The Naked Civil Servant (book)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Naked Civil Servant
First edition cover
Author Quentin Crisp
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Genre Autobiography
Publisher Jonathan Cape
Publication date
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages 224 pp
Followed by How to Become A Virgin

The Naked Civil Servant is the first volume of an autobiography by the gay icon Quentin Crisp. It was later turned into a TV movie starring John Hurt, which was also titled The Naked Civil Servant.

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.[1]

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.[1]

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.


  1. ^ a b "Crisp: The naked civil servant". BBC News. 1999-11-21. Retrieved 2008-04-06.