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

Can anyone tell me what the ruble was worth in 1795-ish?

#TheVictorianBookoftheDead Mourning locket for Emma Camillia, c. 1800-20. Edged in cut-steel beads, the locket contains a plume of the deceased's hair and a painting of a weeping woman led from the tomb by an angel--the grass is chopped hair. https://t.co/u7Vi26HVlz

Wow that ‘s quite some bum wiggle for Kelvin !!! #StrictlyComeDancing

Mike Bushell is this year’s dad dancer par excellence #StrictlyComeDancing

@saralivadeas I once had a geriatrics patient who told me about being nanny to the Tsar’s children before the Russian revolution. “I think I’m the only woman in Acton who’s met Rasputin”.

Haunting vacant basilica, illuminated by just six candles. Wonderfully complex space by Anthonie de Lorme, whose day was today.

Alone in London by Thomas Alexander Ferguson Graham, 1894 via Perth and Kinross Council. #Victorian #Art

Worn #onthisday in 1854 by Prince Alexander Sergeievich Menshikov when he commanded the Russian forces at the Battle of the Alma during the Crimean War. After he retreated, they were found in his coach along with pornographic French novels and ladies’ underwear. #OTD @NAM_London

#OnThisDay 145 years ago the first major battle of the Crimean War was fought. The victory of British-French-Turkish 59000-strong force over 33000 Russian troops at Alma gave name to dozens of place names in Britain.

Black velvet for wandering by September owl-light down to the churning mill-stream, casting bitter herbs and burnt corn stalks into the water; for long, slow, sweet revenge, ground fine by the mills of God.

I love this Tennyson poem so much and hearing it set so simply and hauntingly to music is intensely moving.

The real Peaky Blinders scenes that show an unvarnished view of the poverty-stricken streets of bleak Edwardian Birmingham 
via https://t.co/WSWTjmUrgE https://t.co/IRHIvj8nax

In Peril (The Harbour Flare), 1879 #johngrimshaw #grimshaw

Ah ... 'Seasons of mists and mellow fruitfulness..' one of the first poems that I fell enduringly in love with when studying Keats at school. For me it perfectly encapsulates the English autumn in all its glory - especially on such a tranquil autumn day as today.

#FolkloreThursday It used to be thought in Devonshire that, when two corn sheaves cast a shadow in the form of a cross under the harvest moon, angels were near, guarding the crop. #Harvest

Shared before but since I am in #NYC, this seems an appropriate dress to be marching around in the city had I been here 150 years ago, an American walking dress in practical pleats, jaunty scarf neck included....@metmuseum #1880s #fashionhistory

"The Village, Worth Matravers". Charles Rennie Mackintosh. 1920.
Image: GSA

This is lovely. I first discovered Turya singing on several albums by Nitin Sawnhey. Good to see her establishing a solo career.

An Egyptian chair with its original linen seat.
Such a delicate, beautiful piece from Hatnefer's tomb, and what an astonishing survival after 3,500 years!