Roland Michell is an Americian trying to make it in the difficult world of British Academics. He has yet to break out from under his mentor's shadow until he finds a pair of love letters in the textbook that once belonged to one of his idols, a famous long dead Victorian poet. Michell, after some sleuthing around, narrows down the suspects to a woman not his wife, another well known Victorian poet. Roland enlists the aid of a Dr. Maud Bailey, an expert on the life of the woman in question. Together they piece together the story of a forbidden love affair, and discover one of their own. The they also find themselves in a battle to hold on to their discovery before it falls into the hands of their rival, Fergus Wolfe.