Dr Helen Rappaport is an internationally bestselling historian and author of 15 books specialising in the Victorian period and revolutionary Russia. These include Magnificent Obsession: Victoria, Albert and the Death that Changed the Monarchy, and Caught in the Revolution: Petrograd 1917. She is a frequent contributor to television documentaries, most recently Queen Victoria’s Children (2013) and Russia’s Lost Princesses (2014), both for BBC2, as well as programmes about Queen Victoria’s love of the Highlands, Mary Seacole, Rasputin and the Romanovs.
Helen Rappaport is a fluent Russian speaker and a specialist in Russian history and 19th century women’s history. Her great passion is to winkle out lost stories from the footnotes and to breathe new life and perspectives into old subjects.
Since the mid-70s Helen has also become well-known as a Russian translator in the theatre, working with British playwrights on new versions of Russian plays. She has translated all seven of Chekhov’s plays, including Ivanov for Tom Stoppard which was a critical success at the Donmar Season at Wyndham’s in 2008. She was also Russian consultant to the National Theatre’s Tom Stoppard trilogy, The Coast of Utopia. Helen’s 2017 book Victoria: The Heart and Mind of a Young Queen is the official companion to the Masterpiece Presentation on PBS.
Helen recently filmed a two-part documentary The Romanovs for BBC 2. She is currently working on a documentary for Netflix on the Russian Revolution, in time to commemorate its 100th anniversary. She has also worked extensively in radio broadcasting, appearing on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, Start The Week, and Today Program, to name a few, as well as on BBC 1’s The One Show and Channel 4’s Walking Through History.
Helen gives frequent lectures at regional literary festivals and at high profile public events, anywhere from the V&A and Kensington Palace to addressing Citigroup at Canary Wharf.