Bestselling Author Victoria Hislop Sworn In as Greek Citizen



Victoria Hislop proudly shows her official Greek certificate as she met PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis. Credit: AMNA

English author Victoria Hislop was on Thursday officially sworn-in as a Greek citizen during a special ceremony held at the interior ministry.

Hislop was awarded an honorary Greek citizenship in July 2020 for her work promoting modern Greece’s history and culture.

The author of the best-selling 2005 novel “The Island”, which was later made into a hugely successful television series in Greece, Hislop emphasized her abiding love for Greece, including its problems, for many years and thanked the ministry for the great honor, saying that this was a very important day for her.

Afterwards, Hislop was received by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis at the Maximos Mansion, where he thanked her for her support of Greece through her writing and her statements and by mobilizing the people of the arts, sciences and culture to support Greece’s rights during a difficult time.

“Above all, for your pure love of Greece, which I think is reflected in everything you do and everything you write,” Mitsotakis said.

According to government sources, the author – who was informed that she will be given Greek citizenship by the prime minister on the phone – gave Mitsotakis a copy of her latest book “Those Who Are Loved” and said that she has felt Greek for a long time.

Born in London, Hislop was raised in Tonbridge, Kent. She studied English at St. Hilda’s College, Oxford and worked in publishing and as a journalist before becoming an author.

Her novel The Island (2005) was a number one bestseller in Britain, its success in part the result of having been selected by the Richard & Judy Book Club for their 2006 Summer Reads. “To Nisi” (The Island) was filmed as a TV series by the Greek TV channel MEGA.

Following on from the success of The Island, “The Sunrise” and “Cartes Postales” from Greece followed. Her latest novel, “Those Who Are Loved,” is set against the backdrop of the German occupation of Greece in World War II, and the subsequent civil war and military dictatorship.

The novel sheds light on the complexity and trauma of Greece’s past and weaves an epic tale of an ordinary woman compelled to live an extraordinary life.

In a recent interview, Hislop spoke of her strong bonds with Greece. “I have a very strong connection with Greece. Nobody knows where it comes from, least of all me. Many people in Greece think I must have Greek roots, but I haven’t found them. It’s just a deep feeling of belonging here.”

“Greece, first and foremost, has a beauty that’s unlike anywhere else,” Hislop told
Wanderlust.

“I have traveled to every continent in the world, but there is nowhere else that has the aesthetics of Greece. The sky here has a unique translucence, the sea is especially blue, the stars are brighter and the landscape is dramatic, particularly on Crete where I have my house,” she added.

Hislop is the latest prominent international figure to be awarded Greek citizenship. In December of 2019, the then-President of the Hellenic Republic signed the official papers marking the honorary naturalization of the famous American actor and philhellene, Tom Hanks.