"A handful of decaying, centuried shards . . . [their origins were] pre Triassic and their very existence, in any form other than centuried dust, was impossible to explain." — Sir Howard Windrop’s article, 1912.
"There are fabulous legends of Star Born creatures who inhabited this Earth many millions of years before Man appeared and who were still here, in certain black places, when he eventually evolved. They are, I am sure, to an extent here even now." — Sir Amery Wendy Smith’s Introduction, 1919.
The G'harne Fragments was published in 1919 in a privately-financed run of 958 copies. A humble volume of 128 pages, measuring 4-1/2 by 5-3/4 inches and bound in cheap pasteboard covers, it is a conjectural translation of strange writings found on shattered tablets first brought out of Africa by the British explorer Sir Howard Windrop. Windrop made a partial translation of the dot-formed runes, enough to convince him they were part of a larger work. Called by some "Windrop's Folly", it did not deter his colleague, Sir Amery Wendy-Smith, from making a complete translation. The same year that Wendy-Smith’s book saw publication, he led an expedition to North Africa in search of the lost city of G'harne.
The original carvings found on the shards are the ancient dot-formed hieroglyphs of the elder things. They describe the prehistory of earth from Pleistocene times to the dawn of human civilization. They tell of prehistoric cities and civilizations called Lh'Yibi, Ib, Leng, Thep-Dya, R'lyeh, and Xuthltan, and describe deities with names like Bokrug, Nug, and Yeb. Also described are the locations of several deserted Elder Thing cities, many Deep One colonies, and a secret enclave of serpent men. Star charts are also discernible, indicating the locations of Algol, Yuggoth, and the now-destroyed planet Thyoph.
The lost city of G’harne is discussed in the greatest detail, and a description of its location provided. Originally one of the cities of the elder things, it is now described as a place of underground burrows inhabited by crawling Chthonians led by a monstrous creature named Shudde-M’ell.
The decayed fragments of the original stone tablets are housed in the British Museum.
"Windrop’s Folly" his partial translation was published in the Journal of the Royal Antiquities Society in 1912. Highly criticized, it led to a decline in the reputation of a man previously thought an impeccable scholar. Many better libraries have copies of the issue with Windrop’s article.
The Wendy-Smith Translation
Wendy-Smith’s complete translation of the shards, titled The G'harne Fragments, is difficult to obtain. Some copies were purchased by better universities and larger public libraries, but most of these vanished in the late 1960s.
Gordon Walmsly's Notes
Gordon Walmsley published several chapters of his proposed translation in the Imperial Archaeological Journal in 1963. It was derided in the scholarly community, and were widely known as his "spoof-notes".
The Walmsley Translation
Working from Walmsley’s notes, a group of translators backed by the Wilmarth Foundation finished this translation in 1975.
Windrop's monograph and Walmsley's notes contain no spells.