Quentin Crisp

The Profession of Being. A Biography


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About the Book

English writer and raconteur Quentin Crisp (1908–1999) became a celebrity and gay icon at the age of 60 with the publication and televising of his 1968 memoir, The Naked Civil Servant. Unapologetically unconventional, he filled books and articles with his witticisms and opinions on popular culture, and packed theaters worldwide with his one-man show An Evening with Quentin Crisp. This biography chronicles Crisp’s life, including his birth in pre–World War I England; his life as a gay youth on the streets of London; his early attempts at writing and job-seeking; his entry into the world of modeling; and his sudden success late in life. With this definitive chronicle, Quentin Crisp and his unique worldview are once again on display.

About the Author(s)

Nigel Kelly, a triple graduate and member of MENSA, lives in Ireland. Find out more at www.nigeldavidkelly.com.

Bibliographic Details

Nigel Kelly
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 227
Bibliographic Info: 29 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2011
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6475-3
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8841-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      ix
Foreword by Guy Kettelhack      1
Preface      5

1. Childhood      7
2. The Teenage Years      16
3. Leaving School      20
4. High Wycombe      25
5. Leaving Home      27
6. Becoming Quentin Crisp      31
7. Freelancing      38
8. The Early War Years      42
9. Becoming a Model      48
10. Peace Breaks Out      55
11. Becoming the Stately Homo      60
12. A Midlife Crisis      63
13. Talking About Himself      71
14. The Naked Civil Servant      79
15. Traveling the World      89
16. America, Here I Come!      105
17. Becoming a Film Star      120
18. Going Out with a Bang      137
19. The Death of the Significant Quentin Crisp      149

Afterword      163
Appendix 1—Crisperanto: The Philosophy of Quentin Crisp      169
Appendix 2—Tributes      178
Appendix 3—Quentin’s Family Tree      197
Chapter Notes      199
Quentin’s Books      209
Books about Quentin / Web Sites      211
Index      213