Journalist, author and Patron of Humanists UK
I remember being inspired by Jonathan Miller’s proclamation, on Desert Island Discs, that he was an atheist – I had never heard anyone say such a thing so definitely and carefully before, and it was encouraging to hear.
Hermione Eyre was born in 1980 and went to Rugby School where she was very happy, although Matthew Arnold’s “muscular Christianity” had no effect: “I left neither muscular nor Christian,” she reports. She went on to read English on a scholarship at Hertford College, Oxford.
Soon after graduation she was inspired and encouraged by Jonathan Miller’s proclamation, on Desert Island Discs, that he was an atheist – and when she joined The Independent as a staff writer, she often supported atheist campaigns in the Comment pages or wrote “lifestyle” humanist pieces in the magazine. She co-wrote, with William Donaldson, in 2005, The Dictionary of National Celebrity(Weidenfeld and Nicholson – buy it at Amazon.co.uk through this link and a small commission will go to Humanists UK) and contributed to The Atheist’s Guide to Christmas (HarperCollins, 2009).
She is now a contributing editor on the Evening Standard’s ES magazine, and a freelance writer forProspect, New Statesman, ELLE magazine and The Times. This year, she has interviewed Cherie Blair, Robert Pattinson, Nancy Dell’Olio, Rupert Everett, Placido Domingo and Simon Sebag Montefiore. Her favourite ever interviewees have been Joanna Lumley, whom she “(sort of) saved from a gunman in Sheffield”, and Olivia de Havilland, now in her 90s, who gave three hours’ conversation about her memories of the golden age of Hollywood.
Hermione recently married “with quite a lot of guests, fuss, and tradition, but no mention of God at any point.”