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

Corelli was Queen Victoria's favourite feamle author - she requested presentation copies of all her novels on publication. Corelli mourned her loss in 1901 as 'The Mother-Queen of the great British people'

This Russian jacket is dated from 1840-80. I have never encountered such an example of regional/national dress before, so I will share the @metmuseum object description with you. Have you ever encountered/studied such a garment before? 1/3

Lady Mary Stanhope's elven blue velvet slippers, richly embroidered with silver gilt thread. Pretty ribbons would have tied the latchets across the tongue.
These were shoes fine-cobbled for a special occasion, possibly the celebrations for the Restoration in 1660.@NorthamptonShoe

In the Small Hours by George Clausen 1911 (@Auckartgal). St John’s Wood.

Mar 19th 1919: Russian women, like this pair, “have been declared public property by local Soviets” and “are held subject to the brutal lusts of Bolshevik leaders and drunken rioters or soldiers”.

"Miss Muriel Gore in a Fortuny Dress, 1919" by Sir Oswald Hornby Joseph Birley. The artist wonderfully captures the distinctive pleats of a Fortuny Delphos gown.

Spring in Hyde Park by Alice Taite Fanner (1865 - 1930)
Oil on Canvas
(The Stapleton Collection)

Princess Louise drew this sensitive and perceptive pencil portrait of her mother Queen Victoria in 1881.

I'm spending pretty much all my time immersed in Victoria's family's life as I write my next book and this touching watercolour, painted in March 1863, by her fifteen year old daughter Louise (who was born on this day in 1848) caught my eye yesterday.

This remarkable 20-ft panorama of London was painted in 1815 by Pierre Prevost

It gives a 360° view of the capital from the tower of St Margaret's Church, showing the Abbey, the Palace of Westminster and Whitehall

See it @MuseumofLondon, free of charge

....looking at hundreds of images and honestly, has there ever been a more beautiful child than little Tsarevich Alexey of Russia?? @PFDAgents @HutchinsonBooks @StMartinsPress

Work in progress. New 60 image PowerPoint for my lecture in the Great Lives series at Mary Washington University Fredericksburg VA on 4 April. ⁦@PFDAgents⁩ ⁦@StMartinsPress⁩

Delighted that my sister in law and nephew are on Tonight’s #AntiquesRoadshow with a very rare, early sewing machine.

SKETCHES by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert are among works on display in the Painting Childhood exhibition at Compton Verney Gallery and Park in #Warwickshire https://t.co/sFvXv0WOHf #r4today

#TheVictorianBookoftheDead #StPatricksDay Irish bog oak mourning brooch, 1860 https://t.co/8nb01ADcPQ

This is lovely. Yes indeed, impoverished Russian duchesses and princesses who had been taught to do dainty embroidery as girls took jobs in the Paris fashion industry in the 1920s. Apparently they were particularly good at sewing delicate lingerie.

Sunday Times Pick of the Paperbacks. Thank you!! ⁦@PFDAgents⁩ ⁦@HutchinsonBooks⁩