Philip O'Connor

Philip O'Connor

Philip O'Connor (1916-1998) was a British writer and surrealist poet, who also painted. He was one of the 'Wheatsheaf writers' of 1930s Fitzrovia (who took their name from a pub). He married six times and fathered at least eight children.

His "Memoirs of a Public Baby" (1958, Faber and Faber) threw light on his early life. It is dedicated to Anna Wing, the actress and his third partner with whom he had a son, Jon, now a successful educator.

This was followed by "The Lower View" (1960), "Living in Croesor" (1962) and "Vagrancy" (1963). He was a heavy drinker and (at the very least) massively eccentric, living a mainly parasitic life. In his own words, he "bathed in life and dried myself on the typewriter".

In 1963, O'Connor interviewed an acquaintance, Quentin Crisp, for the BBC Third Programme. A publisher who happened to hear the broadcast was impressed by Crisp's performance, and as an indirect result of O'Connor's interview, Crisp ended up writing "The Naked Civil Servant"." [ A peculiarly outrageous act to follow] ", The Daily Telegraph, published September 11, 2002, accessed July 16, 2007.]

He married the American heiress Panna Grady in 1967 and settled with her in France.

"Quentin & Philip" by Andrew Barrow is a joint biography of O'Connor and Quentin Crisp.


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