Love: It Is a Sort of Divine Accident

Hugh Walpole? Apocryphal?

Dear Quote Investigator: Radiant love displays “depth, beauty, and joy”, but achieving this extraordinary relationship is challenging. The bestselling English novelist Hugh Walpole apparently said:

It is a sort of Divine accident.

Would you please help me to find a citation?

Quote Investigator: The book “What is Happiness?” consists of essays by ten writers including Sir Hugh Walpole. The collection appeared in London in 1938 and in New York in 1939. Walpole began his reply to the title question by stating: “This is a dangerous question to ask, partly because there is no real answer to it”. Yet, he recognized the centrality of love. Emphasis added to excerpts by QI: 1

But the most wonderful of all things in life, I believe, is the discovery of another human being with whom one’s relationship has a glowing depth, beauty, and joy as the years increase. This inner progressiveness of love between two human beings is a most marvellous thing; it cannot be found by looking for it or by passionately wishing for it. It is a sort of Divine accident.

Below are additional selected citations in chronological order.

Continue reading Love: It Is a Sort of Divine Accident


  1. 1939, What Is Happiness? by Martin Armstrong et al, (A collection of ten essays by different authors: J. B. Priestley, Martin Armstrong, Storm Jameson, V. S. Pritchett, Bertrand Russell, Sir Hugh Walpole, Eric Linklater, Gerald Bullett, John Hilton, Havelock Ellis), Chapter by Sir Hugh Walpole, Start Page 67, Quote Page 74, H. C. Kinsey & Company, Inc., New York. (Verified with scans)