Marvellously untouched by twelve years of formal education, Sylvian Hamilton was at different times a secretary, mother, lexicographer, journalist, farmer, second-hand book seller and antiques dealer, as well as a successful novelist. She died in 2005.
Inspired by a visit to Spinalonga, the abandoned Greek leprosy colony, Victoria Hislop wrote The Island in 2005. It became an international bestseller and a 26-part Greek TV series. She was named Newcomer of the Year at the British Book Awards and is now an ambassador for Lepra. Her affection for the Mediterranean took her to Spain, which inspired her second bestseller The Return, and she returned to Greece to tell the turbulent tale of Thessaloniki in The Thread, shortlisted for a British Book Award and confirming her reputation as an inspirational storyteller. The Sunrise, a Sunday Times Number One bestseller about the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, was published to widespread acclaim in 2014.Victoria Hislop's latest book, Cartes Postales from Greece, is fiction illustrated with photographs. It was a Sunday Times bestseller in hardback and one of the biggest selling books of 2016.