Mr. Meeson's Will
If Haggard -- one of the greatest adventure writers of all time -- is remembered now, it is for his novels featuring Allan Quatermain, a heroic adventurer whose exploits in Africa form the most important sequence of Haggard's books. Quatermain's adventures are chronicled in such novels as "King Solomon's Mines," "Allan Quaterman," "She," and 11 others. However, despite the importance of the Quaterman books, many of Haggard's other novels are interesting in their own right. "Nada the Lily" is the first of four books about the Zulus, all of which are excellent. "Eric Brighteyes" is rich, fantasy-laden Icelandic saga. "The World's Desire" (written with Andrew Lang) is a fantasy about the characters in "The Odyssey." And there are numerous other titles (many of them reprinted by Wildside Press as part of the Wildside Fantasy Classics series) which bring undeservingly lost Haggard books back into print. "Mr. Meeson's Will" is just such a book. Here we get a glimpse of what H. Rider Haggard must have gone through as a starting author, as he slyly takes the reader inside the British publishing industry, where greed and hack writers (he calls them "tame writers") are prominent. One can easily see how writers of the day could be ruined by publishers as ruthless and unscrupulous as Mr. Meeson. Luckily Haggard could call upon his years of legal training in search of the appropriate remedy for his heroine's tragic plight!