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

In #Somerset it is said that a child alone in a bluebell wood will be whisked away by faeries forever. If an adult goes into a wood to pick bluebells faeries will lead them round in circles for hours, if not days, until someone ventures in to rescue them. #FolkloreThursday

Bright Prussian blue cyanotypes of wild flowers, seaweeds and ferns by the early photographer and botanist, Anna Atkins (1799-1871), who produced the first ever entirely photographically illustrated book. (This represents the same process as for architectural 'blue prints').

Delighted to announce that I will speaking at this conference on Victoria and Albert, at Osborne in November @PFDAgents


#TheVictorianBookoftheDead Accessories in Berlin iron work are the perfect touch to your #WorldGothDay ensemble. Iron is also said to protect against witches, evil spirits and faeries. Not, however, vampires. https://t.co/QmBJafONjU

Moulvie Raffiudin Ahmad by Rudolf Swoboda 1892-93 @RCT. He came from Poona & in 1889 travelled to London to train as barrister at Gray’s Inn, was trusted by Queen Victoria with matters relating to India & was knighted in 1932. He was a minister in Bombay Presidency #Art #History

Oh this is lovely! That’s the girls’ governess Sofia Tyutcheva on right hand side. She hated Rasputin and was sacked by Nicholas & Alexandra for spreading gossip about him

I particularly loved this mini Highland outfit worn by the young Wilhelm, future Kaiser at his uncle Bertie’s wedding in 1863. #Victoria200

Two of the older Queen Victoria’s mourning outfits. They may have been black and her waist may have thickened but the details and craftsmanship are beautiful #Victoria200

A beautiful unfinished painting of Queen Victoria in mourning with her daughters by Joseph Paton 1863 at the new exhibition opening on 24th at Kensington Palace #Victoria200

A beautiful afternoon in the gardens of Kensington Palace

My new article for BBC History Magazine’s website @PFDAgents

The King and Queen are coming to Downton! Watch the new trailer now for #DowntonAbbeyFilm, only in theaters this September. @FocusFeatures

Who’s that girl? Queen Victoria as we’ve never seen her before | Photography | The Guardian https://t.co/RE4khw2dYB

I’m back in London for the press preview tonight of major Queen Victoria exhibition at Kensington Palace https://t.co/4WuR8gmMfU

It’s a terrific book and you can download it for free on link below #Romanovs100

Plump little darling, Victor Albert Jay. Portrait of Prince Victor Albert eldest son of Maharaja Duleep Singh, by George Richmond 1870. Queen Victoria herself was keen to be his godmother, and asked that he be brought to Windsor Castle to be christened. 1/2 #Art #History #Punjab

Just watched the elegiac and sombre #GamesOfThronesFinale and heartfelt congratulations to @Djawadi_Ramin for his absolutely magnificent score for this series. Hope there will be a CD very soon

Watching Suranne Jones striding about as Anne Lister in the brilliant #GentlemanJack yesterday, I was reminded of the striking riding habit (right) in this August 1830 fashion plate from the wonderfully-named publication, 'The World of Fashion and Continental Feuilletons'

Well this looks rather splendid. Look forward to it. For all fans and followers of Russian history @simonmontefiore