"Black Beauty" is set in 19th-century England. The physical setting varies throughout the course of the book and Black Beauty's life, changing as the horse ages and is sold.
19th-century England was a time period characterized by the use of horses for transportation. In addition to being the main source of transport, they were also used for sport, such as in the hunting scene where a young Black Beauty witnesses another horse fall and become injured. The injured horse is deemed unfit and is put down due to the hunting accident. Black Beauty gets his name when he comes to live at Bertwick Hall.