The year 1840 is often referred to as Robert Schumann's "year of song," and with good reason! Close to 130 songs were written during this year. Schumann himself often attributed this burst of creativity to his romantic involvement with Clara Wieck and with the couple's difficulties overcoming her father's opposition. Some of this struggle, along with hope for resolution, is reflected in "A Woman's Life and Love," a song cycle about love and marriage which adopts a female perspective. Although Wieck took legal action to prevent them from marrying, a lengthy court process decided that his objections were unfounded, and the couple wed in early September. The following day was Clara's twenty-first birthday, for which Robert gave her a marriage diary, in which they would both write frequently of their life together.