What is Black Beauty's third home in Anna Sewell's story?

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Tamara K. H. eNotes educator| Certified Educator

If we count Farmer Grey's as Black Beauty's first home, the farm and meadow upon which Beauty was raised as a colt and broken in, then Earlshall Park would be considered Beauty's third home in Anna Sewell's Black Beauty.

Squire Gordon of Birtwick Park had to sell his horses and close up his estate to tend to his wife's health. He sold Ginger and Black Beauty to the Earl of W-- of Earlshall Park, thinking they would be well cared for their. If they had only been cared for by the coachman, Mr. York, they certainly would have been. Mr. York is described by Beauty as being very careful with horses; he especially wants to do all he can to manage their tempers and is very understanding when he hears Ginger's temper was influenced by harsh treatment and being made to wear the check-rein and gag bit. Mr. York also prefers the lose rein and gets very upset when the horses are harassed by the check-rein.

However, aside from Mr. York, others of the household are very foolish, which leads to both Beauty and Ginger soon being ruined. The first example of foolishness is that Lady W-- insists her carriage horses wear the check-rein for the sake of fashion. The second example of foolishness is that York, out of kindness and compassion, insists on keeping Reuben Smith as a groom, an alcoholic who tends towards binge drinking. Though when sober he is an excellent groom, one day with Beauty while drunk, he has a terrible accident that takes his own life and breaks beauty's knees, making Beauty no longer fit for carriage work, only fit for hard labor. A third example of foolishness is that Lord George, the Earl of W--'s son, though warned not to, ruined Ginger's breathing by running her too hard during a hunt.