October, 1849. Edgar Allan Poe has just died. As his literary executor, Rufus Griswold, compiles Poe's complete works for posthumous publication, the stories and poems come alive in highly theatrical interludes which show the profound effect Poe's personal relationships had on his writing - and vice versa. For Griswold, the stories and poems trigger bitter memories of his own brief friendship with Poe, which disintegrated in a series of petty slights and misunderstandings, and turned into one of the bitterest feuds in the annals of American letters. But far, far more painful for Griswold are his fond reminiscences of Poe's wife Virginia - a witty, delightful girl, loved by all, whose sudden illness and death inspired Poe's masterpiece The Raven, but also transformed him from a brash, devil-may-care romantic figure into a tragic, haunted madman - for evermore.