I am extremely grateful to the staff of the Museo Municipal, the Museo de la Ciudad and the Reina Sofia art gallery in Madrid, and of the Eliot-Phelips Collection at the University of London Library, for their generous help and assistance, and to the Arts and Humanities Research Board for providing the research leave funding that allowed me to bring the writing of this book to completion. There are many other people who have supported this project from its beginning to end. Firstly I would never have embarked upon this project without the consistent encouragement of Jo Labanyi and Laura Marcus, whose intellectual energy and perspicacity are always so inspirational. My colleagues in the Department of English at the University of Birmingham have as ever provided the strongest support, and I thank in particular Tony Davies, Andrzej Gasiorek and Marcus Walsh for their scholarly acumen and mentorship. Numerous friends and colleagues have shared their urban knowledge and their urban passions, among them Maria Balshaw, Helena Buffery, Jan Campbell, Graeme Gilloch, Liam Kennedy, Helen Laville, Solange Mouthaan and Steve Pile. I owe a special debt to Vicky Buffery for all her translation work, to Kathleen May for her patience and kindness as editor, and again to Maria Balshaw, whose insightful suggestions and continued encouragement have been invaluable to me. My warmest thanks also to Angela and Vicente Gasca for their affection and hospitality. This book is for David, who put up with my scribbles with amused indulgence, and who started it all by first taking me to Sol.