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.

This year Helen is releasing two new books: In Search of Mary Seacole: The Making of a Cultural Icon (Simon & Schuster UK, 17th February 2022) and After the Romanovs: Russian Exiles in Paris through Revolution and War (St Martin’s Press USA, 8th March 2022).

Helen Rappaport @HelenRappaport

Rings from Anglo-Saxon England. Date: c. 8th-10th century AD. Excavated/Findspot: Aberford, British Isles, UK. Inscription transliteration: + EA⃒ÐELSVIÐ⃒REGNA. Inscription translation: Queen Æthelswith. Materials: gold and niello. Collection: British Museum.

Today's artist w/out a (known) birthday: Robert Peake. Hailed from Lincolnshire, came to London, made it big against stiff competition from Dutch & Flemish painters. Here Frances, Lady Reynell, 1595.

This is a wonderful comforting thread. All authors have been there. I find sitting at a desk for signings acutely uncomfortable as few if any people show up. But even worse is doing a litfest when no one comes. Once did talk in a huge auditorium to 3 people. It was so dispiriting

I've brought together for you 4 autochrome enhancements from pre-Revolutionary Russia, taken way back in 1910 by Peter Vedenisov. They are not colourised. 😍

Who would still like their shops to be like this one from the 1950's?

This woman was an extraordinary talent.


JERICHO (1960)

Para aprofundar os estudos, recomendamos 'A corrida para salvar os Románov', da historiadora @helenrappaport. Este livro é uma nova visão sobre a história da prisão e morte da família Tsarina – Rappaport narra em detalhes os planos que pretendiam resgatar a família real russa.

“Anyway, I loathe those Russian plays. Always full of women staring out of windows, whining about ducks going to Moscow.”

WITHNAIL & I (1987)

#RichardEGrant #PaulMcGann #BruceRobinson

Very nice to have two of my books chosen on this list:


One of the most magical places I have ever had the good fortune to visit.

Follow me back 110 years to the summer of 1912. I have cleaned-up & enhanced for you a charming autochrome entitled "Symphony in White" by Alfonse van Besten. It is not colourised.

#AncientSiteSunday: a fantastic photo of one of the colossal statues from the main entrance to the Great Temple of Abu Simbel, #Egypt, mostly covered by sand. It was taken by Maxime Du Camp in 1850. An assistant climbed to the top of the head of the colossus, probably...1/2

Tragic 😥 A bronze "slave-collar" found in Rome. Dated to 4th-6th century CE. The inscription translates as "I have escaped! Keep hold of me! When you have brought me back to my master Zoninus, you will receive a gold coin." National Museum of Rome. Baths of Diocletian.

Replica of Empress Elisabeth of Austria's coronation gown by House of Worth, 1867. Sisi Museum at the Imperial Apartments Hofburg Palace, Wien.

Wait a minute... you're telling me this stone cold fox is ANTON CHEKHOV???!!

My friend the splendid @DrLindseyFitz has written a brave and smart piece about being a feminist medical historian diagnosed with breast cancer at 40. She wants to spread the word to save lives so please RT and share wherever you are posting. https://www.wsj.com/articles/a-medical-historian-confronts-breast-cancer-11669917623?st=47w2guxbp6b1rtf&reflink=desktopwebshare_permalink

4 children from over a century ago: I've collected together for you these 4 charming autochrome enhancements of an innocence long passed. Three of the photos have dates: 1907, 1910 and 1912. All were taken in colour & none of them are colourised.

Rachael Baptist was born in Ireland in around 1735.
She was part of the estimated 3,000 Black Irish people living on the island at the time.
For over 20years, she was the most popular theatre singer here and in Britain.

Oh goodness this takes me back to 1974 Granada TV series Haunted when I played small part in 'Poor Girl'. Derek insisted I have my then long hair cut into 1920s bob for the part. I wept in the arms of makeup lady who finally persuaded him to accept a wig! https://www.telegraph.co.uk/obituaries/2022/11/30/derek-granger-tv-producer-who-overcame-huge-obstacles-bring/