Origins of Sayings - Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

About the history and origins behind the famous saying absence makes the heart grow fonder.

Stories behind Famous Sayings


Who Said It: Thomas Haynes Bayly

When: 1844

The Story behind It: One of England's more versatile writers, Thomas Haynes Bayly wrote novels, plays, poems, political articles, and songs. In 1844 a poem titled "Isle of Beauty" appeared in Bayly's two-volume Songs, Ballads, and Other Poems. It is here that the following romantic words are found:

What would not I give to wander

Where my old companions dwell?

Absence makes the heart grow fonder:

Isle of Beauty, fare thee well!

Bayly is credited with popularizing the phrase, but he took it from Francis Davison's Poetical Rhapsody (1602). The exact words appeared as the first line of a poem by an anonymous writer. An updated version of the quote goes: "Absence makes the heart grow fonder-of somebody else!"

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