The Naked Truth: Authors Who Write in the Buff

Writing takes a lot of focus - here are a few authors who got rid of all sorts of distractions, including their clothes, while writing:

When Victor Hugo [wiki], the famous author of great tomes such as Les Misérables and The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, ran into a writer's block, he concocted a unique scheme to force himself to write: he had his servant take all of his clothes away for the day and leave his own nude self with only pen and paper, so he'd have nothing to do but sit down and write.

Ernest Hemingway [wiki] did not only write A Farewell to Arms, he also said farewell to clothes! The inside dirt is that Hemingway wrote nude, standing up, with his typewriter about waist level. Indeed, there might be a nudist streak in the Hemingway genes: Ernest's cousin Edward Hemingway opened Britain's oldest nudist colony, a nine-bedroom chateau called Metherell Towers, back in the 1930s!
Perhaps it's not so surprising that D.H. Lawrence [wiki], who wrote the controversial (and censored) erotic book Lady Chatterley's Lover, liked to climb mulberry trees, in the nude, before coming down to write.
James Whitcomb Riley [wiki], America's "Hoosier Poet," had his friends lock him up in a hotel room to write, naked, so he wouldn't be tempted to go down to the bar for a drink.
French poet and author Edmond Rostand [wiki], who is best known for his play Cyrano de Bergerac, was so sick of being interrupted by his friends that he took up working naked in his bathtub.
Apparently Rostand wasn't the only one with this bright idea - Benjamin Franklin [wiki] also liked to take baths. In fact, he liked to take "air baths," where he sit around naked in a cold room for an hour or so while he wrote.

Mystery writer Agatha Christie [wiki], whose books have been translated in 40 languages and outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare, liked to write anywhere, including in the bathtub!

Sources: A Blank Page by Sam Elmore, In The Nude by So Many Books, Literary Life and Other Curiosities by Robert Hendrickson, Dressing to Write by Bibi's Beat.

Newest 5
Newest 5 Comments

Don't forget historian Forrest McDonald. Booknotes Interview:

LAMB: If we could see you in your environment writing this book, what would we see?

McDONALD: You'd see me writing in the nude most of the time.

LAMB: In the nude?

McDONALD: Yes. We live in total isolation out in the country. They don't even read the electric meter because the electric man can't find it. We have to read our own meter. We've got wonderful isolation, and it's warm most of the year in Alabama and why wear clothes? I mean, they're just a bother. You'd see me sitting on the porch. We have a house that's mainly glass and otherwise screen and sitting out on the porch with a big 8-and-a-half-by-14 yellow tablet and writing. I write it out by hand. My wife, who is a very fine harpsichordist and has become a fantastic typist, then transcribes. I do a lot of editing before I turn it over to her, and then she edits with her fingers as she goes along. So we're really at a third or fourth draft by the time we get a first typed draft. We never use word processors, and then we'll let it sit and edit it some more. I'll keep on writing.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
You didn't include maybe the most famous nude writer...Jean-Paul Marat, journalist, propagandist, etc. of the French Revolution. He had Very Itchy Skin which he thought he had contracted while hiding out in the sewers of Paris (though some modern day people think he might have suffered from celiac disease) and the only place he could be comfortable was sitting in the bathtub. Therefore, he did mostof his writing while in the bath, and he was murdered in that state by Charlotte Corday, as immortalized in a painting by David.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Login to comment.
Email This Post to a Friend
"The Naked Truth: Authors Who Write in the Buff"

Separate multiple emails with a comma. Limit 5.


Success! Your email has been sent!

close window

This website uses cookies.

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using this website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

I agree
Learn More