Emily Dickinson's stature as a major poet has taken many years to emerge. This film imagines Dickinson's thoughts in 1885, the year before her death, as she turns through a family album and re-encounters significant persons and events in her life. Through the medium of some thirty letter extracts, we meet her family, particularly Edward her father, together with friends such as Susan Dickinson, Charles Wadsworth and Sam Bowles, with larger treatment given to the major figure in her final years, Judge Otis Lord. Significant events, again dealt with chiefly through letters, include the brief and not too happy spell at Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, the correspondence with Higginson and his eventual visit, her eye problems including the visit to Boston, and the loss of her beloved Carlo. In the final scenes, we see the illness and fainting attack which signaled her own approaching end. In counterpoint to the letters, the poems reveal the more private Dickinson. The forty or so poems included here, some well known, some less so, lay out the poet's views on nature and religion, love and death, as well as showing, typically in startling colors, her deepest passions, joys and fears. Emily Dickinson is played by Nicola Howard. Shot on location in Kent, England.