About the author
Velma Caldwell Melville was an American author active in the last years of the 19th century. She worked as the editor of the children’s and home department of The Practical Farmer (Philadelphia) and The Wisconsin Farmer. She wrote White Dandy, described as a “companion book to Black Beauty.” The Sacred Heart Review commented on the book thus: “The book is not at all badly written, though certain flippant criticisms of the Bible do not add anything to the worth of the narrative, nor make the case against man’s brutality to the lower animals a whit stronger.” (18th February 1899) The Sacremento was rather more positive, describing it as “a pretty and teaching story. It gives a horse his ‘say’, and assumes that he can talk and talk well, too.”
Finding the book
The original is not easy to find, but the book is available on Project Gutenberg, and as a POD.
Links and sources
Contemporary review – Sacred Heart Review, 18 February 1899
Contemporary review – Sacremento Daily Union, 19 March, 1899
Patricia Okker: Our Sister Editors
Many thanks to Lisa Catz for the photograph
Bibliography (horse books only)
White Dandy, or Master and I
J S Ogilvie Publishing Co, New York, 1898 (?)
Described as a companion book to Black Beauty, it tells the story from the
horse’s point of view, revealing the everyday cruelties that they suffer.