What We Do for Love #Thursday Book Feature

Curfew Must Not Ring Tonight

by Rose Hartwick Thorpe

Illustrated by

  1. F.T. Merrill


What Amazon Says


          • Complete with 22 original illustrations, carefully preserved and formatted for optimal display.

          • The Poem’s complete text has been transcribed and formatted specifically for Kindle.

One of the most popular poems of the 19th century, Curfew Must Not Ring Tonight is a narrative poem written in 1867 by Rose Hartwick Thorpe (also sometimes known as Rosa Hartwick Thorpe), an American from Indiana. It was written when she was 16 years old and first published in the Detroit Commercial Advertiser. This is the primary work for which she is remembered.

Set in the time of Oliver Cromwell in 17th century England, it was reputedly a favorite of Queen Victoria. Although it went through countless editions in the 19th century, Curfew Must Not Ring Tonight has fallen into relative obscurity.

This Kindle edition is based on an 1882 edition, notable for its many engravings. Please note that this Kindle edition has preserved all spelling and punctuation from the original text. Thus, what might appear as a typo, such as spelling “to-night” with a dash, is in fact deliberate.

The story involves Bessie, a young woman whose lover, Basil Underwood, has been arrested, thrown in prison by the Puritans, and sentenced to die that night when the curfew bell rings. Knowing that Oliver Cromwell will be late in arriving and thus not available in time for her to plead for a pardon, the young woman begs the old sexton to prevent the ringing of the curfew bell. When he refuses, she is forced to take matters into her own hands.

It is written in trochaic heptameter, which has a very classic and dramatic cadence.


My Thoughts


Because this poem has become so obscure, I’d never heard of it until I read this post by blogger Kathy Waller. Although I couldn’t see the illustrations,  I was rivetted from beginning to end, identifying with the maiden’s quest to save her lover at all costs. Oh, the sacrifices we make and the risks we take for the ones we love. Even if you don’t like poetry, you’ll enjoy this narrative poem with a satisfying end.


By the way, for the next month, My Ideal Partner and The Red Dress are available on Smashwords as part of its sale to support those isolated as a result of the coronavirus situation. Please click here to visit my Smashwords author page and download these books. Thank you for stopping by.


New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.


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Author: abbiejohnsontaylor

I'm the author of two novels,, two poetry collections, and a memoir with another novel on the way. My work has appeared in various journals and anthologies. I'm visually impaired and live in Sheridan, Wyoming, where for six years, I cared for my totally blind late husband who was paralyzed by two strokes. Please visit my website at http://www.abbiejohnsontaylor.com.

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