From Tatters of the King
Talbot Estus, born Waldo Easterman in Lansing, Texas is a noted American novelist, producing works of what he calls romantic horror or macabre romances (though critics can find little difference between the two).
Talbot's earlier works were popular, but his later works suffer from either lack of originality, or, on the odd occasion they are inventive, excessive peculiarity.
He is a tanned, active-looking man with a thick moustache and full head of hair. He has poor eyesight and uses 3 different pairs of glasses for varying tasks. A fastidious dresser, he has a weakness for Panama hats.
His homosexuality an open secret, he shares his London flat with his former publisher, Michael Gillen. Gillen is worried about Estus, believing that he has an irrational fear of the stars (astrophobia) and an unhealthy obsession with the play "The King in Yellow".
Estus told Nathaniel Browne that he had read and enjoyed the stories of Robert W Chambers, but it was his discovery of the French play, 'Le Roi en Jeune' that showed him the true importance, and power of this material.
Since the play predated Chambers it must have been his source, but according to the literary world, Chambers invented it all himself. The existence of the French play disproves that, and it goes far beyond Chambers' mere hints, so Estus wrote to Chambers about it some months back. Chambers, somewhat rudely, has not replied at all. Estus suspects that Chambers is embarassed as being found out as a plagiarist of a far greater work. Estus himself freely acknowledges the play as being the root of his own work.
On November 26th, 1928 Estus hanged himself at his flat. He had been struggling for weeks to complete even a single page of his novel and had driven Michael Gillen away. Nathaniel Browne had visited him and seen his fragile mental state, and had tried without success to get Talbot to seek medical help. Estus phoned Browne on the night of his death, but was barely coherent.
His suicide note said "Did I see my destiny, or did I make it? Damn Roby, and damn his book." he has also burned the copy of 'Der Wanderer durch den See' that Browne had lent him.
The Grey Lady (1905) - heavily influenced by 'The Turn of the Screw'
The Haunting of Agatha May (1912) - his biggest success
The Curse of Beydelus (1921) - a tale of a magician's pact with a demon
Evilroot (1926) - a ghost story and an excursion into Egyptology
The Revenant King (1928) - a poorly received tale of medieval horror
At the time of his death, Estus was working on an epic treatment of 'The King in Yellow' in novel form.
At the time of his death, Talbot was working on a novel treatment of the same material from the play Carcosa, or The Queen and the Stranger. His attachment to the work seemed almost maniacal. In the play itself, he appeared as the King in Yellow.
Talbot was homosexual, and his lover was Michael Gillen though this relationship may have been less than secure (or perhaps non-exclusive) as he mistakenly attempted to seduce Nathaniel Browne, confusing respect for his work for personal affection, during a visit.
Talbot often checked windows and seemed fearful of the sky at night. Doctor Frederick Bartlett has suggested that Talbot may have suffered from astrophobia. When questioned by Nathaniel Browne, Estus revealed that he had dreamed of mutitudes of creatures (which Browne recognized as byakhee flying by the windows of the palace of Yhtill in Carcosa. The scene he described was discovered to be all too terrifyingly real when the investigators visited Carcosa.