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by Marshall Saunders
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Margaret Marshall Saunders (1861-1947) was a Canadian author. Born in the village of Milton, Queens County, Nova Scotia she was the daughter of a Baptist minister. She is most famous for her novel Beautiful Joe, a story narrated by a dog who has had a difficult puppy hood with many obstacles including a cruel owner. When the book was published in 1894, both it and its subject received worldwide attention. In 1934, Saunders was made a Commander of the British Empire, at the time her country's highest civilian honor. Following the success of Beautiful Joe, Saunders wrote more than twenty other stories, a number of which provided social commentary on such things as the abolition of child labour, slum clearance, and the improvement of playground facilities.
BEAUTIFUL JOE is a real dog, and "Beautiful Joe" is his real name. He belonged during the first part of his life to a cruel master, who mutilated him in the manner described in the story. He was rescued from him, and is now living in a happy home with pleasant surroundings, and enjoys a wide local celebrity.
About the Author
Margaret Marshall Saunders disguised her name (she is identified only as Marshall Saunders) because she thought it would add to the credibility of the book. She wrote Beautiful Joe after a real dog she encountered in Meaford Ontario which was cruelly mistreated by its master.
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