../Morning Post
Posted November 6, 2009
Book Re-release

By Margaret Marshall Saunders

Toronto - Penguin Group (Canada) announced today that it will reissue the bestselling literary classic, BEAUTIFUL JOE, by one of Canada’s most beloved writers, Margaret Marshall Saunders.

Saunders was made famous for her book about a tortured dog. She was the first woman writer to sell a million copies, though at the time she published under the name Marshall Saunders, as it was more masculine. The book appeared in several editions and enjoyed phenomenal success. It was printed in over ten languages and sold over seven million copies by 1939.

With the holiday season upon us, Penguin Young Readers Associate Editor, Jennifer Notman, was inspired to introduce this timeless classic about kindness, love, and generosity to a new generation of Canadian children. “We are delighted to be reissuing this inspiring story of compassion and friendship by one of Canada’s most adored children’s authors,” says Notman. “Though times have certainly changed from 1894 when BEAUTIFUL JOE was first published, the message about animal cruelty still resonates with the reader.

BEAUTIFUL JOE is the classic story of an innocent dog forced to live with a cruel master who, in a fit of rage, viciously removes his ears and tail. Fortunately, help arrives in the form of a family named Morris, who nurses the dog back to health and gives him a new name–Beautiful Joe.

Happy in his new home, Joe finds that he is in the company of many other animals that the family has saved from harm. The Morris family’s belief that every creature has the right to a full and happy life makes them perfect friends for Joe, and despite his horrible early experiences, Joe learns to love and trust his adopted family and becomes a loyal and valued companion.

This novel showcases classic and timeless storytelling with a sensitive and compelling narrator at its core. Margaret Marshall Saunders created a loving narrative of profound devotion as touching today as when it was written over a century ago.

Born in Nova Scotia, Margaret Marshall Saunders (1861-1947) taught school briefly before starting her career as a novelist. Her second book, BEAUTIFUL JOE, achieved international recognition. Saunders, who settled in Toronto in 1914, was made a Commander of the British Empire, and together with fellow Canadian author Lucy Maud Montgomery she co-founded the Maritime branch of the Canadian Women’s Press Club. Saunders went on to write more than twenty other stories and died in 1947 in Toronto.

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