In Anna Sewell's novel Black Beauty, what was Black Beauty's total number of homes?

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Tamara K. H. | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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In Anna Sewell's novel Black Beauty: The Autobiography of a Horse, the title character's first home was his place of birth. He was born on a farm and raised on a "large pleasant meadow." He notes that his first master, Farmer Grey, was very kind and lovingly called his mother Pet though her real name was Duchess; his first master also named him Darkie. He was broken in by both Farmer Grey and the gentle hired hand called old Daniel.

When Darkie was four years old, he was sold to Squire Gordon, who owned a large estate in Birtwick. It was Squire Gordon's coachman, John Manly, who gave Darkie the name Black Beauty, called Beauty for short. Beauty also notes that the homes of Farmer Gray and Squire Gordon were the two best homes he had ever had. It is also at this home where Beauty meets his beloved groom James Howard, who, at one point, rescues Beauty and Ginger from a fire. James is made head groom but later replaced by Joe Green.

By the end of Part I, Mrs. Gordon's health becomes frail, and the Gordon family must move to a warmer climate. Therefore, the horses are sold, and Beauty and Ginger are sold as a pair to Earlshall Park, making Earlshall Park Beauty's third residence. Earlshall Park, while not the cruelest residence, is certainly much crueler than what Beauty had experienced so far. Beauty especially protests against Lady Anne making the horses wear a check-rein that pulls horses heads up high in a "fashionable" manner. The cruelty of the check-rein is that it inhibits horses from moving their heads freely and ruins their breathing. It's also at this home that both Beauty and Ginger are ruined through hard driving.

Beauty is next sold to a livery stable as a work horse then again to Mr. Barry then again at a horse fair to Jerry Barker, a cab driver in London. Jerry is his next very loving owner; however, cab work is very difficult. When Jerry's health becomes too poor to continue driving cabs, Beauty is sold again to a corn dealer then to another cab driver. When cab work makes Beauty collapse, he is sold again to Farmer Thoroughgood, bringing the total up to nine residences, and Beauty regains his strength living on his farm.

Once Beauty has recovered, he is sold one last time, a tenth time, to Ellen and Lavinia Blomefield, the same family that his early groom, Joe Green, at Squire Gordon's, began working for after the Gordons had to move south. Beauty is happy to be living the rest of his days once again under the care of Joe. Hence, Beauty's total number of homes is ten.

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