The British attack against Ethiopia in 1868 had devastating consequences for many, particularly for six-year-old Prince Alemayehu, who was the only son of Emperor Tewodros II of Ethiopia. Following his father’s suicide after his defeat by the British, Prince Alemayehu was separated from his retinue and shipped off to England, leading to an untimely, lonely death in Leeds at the age of 18.

The devastating attack on Ethiopia is often referred to in Boys’ Own terms, and seen as another victorious moment in the history of the British empire. For many, however, the life and death of Alemayehu shines a less positive light on Britain’s colonial past.  

Join British author and broadcaster, Lemn Sissay OBE, as he discusses this tragic personal story with fellow author, Andrew Heavens, whose forthcoming book, The Prince and the Plunder, offers an acclaimed account of Alemayehu’s life.

About The Authors

Lemn Sissay

Lemn Sissay is an author, poet and playwright and has been awarded an MBE for services to literature. In 2018 he was made Poet Laureate of Canterbury. He has read poetry everywhere, from the shores of Sri Lanka to Wigan Library and many places between. His autobiography My Name is Why was published in 2019.