Dr Helen Rappaport

Dr Helen Rappaport


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.

Helen Rappaport @HelenRappaport

Alexander Radishchev - “Journey from St Petersburg to Moscow”(1790) author exiled to Siberia after its publication - street in Pushkin (St Petersburg) is marked by a plaque on a luxurious estate, now a hotel, which is the former Imperial ceremony master Vassily Kochubey’s dacha🏛

I'm delighted to have been chosen for this. Thank you @VirtualWineEvts @PFDAgents

Belle Tout Lighthouse, Eric Ravilious, 1939. The lighthouse is located overlooking Beachy Head in #Sussex on the @SouthDownsWayNT. The original artwork is in a private collection.

Death mask of King Henry VII is brought to astonishing life in a digital restoration https://www.livescience.com/henry-vii-reconstruction-death-mask.html

A silver lamé #goddess gilded at the waist with a girdle of gold leaves that encircle the metallic drapery. It can only be Madeleine #Vionnet, Saturday night lockdown luscious-ness.....@madparisfr #1930s #fashionhistory

Wings are spread out across the chest of this Callot Soeurs 1928 evening dress, feather patterns created from pearls and metallic thread embroidery. The same materials are used at the back to produce a fan shaped brooch. Green silk charmeuse with side panels. @ChicagoMuseum

For this week's #TsarinaSaturday, here is Empress Alexandra Feodorovna's 1900-01 Austrian ball gown. The satin is decorated with silk net, Chantilly lace, sequins, and artificial flowers. The silhouette is also enhanced by the pointed ends of the bodice. #FashionHistory


model | me
stylists | David & Alex
photographer @alexjjcollins

Absolutely mesmerising.

There is surely a mathematical equation to this dress, a geometry of #satin panels the sum of whose parts form the luxurious whole, late #1920s Jean #Patou @GoldsteinMuseum #fashionhistory

Greenwich Observatory, Eric Ravilious, 1937. The original artwork is in the collection of @ltmuseum. #London

Every year on Mary Anning's birthday, I post this photo, which may - just may - be of her. What the current thinking on this I don't know; but, like Agent Mulder, I want to believe.

A very happy 221st birthday to Mary Anning, the mother of palaeontology, and one of my great heroes since childhood.

Here she is at Lyme Regis, discovering a plesiosaur.

Day 60 of lockdown & for 1st time I'm really feeling it:
'Are you lonely?
You're never alone
Are you counting every breath?
Aching for some time? ....
Let's build a bridge from your window to mine
String a can to a can
You could call me anytime ...

Today's late #ootd is this 1869 robe a la transformation. The evening bodice is particularly beautiful. The back is quite a work of art. #FashionHistory

On #internationalbeeday what could be more perfect than this Jacques Doucet chiffon transformation dress, dating from 1900-1905. The dress is embroidered with gold and silk thread bumblebees. From the collections of @madparisfr. #fashionhistory #dress #bees #BeeDay

Delphos Dress, ca. 1920
@metmuseum Costume Institute Collections
Gift of Mrs. Leonard Smiley, 1975
#fortuny #dress #pleats #fashionblogger