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Title: “The Secret Diaries of Juan Luis Vives”
Author: Tim Darcy Ellis
Genres: Spanish literature, psychological literary fiction, religious historical fiction
Description: When an electrician is hired to re-wire the medieval buildings of the College of Brueges, he stumbles upon a wooden box behind the building’s plaster wall. The box contains the secret diaries of the the tutor of Princess Mary Tudor and the confidante of both Catherine of Aragon and King Henry VIII, who played the impossible game of double agent. He was a great renaissance scholar, and the friend of royals.
He was Juan Luis Vives, a humanist and humanitarian who lectured on the rights of animals and advocated literacy for all women. When he was just thirty years old he engaged with the greatest minds of his day: Erasmus and Sir Thomas More. But he had a secret he had to keep hidden at all costs.
A diary entry he wrote in November, 1522 reveals a secret, that if discovered, could lead to his death. He knows that he will never be safe because he is from a family of secret Jews in Valencia. It is 1522, and Juan Luis Vives, a renowned academic, has fled Spain to avoid the fires of the Inquisition, yet even in the Spanish Netherlands he is not safe. When England’s Sir Thomas More offers him the rose of tutor to Mary, daughter of Catherine of Aragon and Henry VIII, he eagerly accepts.
He leads a double life, attending Mass to cover up his identity that will most likely lead to his death. While publicly navigating his life as a ‘New Christian,’ Vives is quickly drawn into the secretive and dangerous world of London’s Jewish community. With a foot in each world, he is torn between the love of two women.
Inside the Tudor court, the king and queen 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 his entire people hang in the balance.
“The Secret Diaries of Juan Luis Vives” is a must read for everyone who was riveted by The DaVinci Code, and readers who relish historical fiction, especially Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall trilogy.
“Ellis writes all of this with magnificent gusto…reminiscent of Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall…a fast-paced and richly engaging story.”—Kirkus starred review
“Beautiful metaphors and tactile, evocative descriptions bring sixteenth-centure England and Spain to life”—Foreword Reviews
“This enthralling story is sure to please lovers of high drama, international intrigue, momentous history and psychological thrillers.”—Blueink starred review
Tim Darcy Ellis on Twitter: https://twitter.com/darcy_author
Amazon’s Tim Darcy Ellis Page: https://www.amazon.com/Tim-Darcy-Ellis/e/B08G8GLG63
Goodreads’ Tim Darcy Ellis Page: https://www.facebook.com/timdarcyellis/
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