Victoria Officially Becomes Honorary Citizen of Greece

Victoria was officially sworn-in as a Greek citizen during a ceremony in Athens on Thursday.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Victoria Hislop.

The author in July had been granted the Greek citizenship by Hellenic Republic President Aikaterini Sakellaropoulou for her contribution to the promotion of Greece’s history and traditions through her books. She was officially sworn-in as a Greek citizen at the Interior Ministry by Citizenship Secretary General Athanasios Balerbas. After the ceremony, Victoria Hislop was received at the Maximos Mansion by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis who thanked her for supporting Greece. “I want to thank you for your pure love for Greece, which is reflected in everything you do and write,” Mitsotakis said. He went on to note that the honorary citizenship process is an opportunity to recognize people who are “Greeks at heart”.

On her part, Hislop gave the Prime Minister a copy of her latest book titled “Those who are loved”. She also said that she had been feeling Greek for a long time. “I love Greece with its problems and its difficulties, not only for its beauty. I love everything,” she added. Hislop visits Greece very often and has a second home on the island of Crete. “The Island”, one of her many best-selling novels is set on Spinalonga, an island off the coast of Crete that was Greece’s leper colony for much of the 20th century. The book was adapted by Greece’s Mega Channel as a 26-episode series titled “To Nisi”, which premiered on Greek television in October 2010 and was considered a huge success among viewers and TV critics.

Out now in Paperback: “Those Who Are Loved”

The Sunday Times #1 Bestseller Those Who Are Loved is out in paperback on August 20.

Set against the backdrop of the German occupation of Greece, the subsequent civil war and a military dictatorship, all of which left deep scars.

Themis is part of a family bitterly divided by politics and, as a young woman, her fury with those who have collaborated with the Nazis, drives her to fight for the communists.  She is eventually imprisoned on the notorious islands of exile, Makronisos and Trikeri, and has to make a life or death decision. She is proud of having fought, but for the rest of her life is haunted by some of her actions. Forty years after the end of the civil war, she finally achieves catharsis.

‘A beautifully woven love story and a spellbinding, heart-breaking depiction of a country torn apart by hatred’, 
Daily Express

‘Hislop has done her research and handles the great sweep of complex Greek history with skill and confidence. She makes a touching family story out of violent and divisive times and her fans will lap this up’, 
Daily Mail

Buy The Paperback


“I visited a unique Cretan company today, Biorama, which produces spectacularly beautiful and therapeutic products using organic plants and herbs grown on the hillside outside Agios Nikolaos.

In co-operation with archaeologists, they have brought to light rare ingredients used 4,000 years ago and studied ancient methods of preparation.  The results are unique and totally organic.”

You can find out more about them here https://www.bioaroma.gr/gb/


My Love Affair with Greece

As she’s made an honorary citizen, bestselling novelist Victoria Hislop raises a glass of ouzo to the country that stole her heart 40 years ago

She had scarcely travelled anywhere at all. Yet, recently separated from my father and keen for adventure, my mother, Mary, decided to whisk my sister and me to Athens.

It was the late 1970s. I was 17 years old — and promptly fell in love at first sight.

Not with a dark-eyed local boy, but with Greece itself. That first experience of clear, bright Aegean light and delicious warmth from the Mediterranean sun has remained with me ever since.

My mother approached that first visit with her usual energy. We ticked off with appreciation every archaeological site in the guidebook, going round on buses, frequently getting lost, trying to decipher street signs in an unfamiliar alphabet and almost melting in the August heat. It was hot, confusing and noisy, but I adored everything about it.

After we’d unpicked what we could of Athens, we took a ferry to the island of Paros, which was all whitewashed villages and blue-domed churches. Having spent most previous summer holidays on the pebbly beach at Bognor Regis, the soft white sand was a revelation.

My mother lit the spark which ignited my lifelong Greek passion and inspired my bestselling novel, The Island, set on Spinalonga, a tiny island off the coast of Crete, which was the last leper colony in Europe.

I thought of Mum last week when my phone rang at 10am on a quiet Thursday morning. I answered the unknown number that flashed up on my screen and heard the unexpected words: ‘I have the Prime Minister for you.’

The person on the line was speaking Greek so I knew it wasn’t going to be Boris Johnson. Then I heard what, for me, has become a familiar voice: that of Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the Greek PM (I know his authoritative tones from the Greek equivalent of the Today programme which I tune into each morning).

Mr Mitsotakis was calling to offer me Honorary Citizenship of Greece for promoting modern Greek history and culture through my writings.

To say I was thrilled is an understatement. But it was a pity that I couldn’t share it with my mother. The call came in July, almost precisely four months after she died in a care home, aged 92.

Mum was there at the very beginning of my connection with Greece and years later accompanied me on my research trips to Crete. It was a huge pleasure when I had finished writing The Island to dedicate it to her, and I love to think there are at least five million copies of the book around the world dedicated ‘To my mother, Mary’ …

(read the full article at the Daily Mail)


Selected Books

Recent News

Five best books about . . . Greece — chosen by Victoria Hislop
(for The Times, July 26 2019) These five books are important works about Greece — fiction and nonfiction — and all of them will help any reader to understand the country in greater depth. Most ...
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Interview with Sloane Square Magazine
Svelte and dressed in black, Victoria Hislop looks healthy and relaxed as she sits at a corner table for afternoon tea. The sun is out, there's a pleasant hubbub in the cafe and for a ...
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Makronissos Island now an area of archaeological interest
The prison island which features in Those Who are Loved has a new status as an area of archaeological interest.  Victoria is very hopeful that this will enable more people to visit Makronisos for themselves ...
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An interview with Victoria Hislop
Following on from the success of The Island, The Sunrise and Cartes Postales from Greece, Victoria Hislop’s latest novel, Those Who Are Loved, is set against the backdrop of the German occupation of Greece in ...
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Modern Greek Literature Through A Translator’s Lens
On January 23, 2019, Victoria Hislop joined Panos Karnezis, Patricia Barbeito, David Ricks, and Roderick Beaton  for a workshop to discuss issues of translating Modern Greek literature: what their work – as authors and academics ...
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Juliet Stevenson reads "Those who are Loved"
You can now listen to exclusive extracts from the audiobook of Those Who are Loved, read by Juliet Stevenson, courtesy of  Headline books. You can listen to the whole excerpt by clicking the link below ...
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A few of my favourite (Greek) Things…

Hellenic Bookservice

If you want to get hold of any Greek books, ... Read More

The Hellenic Centre

The focus of Greek culture and language teaching in Central ... Read More

Liquid Gold

The most amazing Cretan olive oil is now being imported ... Read More

Olive Branch

Beautiful olive oil, from hand picked olives, shipped direct from ... Read More


Costas Voyatzis in Athens introduced me to his hugely successful ... Read More

Ayioli, Thessaloniki

There is a beautiful new restaurant on the sea front ... Read More

Prosopa Restaurant, Athens

Prosopa Restaurant - Konstantinopoleos 4/Megalou Vasileiou 52, Athens - Delicious ... Read More




Forthcoming Events

  • 27/10/2020
  • Book now for a magical live stream event with Victoria Hislop and Chorleywood Bookshop on Tuesday 27th October (7.30pm-8.30pm) Victoria will be talking about her new book ONE AUGUST NIGHT...

  • 28/10/2020
  • Book your tickets to see Victoria Hislop in a live stream event with Sevenoaks Bookshop on Wednesday 28th October (7.30pm-8.30pm) as Victoria introduces her gorgeous new novel ONE AUGUST NIGHT....

  • 05/11/2020
  • Book your tickets to join Victoria Hislop as she steps into the Griffin Books virtual bookshop on Thursday 5th November for a live stream event at 8pm. Tickets are £15.00...


“The Island” and Leprosy