Heinrich Heine is one of Germany's greatest writers of verse and prose. His agile mind and brilliant wit expressed themselves in lyric and satiric verse, travel writing and essays on literature, art, politics, and history. He was a great satirist and thinkerbut not a philosopher. One of his most perceptive admirers, Friedrich Nietzsche, said of him, "he possessed that divine malice without which perfection, for me, is unimaginable." Born into a world changed forever by the French Revolution, Heine grew up in a Düsseldorf that formed part of the Napoleonic Empire. He was always acutely aware of history and politics and engaged with them in all his writings.