Diarist Thomas Raikes (1777-1848) was an Old Etonian whose social world included some of the most influential people of his day. Raikes was no politician - he had an established reputation as a 'dandy' - and he spent much of his time in gentlemen's clubs in London, especially the Carlton and White's. He was ostensibly employed by his father, a merchant and later governor of the Bank of England, and was married with four children. His reputation as a man about town was confirmed by the posthumous publication of these diary extracts, in four volumes from 1856 to 1857; they focus on his time abroad, mostly in Paris, but also in Prussia and Italy. His wide acquaintance among politicians made him a close observer of British and international political affairs, such as the Reform Bill of 1832 and the abolition of slavery in the West Indies.