Imperial Exile: New Book Shines Light on Haile Selassie’s Refugee Years

New book, Imperial Exile, chronicles the refugee years of former Emperor Haile Selassie in Bath, England during the Second World War. (Courtesy photo)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Thursday, September 15th, 2016

New York (TADIAS) — Here comes a captivating publication shining a spotlight on the previously unexplored period of the public life of Ethiopia’s former Emperor Haile Selassie during his years as a refugee in Bath, England from 1936 to 1940. The book entitled Imperial Exile by Keith Bowers, a former executive producer for the BBC, will be released in the U.S. this month by Tsehai Publishers. “With the plight of refugees constantly in the news” this profile “is as timely as it is intriguing,” states the press release.

“Emperor Haile Selassie was forced to flee Ethiopia to escape the invading armies of the Italian fascist leader Benito Mussolini,” Tsehai Publishers notes. “Imperial Exile reveals the full depth of the debilitating struggles that all exiles face. It tells the story of how the emperor is nearly crushed by a myriad of financial, political and personal pressures before a sudden twist of good fortune intervenes. The book is packed with beguiling eyewitness anecdotes, supported by a range of rare and fascinating photographs of both Britain and Ethiopia.”

In his endorsement of the book historian Richard Pankhurst states: “The important period of the Emperor’s exile in Bath has not received much attention. This thoroughly researched book fills the gap.” Scholar Ian Campbell, author of The Plot to Kill Graziani, adds: “it is a must-read for anyone interested in the modern history of Ethiopia.” And British political commentator and writer Jonathan Dimbleby argues that the book “adds substantially to the story of this important and fascinating world figure.”

A book release is scheduled in Washington D.C. on September 22nd at the Library of Congress hosted by Tsehai Publishers with author Keith Bowers in attendance.

On his website Bowers shares: “I love both Bath and Ethiopia, places which are at the heart of Imperial Exile. I have lived in Bath since 2013 and enjoy exploring the nooks and crannies of the city on my bike as well as the exquisite surrounding countryside. My first trip to Ethiopia was in 2001 and I was instantly entranced by the country’s history, culture, music and cuisine. Before that I worked for the BBC for 20 years and started the Correspondent international TV programme.”

If You Go:
Book release events for Imperial Exile

Date: Thursday, September 22nd, 2016 (12 noon-1pm)
Venue: The African & Middle Eastern Reading Room at the Library of Congress
Address: 101 Independence Ave SE, Washington, DC 20540

Date: Saturday, September 24th (3:00pm)
Venue: The Arta Ale restaurant
Address: 2310 Price Avenue
Silver Spring, MD

You can learn more and purchase the book at

New Book on Triumph & Tragedy of Ethiopia’s Last Emperor Haile Selassie (TADIAS)

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