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

Evening Scene on Vauxhall Bridge by Yoshio Markino 1907
From the book "The Colour of London"

Fashion and function in equal measure here, an early #1880s #walkingdress that is neatly cut to suit its description but trimmed with a playful vermicelli-esque border lifting the sparseness of line into something more decorative @AlbanyInstitute #fashionhistory

Glimpses of 🇷🇺 🇬🇧 #WW1 alliance for #ArmisticeDay: Anglo-Russian Hospital in Petrograd, Russian air cadets in Reading, RNAS Russian Armoured Car Division and British submarine flotilla in the Baltic

People In Bulgaria Keep Vandalizing This Soviet Monument And Some Of Its Makeovers Are Hilarious #Bulgaria

In case you are ready for a snowy get away from it all, here is Teletskoye Lake in the Altai Mountains pictured by Viktoria Korotysheva

Worn #onthisday in 1860 by Emeline Butler Posey, 24, as her "second day" dress after marrying Henry Dixon Posey in Henderson Co., KY. Many women, especially in the South, had photographs taken in their “second day” dress. Emeline's wedding gown has not survived. #OTD @smithsonian

Experience every step of the journey. Go behind-the-scenes of Sam Mendes’ WW1 epic, 1917, and see it in cinemas January 10.

This remarkable, original colour photograph from the Great War is from the autochrome collection of Albert Kahn. It was taken at the Moreuil Hospital in France, on Sunday 30th July 1916. It shows a young nurse tending those injured at the Battle of the Somme. 💔 #LestWeForget

About to brave the torrential rain and drive to friends in Devon to speak tomorrow at the very first Exeter Literary Festival. As it will be Remembrance Sunday, I shall be giving my talk on Women in the Crimean War


Knostrop Cut, Leeds, Sunday Night, 1893 #johngrimshaw #atkinsongrimshaw

On the ferry home from an excellent 3 day conference on Victoria & Albert at Osborne and here’s my other favourite piece from the collection there- the lovely Princess Gouramma by Baron Marochetti the sculptor who designed the magnificent V&A sarcophagus at Frogmore

One of my favourite of all his paintings! https://t.co/MFX5E3OBrM

Speaking next at V&A Conference at Osborne House ⁦@PFDAgents⁩

Theed’s marble bust of Albert executed shortly after his death in December 1861

Exquisite Austrian glass chandelier at Osborne probably acquired by Queen Victoria at the the Great Exhibition

Entrance to the old Georgian walled garden at Osborne created for the original house that was here.

Queen Victoria bought this statue for Albert at the Great Exhibition in 1851 and it was made into the centrepiece of a fountain at Osborne

Osborne in all its loveliness ...

Exquisite bronze of Albert’s beloved greyhound Eos, brought from Coburg when he married Victoria in 1840