey

Farmer Grey is Black Beauty’s first master. A kind old fellow, he is the one who handles the breaking-in of Beauty.


Dick the Plowboy throws stones at horses in the meadow where Beauty grows up.


Old Daniel is someone who sympathizes for horses and defends them from stone-throwing Dick.

George Gordon

George Gordon is the son of Squire Gordon. He dies in a hunting accident.

Rob Roy

Rob Roy is the son of Duchess and thus Black Beauty’s brother. He is killed in a hunting accident as he serves his master George Gordon.

Squire Gordon

The one who buys Beauty from Farmer Grey. He is a very kind, just man who makes sure that his horses are well taken care of.


Merrylegs is a pretty little horse who is always cheerful. Black Beauty meets him in Birtwick Park and they soon become fast friends.

John Manly

John Manly is the adept, kind, wise coachman of Squire Gordon’s estate. He takes a great liking to Beauty, who loves him very much in return.

James Howard

James Howard is Squire Gordon’s groom. He is a brave, skillful, and responsible young man.

Sir Oliver

Sir Oliver is another one of Squire Gordon’s horses. His tail was docked.

Miss Jessie

Squire Gordon’s daughter

Mrs. Gordon

Squire Gordon’s wife. She is kind, caring and brave, always ready to stand up for the oppressed.

Mr. Ryder

Mr. Ryder is Ginger’s old master. Ginger would have had no problem under this man were it not for his ignorance in choosing good caretakers.


Samson is Ryder’s son. He is very hard-handed and one day abuses Ginger.


Job is Samson’s replacement

Dr. White

The doctor which John Manly calls to take care of the mistress.

Earl of W

Beauty’s one-time owner. Squire Gordon sells him to the earl. The earl would have taken good care of the horses were it not for draconian demands to keep the check reins tight on the horses.

Mr. York

The Earl’s coachman. He understands that the horses are often in pain from the lady’s demands but does not stand up for them.

Lady Anne

Daughter of the Earl. One day she is caught on a frightened horse and Beauty and his rider must rescue her.


A lively horse of the earl’s. She is a bit high-strung and one day she bolts with Lady Anne trapped on her back.


Anne’s brother and the earl’s son. George takes Ginger out hunting and often overworks her until she becomes too weak to remain working there.

Reuben Smith

A very adept and caring coachman. Smith has a drinking problem which eventually causes him to injure Beauty’s foot as he rides him and he dies in that riding accident.


Smith’s wife. She grieves over her husband’s death.


A one-time companion horse to Beauty. He is good and honest.


A beautiful horse with an interesting way of running. She has the odd gait because of past abuse in her life.

Mr. Barry

An old bachelor who buys Black Beauty and assigns grooms to look after him.

Mr. Filcher

The first groom Mr. Barry hires. He turns out to be a thief.

Alfred Smirk

Smirk is the second groom Mr. Barry hires. He is outwardly pleasing but inwardly very inept at taking care of horses.

Jeremiah Barker

A cab driver in London. He is a man of high character, and Beauty is delighted to become his horse.


Jeremiah’s (Jerry’s) daughter


Jerry’s wife.


Jerry’s son

Mrs. Briggs

A lady who values Jerry’s service and requests that he drive her Sundays to Church.

Dinah Brown

A young lady who needs help reaching her sick mother. Jerry offers to take her free of charge.

Nicolas Skinner

The cruel, hard cab owner of London. He exploits his workers, who exploit their horses.

Farmer Thoroughgood

A kind old farmer. He buys the pitiful Beauty and nurtures him back to health with the help of his grandson.

Miss Bloomefield

One of Beauty’s last masters. They are very kind and promise to never sell Beauty.

Miss Elen

One of Beauty’s last masters. They are very kind and promise to never sell Beauty.

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