The Critical Heritage gathers together a large body of critical sources on major figures in literature. Each volume presents contemporary responses to a writer's work, enabling student and researcher to read the material themselves.

Introduction; Part 1 The Yellowplush Papers; Chapter 1 Unsigned review, the Spectator; Chapter 2 Thackeray, from a Letter to His Mother; Chapter 3 The Atlas. Unsigned Review of Comic Tales and Sketches (1841), ‘Edited and Illustrated by Mr. Michael Angelo Titmarsh’; Part 2 Catherine; Chapter 4 Thackeray, Catherine, the end of the Novel; Chapter 5 Thackeray, from Letters to his Mother; Part 3 The Paris Sketch Book; Chapter 6 Unsigned Review, the Spectator; Part 4 Barry Lyndon; Chapter 7, James Fitzjames Stephen], from a review in the Saturday Review; Chapter 8 Anthony Trollope, Thackeray; Part 5 Estimates of Thackeray’s Early Work; Chapter 9, Abraham Hayward], from ‘Thackeray’s Writings’, Edinburgh Review; Chapter 10, George Henry Lewes], article in the Morning Chronicle; Chapter 11 Thackeray, Letter to G.H.Lewes; Part 6 Vanity Fair; Chapter 12 Charlotte Brontë, from Letters to W.S.Williams; Chapter 13, John Forster], from a Review in the Examiner; Chapter 14, Robert Stephen Rintoul], from a Review in the Spectator; Chapter 15, Robert Bell], from a Review in Fraser’s Magazine; Chapter 16 Thackeray, Letter to Robert Bell; Chapter 17, Charles Astor Bristed], from ‘Vanity Fair’, the American Review; Chapter 18, Elizabeth Rigby (later, Lady Eastlake)], from ‘Vanity Fair—and Jane Eyre’, Quarterly Review; Chapter 19, and (b) from The Storm-Cloud of the Nineteenth Century (1884); Part 20 Pendennis; Chapter 20 Thackeray, Preface to Pendennis; Chapter 21 From an Unsigned Review in the Athenaeum; Chapter 22, John Ritchie Findlay], review in the Scotsman; Chapter 23, R.S.Rintoul], from ‘Thackeray’s Pendennis’, the Spectator; Chapter 24, G.H.Lewes], Review in the Leader; Chapter 25, David Masson], from ‘Pendennis and Copperfield: Thackeray and Dickens’ North British Review; Chapter 26 Thackeray, Letter to David Masson; Chapter 27, Samuel Phillips], from ‘David Copperfield and Arthur Pendennis’, The Times; Part 8 Henry Esmond; Chapter 28, G.H.Lewes], from ‘Thackeray’s New Novel’,