The Naked Civil Servant (book)
First edition cover
|Media type||Print (Hardback & Paperback)|
|Followed by||How to Become A Virgin|
The book started life as a radio interview with Crisp in 1964 conducted by his friend and fellow eccentric, Philip O'Connor, which was heard by the then managing director of Jonathan Cape, commissioned by him, and which was published in 1968. It only sold 3,500 copies when first released but became a success after a re-publication once the television version was shown.
The book contains many anecdotes about Crisp's life from childhood through to middle age. It documents the troubles he faced because of his refusal to hide his homosexuality and flamboyant lifestyle during a time when gay sex was illegal in the United Kingdom. Crisp also recalls how he had many jobs including a book designer, nude model and prostitute.
The title comes from Crisp's quip about being a nude art model; models are employed by schools and are ultimately paid by the Department for Education. They are essentially civil employees who are naked during office hours.