Tim Darcy Ellis’s critically acclaimed debut novel, The Secret Diaries of Juan Luis Vives, has been awarded the Blueink Notable Book seal, the coveted Kirkus Star and the Indiereader Approved Star (4.9/5 for writing content).

In December 2020 the novel was announced as a top 40 book in the Kirkus list “Best of 2020: Our Favourite Indie Books.” Vice President of Kirkus Indie Karen Schechner gave the book a special mention:  

The Secret Diaries of Juan Luis Vives by Tim Darcy Ellis follows 16th-century humanist Juan Luis Vives as he leaves Spain, his homeland, for England. He must adapt to odd customs, a new, Anglicized name (“John Lewis of Oxford”), and “the shifting tensions between Henry and Queen Catherine of Aragon, whose turbulent marriage becomes the central topic of the land,” says our reviewer. “Ellis writes all of this with marvelous gusto that’s more reminiscent of Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall than of a more traditional Tudor novel….A fast-paced and richly engaging story about an intriguing historical figure.” 

Tim was invited by the New York Review of Books to post a short synopsis of The Secret Diaries for the indie showcase in their Frankfurt Book Fair edition.

Tim had four radio interviews with BBC in late 2020, two of the interviews can be heard of Tim’s youtube channel:

Foreword Clarion Reviews are partnering with Combined Book Exhibit to showcase The Secret Diaries of Juan Luis Vives at the Frankfurt Book Fair (14th to 18th October 2020). The Frankfurt Book Fair has received generous grant funding from Germany’s Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media to make online foreign rights available on their platform for nine months.

Tim is excited to announce that the audiobook of The Secret Diaries of Juan Luis Vives was launched on April 15 2021. Tim worked with UK based White House Sound and award-winning narrator Peter Noble ( for the production. Here’s the Audiofile magazine review: 

“Narrator Peter Noble’s expressive rendering of this excellent historical novel makes this audiobook seem like an old-fashioned radio drama. He uses diverse accents and inflections to depict the many characters who populate the suspenseful story of Vives, a Spanish Jew who finds himself in King Henry VIII’s England during the Spanish Inquisition. The novel is made up of Vives’s secret diaries, which he goes to great pains to hide, as his life would be worthless were they discovered. In England, he becomes entrenched in palace politics, as well as the intrigues of the underground Jewish community. He is ultimately chosen as a tutor for King Henry’s daughter Princess Mary. A gripping story told by a superb narrator makes for a highly enjoyable listening experience. D.G.P. © AudioFile 2021, Portland, Maine.

In May 2021 Tim was honoured to be invited by the Jewish Festival Limmud Oz to present “The Secret Jews of Tudor England.” His talk was fully booked and Tim had a well-attended book signing afterwards.