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The Dutch edition of ‘The Remarkable Journey of Mr Prins’ was launched in Alkmaar on 28 May 2021 as part of the celebrations of 75 years of friendship between Alkmaar and Bath. The programme is mostly in Dutch, including the interview with the author which starts at 1:10:17




Ontsnapping naar Bath:
De gedenkwaardige reis van een Joodse vluchteling 


Author:                         Aletta Stevens
Translator:                  Geri de Boer
Publisher:                    Noordboek

Publication date:       May 2021

In de vroege uren van 15 mei 1940 sprong de Joodse Alkmaarder Eli Prins letterlijk op de allerlaatste boot die uit IJmuiden naar Engeland vertrok. Na een avontuurlijke tocht met interessante reisgenoten kwam hij terecht in Bath, waar hij zich aansloot bij de Luchtbeschermingsdienst en twee zware Duitse bombardementen meemaakte. Hij werkte ook voor de Nederlandse regering in ballingschap in Londen en ontmoette koningin Wilhelmina. Na de oorlog trouwde hij met een Engelse en bleef hij in Bath wonen. In 1945 gaf hij in zijn nieuwe woonplaats de aanzet tot een

Ontsnapping naar Bath 3D.jpg

grote inzamelingsactie voor zijn door de Hongerwinter geteisterde geboortestad. Hieruit kwam een officiële vriendschapsband tussen beide steden voort, vermoedelijk de eerste ter wereld, die nog altijd bestaat.


Auteur Aletta Stevens groeide op in Rotterdam en woont in Engeland. Ze werkt als vertaler en schrijver, en is lid van de stedenbandvereniging Bath-Alkmaar. Eerder verscheen van haar hand Het tweede schot – Een familieverhaal uit bezet Friesland. 


Scandinavist en ervaren boekvertaler Geri de Boer voelt zich al bijna veertig jaar Alkmaarse en ging op talrijke uitwisselingsbezoeken naar Bath.

ISBN: 9789056157524.

Published by Bornmeer Noordboek, the Netherlands, with generous support from the Alkmaars Uitwisselings Comité and Geri de Boer Vertalingen.

​Paperback: 272 pages with b/w photos and maps, foreword, text notes, bibliography and index

​Price: 22,50 euros. Available from: Dutch bookshops, publisher website, and - links below cover image above

Click below to buy:

See the Alkmaar Exchange Committee website for more information and photos:



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

Mr Prins front cover-01.jpg


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

28 October 2022, 15.00: Radio Bath broadcast of hour-long interview with music in Bath Arts slot. Listen back via this link:


24 Sep 2022: Illustrated talk, with Chris Davies, at Westbury Festival.

8 Sep 2022: Recording of Bath Radio interview with Mike Stevenson.

31 May 2022: Illustrated talk, with Chris Davies, at History of Bath Research Group.

May 2022: Dutch edition on sale at Truus Wijsmuller pop-up museum in Alkmaar.

April 2022: Book featured in articles published in Pukka Bath and Bath Newseum.


31 March 2022: Book launch/signing at barrel organ reception, Guildhall, Bath.


2 May 2021: Author interview/illustrated talk hosted by Bath for Europe:

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:

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

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

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

July 2020: review in Jewish Renaissance magazine

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

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

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


Click here for five-star Amazon reviews

Reader responses:

I have to say, it was an experience, and I finished it more or less in one sitting. What I enjoyed as a reader was the amount of detail you mention + often the source. I always ask myself these kinds of things straight away when I read a book, you simply answer them, which is great. In short, a true, improbable story, in an appealing setting written from different perspectives with many corresponding details + sources. Thank you for all the work you have put into this. (English translation)

Een belevenis, moet ik zeggen en min of meer in een ruk uit. Waar ik als lezer blij van werd, waren de hoeveelheid details die je meldt + vaak bron. Ik vraag me dat soort dingen altijd direct af als ik een boek lees, jij beantwoordt ze gewoon, heel fijn. Kortom een echt gebeurd onwaarschijnlijk verhaal, in aansprekende setting vanuit diverse perspectieven met veel gelukkig stemmende details + bronnen. Dank je voor ál je werk hieraan.
Arjan  Blok / Alkmaar

'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'


Buy a copy direct from the author, using your debit or credit card via the PayPal link below. 
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Buy this £15 book now for the special price of £11, including postage & packing:

Price UK - £11
Price Europe - £19.25
Price USA - £21.95




If you have a PayPal account, you can pay directly (also in euros and dollars) via the following secure link:

Paperback & e-book available from - click here

The author is available for articles, as well as written and telephone/Skype/Zoom interviews.

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