Wilhelm Meister's: Apprenticeship and Travels by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship (German: Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre) is the second novel by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, published in 1795-96. The eponymous hero undergoes a journey of self-realization. The story centers upon Wilhelm's attempt to escape what he views as the empty life of a bourgeois businessman. After a failed romance with the theater, Wilhelm commits himself to the mysterious Tower Society. These two translations, "Meister's Apprenticeship" and "Meister's Travels," have long been out of print, but never altogether out of demand; nay, it would seem, the originally somewhat moderate demand has gone on increasing, and continues to increase. They are, therefore, here republished; and the one being in some sort a sequel to the other, though in rather unexpected sort, they are now printed together. The English version of "Meister's Travels" has been extracted, or extricated, from a compilation of very various quality named "German Romance," and placed by the side of the "Apprenticeship," its forerunner, which, in the translated as in the original state, appeared hitherto as a separate work.