01Catherine Wynne20120416

The Irish novelist Bram Stoker, creator of Dracula, died 100 years ago this Friday, and all this week on The Essay five writers will examine his life and works.

Tonight, Dr Catherine Wynne of the University of Hull looks at the key relationships in Stoker's life and examines how the author, overshadowed in death by his most famous creation Dracula, lived a life on the margins of Victorian theatrical society, looking on from the 'wings of the stage' while others bathed in the limelight.

Dr Catherine Wynne on the life of Dracula's creator, Bram Stoker, who died 100 years ago.

02Colm Toibin20120417

To mark the centenary of Bram Stoker's death, the novelist Colm Toibin explores the origins of the Irish author's Gothic horror Dracula, assessing the influence of Irish folklore, Gothic theatre, and even the topography of Dublin and London themselves. Did Dracula come into being from Irish Protestant guilt?

Novelist Colm Toibin explores the origins of Bram Stoker's Dracula.

03Christopher Frayling20120418

Sir Christopher Frayling recounts his 1976 research trip through Transylvania, following a route mapped out in Dracula by the character Jonathan Harker. Meeting a band of Zygany gypsies and spending the night in 'Castle Dracula' along the way, Sir Christopher explores to what extent the reality of life in the Romanian region matches the myth created in Stoker's Dracula.

Christopher Frayling takes a trip to Transylvania inspired by Bram Stoker's Dracula.

04Roger Luckhurst20120419

As part of this week's series of The Essay, marking the centenary of the death of Dracula creator Bram Stoker, Professor Roger Luckhurst of Birkbeck, University of London, examines the Irish writer's horror novel about an ancient Egyptian mummy, The Jewel of Seven Stars, and argues that Stoker had an uncanny ability to weave the latest scientific discoveries through his work, thus lending his flights of fantasy an authority not found in the work of his contemporaries.

Professor Roger Luckhurst explores Stoker's Egyptian horror The Jewel of Seven Stars.

05 LASTJarlath Killeen20120420

To mark the centenary of Dracula creator Bram Stoker's death, Dr Jarlath Killeen of Trinity College Dublin explores the Irish writer's bizarre last novel, The Lair of the White Worm, published in 1911, and examines two recurring symbols found throughout the author's work - the muscular Christian male and the sinister feminine serpent.

Dr Jarlath Killeen explores Bram Stoker's last novel, The Lair of the White Worm.