's first appearance in print
dates back to 1602
, when it was published in A Poetical Rhapsody
, a collection
of "divers sonnets, odes, elegies, madrigals, and other Poesies." Although the publishers
were two English brothers named Francis and Walter Davison, it is unknown
whether one of them is the author
of the phrase in question.
It was two hundred years before the phrase came into common usage. Its appearace in Thomas Haynes Bayly's popular song "Isle of Beauty" elevated "absence makes the heart grow fonder" to cliché status in the early 19th century, and it's been with us ever since.
Is it true? Well, it can be. There's no point arguing over it; just fill in the circle for "D. Not enough information provided" and move on to the next question.