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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 June 2006, 15:56 GMT 16:56 UK
First edition sells for 33,000
Black Beauty first edition. Photo: Christie's Images 2006
The book belonged to Sewell's mother. Christie's Images 2006
A signed first edition of one of the most famous animal stories ever written has sold at auction for 33,600.

The copy of Black Beauty, written in Norfolk by Anna Sewell, had been expected to sell for up to 8,000 at Christie's in London.

It was the only book ever written by Sewell, who was born in 1820 in Great Yarmouth and died in 1878.

The book, which belonged to her mother, is inscribed with the words: "Mary Sewell, from her loving child A.S.".

It also bears the printed dedication: "To my dear and honoured mother, whose life, no less than her pen, has been devoted to the welfare of others, this little book is affectionately dedicated."

Black Beauty is among the best selling books in the English language.

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