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  • The Secret Diaries of Juan Luis Vives

  • A Novel
  • By: Tim Darcy Ellis
  • Narrated by: Peter Noble
  • Length: 10 hrs and 1 min
  • 4.0 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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The Secret Diaries of Juan Luis Vives

By: Tim Darcy Ellis
Narrated by: Peter Noble
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Summary

It is 1522, in Bruges, The Spanish Netherlands. Juan Luis Vives, a renowned academic, born into a Jewish family in Valencia in 1492 has fled Spain to avoid the fires of the Inquisition. Even here, though, he is not safe and he finds that the 'eyes and ears' of the king of Spain are far-reaching. With the net closing in, England's Sir Thomas More offers him the role of tutor to Mary, daughter of Catherine of Aragon and Henry VIII; he eagerly accepts.

While publicly navigating life as a "Nuevo Cristiano", Vives is quickly drawn into the secretive and dangerous world of London's Jewish community. Amidst a background of conflicted faith and divided loyalties, he is also torn between the love of two women; one from his own culture, one from this new world of England.

Once established in the Tudor court, Henry VIII and his queen, Catherine of Aragon separately seek Vives's assistance to support their opposed demands. He must betray one to help the other; knowing his decision could cost him his life. Whom will he choose? Will his wily skills allow him to manipulate them both? Not only his survival but that of his family and even his entire people hangs in the balance.

Based on real events, The Secret Diaries of Juan Luis Vives is "faction as fiction", and was named as one of the Top 100 Indie books of the year by Kirkus Reviews in December 2020. 

Award-winning narrator Peter Noble delivers a stunning performance as Juan Luis Vives as he navigates the Tudor Court and encounters the well-known and well-loved characters of the realm of Henry VIII. 

©2020 Timothy Darcy Ellis (P)2021 Timothy Darcy Ellis

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A fascinating first novel, delightfully narrated

A brilliant debut novel from Tim Ellis who has raised the standard of the historical novel to new heights.

This is a gripping story which transports the listener to the courtly and political intrigue of sixteenth century Europe and to the epicentre of the plight and survival of European Jews exemplified by the extraordinary adventures and misadventures of real life character Juan Luis Vives.

Ellis writes from the heart and has found a voice for Juan Luis Vives which Peter Noble brings to life. Noble is a fine narrator and is one of the best when it comes to historical fiction. As Noble states on his website "I tell stories" and this is a jolly good one. A great fusion of writing and story telling from Ellis and Noble. I look forward to the next collaboration.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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I just couldn’t get into it

The book did nothing for me personally but it’s not badly written or anything. I just didn’t find any of the characters hooked my interest. I probably wouldn’t have finished it but for my crush on Peter Noble’s voice.

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