• Donna Hewlett

Inspiration for LOVE IS ALL



The following poem by Robert Browning inspired the title for my novel, LOVE IS ALL.


“Ah, but if you knew how time has dragged, day, nights!

All the neighbour-talk with man and maid – such men!

All the fuss and trouble of street sounds, window-sights:

All the worry of flapping door and echoing roof; and then,

All the fancies . . . Who were they had leave, dared try

Darker arts that almost struck despair in me?

If you knew but how I dwelt down here!” quoth I:

“And was I so better off up there?” quoth She.


“Help and get it over! Re-united to his wife

(How draw up the paper lets the parish-people know?)

Lies M., or N., departed from this life,

Day the this or that, month, and year the so and so.

What i’ the way of final flourish? Rose, verse? Try!

Affliction sore, long time he bore, or, what is it to be?

Till God did please to grant him ease. Do end!” quoth I:

“I end with - Love is all and Death is nought!” quoth She.

(From Robert Browning’s Fifine at the Fair, Epilogue, Verses III and IV)


Browning wrote this poem after his wife's death. What is the overall message regarding love and death? I used the answer to this question as the theme in my novel. Thoughts?

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