Jarrold loves...the 140th anniversary of Black Beauty


In 1877 Jarrold & Sons printed the children’s classic Black Beauty. As the book marks its 140th anniversary this year, you can join us for special events instore and city wide.

The story of Black Beauty is known across the generations, such is the tale, told from the perspective of the horse, that has enthralled children of all ages for over 14 decades – and made it a 50 million bestseller.

And the story behind the publication of the book is also captivating.

It was at Jarrold & Sons that the words of local author Anna Sewell were brought to life, as the first publication of the novel was printed here.

In 1912, a new edition was printed and for this Jarrold & Sons commissioned British artist Cecil Aldin, famous for his fine equestrian art, to produce a series of 18 watercolours to illustrate this new edition of the book. The watercolours lay undiscovered for years, and then one day in 1982 the magical illustrations were found by the Jarrold family, carefully stored in a box. The watercolours were framed and exhibited, but only for a short time as the paintings need to be protected to preserve the vibrant colours.

Now 13 of the illustrations are on display at the Norwich Museum at the Bridewell as part of the 140th anniversary of the publication of Black Beauty and here instore we are celebrating with a programme of Black Beauty themed events from now until the end of August. Events include:


Tuesday 25 July – Sunday 3 September
Black Beauty quiz competition
Books, lower ground


Tuesday 25 July – Sunday 3 September
Horse colouring competition
Stationers, Exchange Street


Monday 31 July – Sunday 3 September
Black Beauty inspired Afternoon Tea
Everyday 2.30 – 4pm
Benji’s Restaurant, floor 1


Monday 14 August
Black Beauty beer by Woodfordes Brewery
Available in The Deli, lower ground


Saturday 26 August
Finding Black Beauty with Lou Kuenzler
Book reading and signing 1.30pm
Books, lower ground

(There is also a children's writing workshop at The Bridewell Museum, Bridewell Alley at 3pm - admission charge applies).


Tuesday 25 July – Saturday 25 November
Visit the Cecil Aldin:
The Art of Black Beauty exhibition
Museum of Norwich at the Bridewell

You can see 13 of Cecil Aldin's original watercolour illustrations from the 1912 edition of Black Beauty by Anna Sewell on display in this special exhibition. Admission charges apply.  


The events tie in with Visit England’s Year of Literary Heroes and VisitNorwich City of Stories.

Shop the edit


Black Beauty by Anna Sewell, illustrated by Cecil Aldin

Special price £20

This luxury hardcover edition is graced with 18 full-colour illustrations by British artist Cecil Aldin, famous for his fine equestrian art. A Calla Edition, originally published in 1912 by Jarrold & Son Publishers Ltd is available from Jarrold Book department for a special price of £20. 


Finding Black Beauty by Lou Kuenzler


Book offer:

Buy a copy of Finding Black Beauty by Lou Kuenzler (£8.99) and get a FREE copy of the Scholastic edition of Black Beauty 




Lou Kuenzler author of Finding Black Beauty book reading and signing

 Saturday 26th August.

Find out more here  

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