The R'lyeh Revelations
Haydon Atwood Prescott (1906 - 1945)
The notes and sketches which make up Prescott's the R'lyeh Revelations were based partly on his manuscript copy of the R'lyeh Text, (the English translation by Lord Rochester), and from hints and suggestions from such works as the Liyuhh, Joachim Feery's Notes on the Cthaat Aquadingen, and Gantley's Hydrophinnae. The main bulk of the work however, was inspired by the discoveries he made on his Pacific expedition of 1936/37. Prescott worked on these manuscripts and paintings throughout 1944 and 1945 while he was incarcerated within the walls of Roundway Mental Institution, until his strange and horrific death there in November 1945.
Prescott's collection of books was presented, at his request, to the Miskatonic University of Arkham, Massachusetts, USA in February 1946 and are included in Dr. Llanfer's catalogue of the library's occult, arcane, religious and archaeological holdings, published in 1951. Also passed on to the Miskatonic was Prescot's collection of artefacts (statuettes, stone tablets, wooden masks, cloth samples etc.) which are on permanent loan to the British Museum in London. An unpublished novel was also discovered amongst his effects. The Behemoth From Below (written 1941) was published in 1952 by Necromancer Press in the USA.
The content of the R'lyeh Revelations centres around the 'Great Old One' Cthulhu and his imprisonment in the sunken city of R'lyeh, somewhere beneath the waves of the Pacific. It tells that he sleeps a sleep of deathlessness and that when the stars are right he will rise again. It concentrates heavily on illustrations rather than text, and some illustrations (rather like the paintings of Richard Pickman) give the vague, nagging feeling of having been drawn from life!
For a more complete picture of Prescott's theories of a pre-human Pacific civilisation see his famous (or infamous) Down Amongst The Deep Ones: The Cthulhu Legend Cycle in the Pacific published by Williams & Wilson of London in 1939. In fact R'lyeh Revelations can be seen as a companion piece to that work, illustrating many of the aquatic and amphibious denizens of the deep mentioned with its pages. His novel The Behemoth From Below also deals with the same themes, albeit in fictional form.
The fact that Prescott was confined to Roundway in 1944, immediately after his disastrous expedition to Cambodia and Borneo (of which he was the sole survivor) leads many scholars to suggest that he was tainted with madness throughout his career, and that all his works are the product of a sick and diseased brain. After all, they suggest, his two slim volumes of poetry, published by Charnel House in his younger days, were banned by most booksellers because of their blasphemous, lewd and fantastic content.
The R'lyeh Revelations are published here for the first time with notes and annotations by Lin Paul Stephens. You may take it all as a fanciful conceit, or the ravings of an unbalanced mind. Far better that than to, even for a moment, accept the cataclysmic notion that the R'lyeh Revelations are based on hard solid fact and it was this very notion which drove Haydon Atwood Prescott to the brink of madness and beyond!