First published in the 1888 Summer Number of THE ILLUSTRATED LONDON NEWS.
This Summer Number includes 26 illustrations by A. Forestier and G. Montbard.
The novel was apparently first authorized to be published in book form in New York by Harper & Brothers on June 23, 1888. This edition does not include any of the illustrations by A. Forestier or G. Montbard.
MR. MEESON'S WILL was first published in London by Spencer Blackett in October 1888. The Blackett edition contains 16 full-page illustrations by A. Forestier and G. Montbard.
I own the complete serialization of this novel in the 1888 Summer Number.
See the VisualHaggard.org page dedicated to the illustrations found in various editions.
I do not own any of the books pictured, unless noted.
Illustration by A. Forestier, from the 1888 Summer Number, depicting a pivotal scene from the novel
First British edition front cover
First British edition
My copy of the Harpers first American edition
My copy of the Spencer Blackett first British edition has been rebound in quarter leather, retaining the original illustrated front cover and spine-titling sections
Spencer Blackett first edition frontispiece and title-page.
Note, this frontispiece is NOT found in the serialization. I have no idea why Spencer Blackett used this new illustration instead of the one by A. Forestier.
My copy of MR. MEESON'S WILL was signed by HRH and gifted to Ida Hector, who became his secretary in 1891.
From HRH's DAYS OF MY LIFE:
When I returned from Mexico in 1891 I fell into very poor health. ... Amongst other inconveniences I found that I could no longer endure the continual stooping over a desk which is involved in the writing of books. It was therefore fortunate for me that about this time Miss Ida Hector, the eldest daughter of Mrs. Hector, better known as Mrs. Alexander, the novelist, became my secretary, and in that capacity, as in those of a very faithful friend and companion, to whose sound sense and literary judgment I am much indebted, has so remained to this day.