Tag Archives: Quentin Crisp


The Irriplacable ‘Quentin Crisp’

Denis Charles Pratt was born in Sutton, Surrey, the fourth child of solicitor Spencer Charles Pratt (1871–1931) and former governess Frances Marion Pratt (née Phillips) (1873–1960); he changed his name to Quentin Crisp in his third decade after leaving home and cultivating his outlandishly effeminate appearance to a standard that both shocked contemporary Londoners and provoked homophobic attacks. By his own account, Crisp was effeminate in behaviour from an early age and found himself the object of teasing at Kingswood Preparatory School in Epsom, from where he won a scholarship to Denstone College, Uttoxeter, in 1922. After leaving school in 1926, Crisp studied journalism at King’s College London, but failed to graduate in 1928, going on to take art classes at the Regent Street Polytechnic. Around this time, Crisp began visiting the cafés of Soho – his favorite being The Black Cat in Old Compton Street – meeting other young homosexual men and rent-boys, and experimenting with make-up and women’s clothes. For six months he worked as a male prostitute, looking for love, he said in a 1999 interview, but finding only degradation. – - Find out more