The Remarkable Journey of Mr Prins:
World War II, Jewish Refugees and the Bath-Alkmaar Friendship
By Aletta Stevens

Published in Bath by Brown Dog Books, April 2020

Paperback and e-book — 296 pages with colour and b/w photos and maps, foreword, text notes, bibliography and index


Paperback price: £15.00   /   E-book price: £9.00


The greatest journeys are escapes. Night-time, suitcases of cash, chaos, the final burning of papers. 56 people flee in a small boat. In 1940, as exiled Dutchman Eli Prins arrives in England and makes his way to Bath, he instigates a longer journey, one from war and uncertainty to safety and solidarity. 

Based on personal testimonies and unpublished sources in English and Dutch, this book vividly reconstructs the experience of war in Alkmaar and Bath. It is a story told in full for the first time: how the Jews are expelled from Alkmaar; the fate of Eli's parents; the Bath Blitz; and then in 1945, after the Dutch Hunger Winter, how the people of Bath chose to help Alkmaar and its children. 
This is both a local story and a European one, written not just to commemorate history, but also to remind ourselves that we still need such heroic and uplifting stories.

Press coverage and events

20 April 2020: interview by Richard Wyatt on Bath Newseum website:

May 2020: review by Simon Horsford and VE Day extract published online in Bath Magazine:

22 June 2020: Zoom interview (in Dutch) with Neerlandia Dutch association, London.
Watch video:

16 July 2020: Chosen for the monthly zoom book club of the Anglo-Netherlands Association, London.

July 2020: review in Jewish Renaissance magazine

August 2020: review in AJR Journal (The Association of Jewish Refugees) (pp. 16-17):

29 September 2020: Interview on Bath Hospital Radio in ‘Mike on the mic’ (Mike Stevenson)

9 October 2020: Webinar on writing and translating for the Institute of Translation & Interpreting.

112 listeners from 15 countries, from Spain to Egypt and Bangladesh.

Watch video:


Click here for five-star Amazon reviews

Reader responses:

'You create such a vivid picture of events and I am gripped. Everything is so meticulous.'
Kerry Edwards, 25.4.2020

‘I found the first section so exciting and beautifully put together with lots of drama. Thereafter I rationed myself to a few pages at a time, which is what I always do with books that I don’t want to reach the end of.’
John Payne, 25.5.2020

‘I just finished reading your new book, which is so interesting about Bath and Alkmaar, and I was actually as much enthralled by the footnotes as by the text - they are packed with interesting information!
Bob Symonds, 2.6.2020'


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NOTE: Due to the current COVID-19 situation, the May launch for this book has been postponed. The author is available for articles, as well as written and telephone/Skype/Zoom interviews.


© Aletta Stevens 2020–