We’re still riding high in Apple Podcasts places and travel charts all around the world, including several days at number 1 in the UK and as high as number 16 in the US so I want to thank you once again for all our loyal listeners and welcome all new listeners. My guest today is someone I’ve ALWAYS wanted to get on the podcast. This interview was my last trip into the centre of London before lockdown and I went to the stunning The London Library in the beautiful St James Square in Westminster to meet her. With her best-selling and impeccably researched historical novels, Victoria Hislop has the power to transport you through both place and time. Her books have sold millions around the world and been translated into over 35 languages. A former travel writer she divides her time between Athens, Crete and England and the inspiration for her stories come from anything from a leprosy colony in the Greek Islands to Garcia Lorca’s family home in Granada. I’ve been a fan of her work for a long time so I’m delighted to have Victoria Hislop on The Big Travel Podcast. On this episode we cover: Her latest book Those Who Are Loved about the Greek Civil War (out now in hardback and paperback by August 2020) Her first book The Island selling over 2 million copies around the world and Travelling and writing books (a charmed life!) Starting as a travel journalist The Greek leprosy colony Spinalonga that inspired The Island How the story incredibly ‘emerged’ in the first hour of visiting the island People leaving something of their story behind in a way Feeling like she was almost ‘channelling’ the energy left behind Her second book The Return based in Spain during the Spanish Civil War Being just outside Granada when the idea come to her Garcia Lorca’s Granada family home being spine-tingling The lack of acknowledgment of the Civil War since Franco The mausoleum to General Franco in the Valley of the Fallen The definite sense that people were visiting to pay homage to a fascist Spain’s quietly divided society under Franco People now being brave enough to track family members Lisa’s dissertation (yes really!) on Spanish design reflecting culture The shadow Franco cast over Spain A population in mourning but shops selling out of champagne Being very moved by watching Franco’s recent exhumation to unmarked grave Kitsch souvenirs in homage to Franco Lisa previously meeting Victoria and her husband Ian Hislop on a flight with Martin Lewis the Money Saving Expert Victoria loving Malaga city and its regeneration Malaga previously having a heroin problem Flamenco and gypsy culture encapsulating Andalucían spirit Being almost nostalgic about the Brexit argument now Coronavirus has replaced it! How suppressed cultures can thrive underground in times of adversity The Greek Civil War being a very vicious period in Greece Hundreds of thousand of Greek’s dying from starvation after the Nazis Nazis destroying roads, railways and bridges on their way out The big resistance movement in Greece The communist resistance fighters expecting roles in Government British sending troops to fight the communists in Greece The differences between post-civil war in Greece and Spain Lisa meeting the tourism minister in Athens Loving travel but being slightly conflicted about travel Her children being cross with her for taking unnecessary flights Off-setting flights when possible Feeling if she lived in Greece she would be too tied down in daily life Sunshine being incredibly good for us How the sunshine can make you feel happy The excitement of London But the lure of a laid back lifestyle in the sunshine Travelling frequently to Colombia Long-haul trips at Christmas Working on the TV set when The Island was turned into a TV drama Her poem being turned into a hit song by Greek popstar Eleonora Zouganeli Winning a Sony Gold award for the song
Join Georgina Godwin as she talks to ‘Sunday Times’ bestselling author Victoria Hislop. Her first novel, ‘The Island’, was inspired by a visit to Spinalonga, the abandoned Greek leprosy colony. The book became an international bestseller and a 26-part television adaptation was screened in Greece. Now firmly established as one of our best-loved authors, she returns to Greece for her gripping new novel, ‘Those Who Are Loved’, set against the backdrop of German occupation, the subsequent civil war and a military dictatorship.
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