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Beautiful Joe: An Autobiography
by Hezekiah Butterworth
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1893. Marshall Saunders is the pseudonym for Margaret Marshall Saunders. Beautiful Joe is the real name of a real dog, whose story she became familiar with while visiting her brother and his fiance Louise Moore. The Moores had some years earlier rescued Beautiful Joe from a vicious master who had cruelly beaten him and cut off his ears and tail. So moved was she in the presence of this abused animal, that she wrote a manuscript about his life, from an autobiographical perspective of the dog. It was the first Canadian book to sell more than one million copies. Throughout the rest of her life Saunders championed women's and animal rights, spoke out on social problems and was a passionate advocate of kindness to animals. For many decades Margaret Marshall Saunders was Canada's best known and best loved writer of children's stories.
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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