Peggy Reynolds explores one of the most iconic poems ever published. Over 160 years since its first appearance, it is still inspiring film makers, horror writers and theatre directors to produce their own interpretations. Yet many loathed the poem, including W.B Yeats who said it was insincere and vulgar. The poem granted its author instant fame, yet he spent most of his life in poverty. To try and capitalise on its success he wrote an essay about its composition, which many believe to imbued with an over inflated sense of mastery. The poet attracted nearly as much controversy as his poem. An inveterate gambler, alcoholic and occasional drug abuser, he was a philanderer whose most popular poems were about his devotion to a lost love. There's also a demonic bird involved. Need any more clues? Nevermore
With guests including the poet and falconer Helen Macdonald, Professor of English John Sutherland, the poet Jay Parini, the raven master at the Tower of London and occasional appearances by feathered friends, Peggy Reynolds unpicks Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven.
Producer: Sarah Langan.