James W's Reviews > The Secret Diaries of Juan Luis Vives: A Novel

The Secret Diaries of Juan Luis Vives by Tim Darcy Ellis
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Tim Darcy Ellis’ ‘The Secret Diaries of Juan Luis Vives’ is a historical account of the little-known Spanish scholar who found himself in a complicated web of political conflict in the wake of the Spanish Inquisition.

The story begins with Vives having fled Spain under the threat of the inquisition. He winds up in London at the behest of Sir Thomas More, and quickly becomes embroiled in a ‘war of wills,’ torn between conflicting requests for aid from King Henry the VIII and the wife he wishes to divorce, Catherine.

Ellis does an admirable job conveying this centuries-old story, capturing the nuance of Vives’ life and the complicated ‘Royal’ mess he becomes involved in. But what really sets this already-compelling story apart from the fray is the way the U.K.-based author manages to provide readers with an intimate look into Vives’ life, opting for a cleverly implemented ‘first person’ approach via the discovery of a fictional diary. Add to that his crisp, vivid prose, and you have all the makings of an engaging page-turner that just so happens to be based upon a true story.

As a first-hand account of life in the sixteenth-century, Tim Darcy Ellis’ novel more than satisfies, but ‘The Secret Diaries of Juan Luis Vives’ is so much more than just a piece of historical fiction—it’s an engaging story that should appeal to fans of nearly any sub-genre of fiction.
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Finished Reading
September 8, 2020 – Shelved

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message 1: by Tim (new) - added it

Tim Ellis Hi James, thank you very much for your thoughtful and considered review of The Secret Diaries of Juan Luis Vives. It was so important for me to provide an insight into the great man, Vives, from the 'inside out,' and to provide the reader with an intimate look at his life, feelings and values. Your review gives me reassurance that I have done him justice in my novel! Thank you again.


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