Christmas in London, 1876

“Christmas and New Year are a very merry time for some people; but for cabmen and cabmen’s horses it is no holiday, though it may be a harvest. There are so many parties, balls, and places of amusement open, that the work is hard and often late. Sometimes driver and horse have to wait hours in the rain or frost, shivering with cold, while the merry people within are dancing away to the music. I wonder if the beautiful ladies ever think of the weary cabman waiting on his box, and his patient beast standing till his legs get stiff with cold.” ~From Black Beauty: The Autobiography of a Horse by Anna Sewell.

I wonder whose hard work and maybe even suffering we ignore in our pursuit of a merry Christmas? Sales clerks? Restaurant workers? Who else?

Black Beauty was published in November, 1877, and its author never wrote another book. In fact, she died on April 25, 1878 only five months after the publication of her classic horse story, whose aim she said was “to induce kindness, sympathy, and an understanding treatment of horses.”

2 thoughts on “Christmas in London, 1876

  1. Good question. Think about all the doctors, nurses, ambulance-people, paramedics, taxi-drivers etc etc who has to work no matter if it is Christmas, New Year or any other holiday. I will not say that I think a lot about those people when I myself is celebrating but they are crossing my mind at least once when I am happily dancing around the tree Christmas Eve.

    Louise

  2. I loved that book, but my daughters didn’t find it as enchanting, and I made all 4 of them read it thinking that at least one would react to it as I did.

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