Among the papers Thackeray’s daughter, Lady Ritchie, discovered after her father’s death, was a sheaf headed ‘Cockney Travels’. Such consciousness of always travelling as a ‘Cockney’, a Londoner, inevitably affected the discourse devoted to Germany and the Germans which pervades Thackeray’s novels, stories, essays, critical reviews and private letters. He saw himself as an author, a traveller, a sentient and reflective human being, confined within a national, social, temporal context which provided parameters wherever he went, whatever he looked at, read or heard, whatever sympathies and empathies he formed. He was also, however, able to reflect on these limitations, to recognize them in himself as in others; and such reflections entered into his discourse as sudden changes of point of view, as narratorial intervention, satire, parody or self-irony. No author demands, from his readers, more alertness, more awareness of tone, than Thackeray, whom the present book seeks to follow as he gradually constructs, in texts spread over the whole of his adult life, out of personal experience and received opinions that can be endorsed or subverted, a Germany of the mind, a fictional Germany which can be related, in praise, blame or straight comparison, to his experience and construction of a British world in which he felt at home, but which he also subjected to critical scrutiny.