Helen Rappaport

Helen Rappaport is a historian specialising in the Victorian period, with a particular interest in Queen Victoria and the Jamaican healer and caregiver, Mary Seacole. She also has written extensively on late Imperial Russia, the 1917 Revolution and the Romanov family. Her love of all things Victorian springs from her childhood growing up near the River Medway where Charles Dickens lived and worked. Her passion for Russian came from a Russian Special Studies BA degree course at Leeds University. In 2017 she was awarded an honorary D.Litt by Leeds for her services to history.

She is also a member of the Royal Historical Society, the Genealogical Society, the Society of Authors, and the Victorian Society. She lives in the West Country and has an enduring love of the English countryside and the Jurassic Coast, but her ancestral roots are in the Orkneys and Shetlands from where she is descended on her father’s side. She likes to think she has Viking blood.

Books in order of publication:


Joseph Stalin: A Biographical Companion, 1999 ABC-CLIO

An Encyclopedia of Women Social Reformers, 2001 ABC-CLIO

Queen Victoria: A Biographical Companion, 2003 ABC-CLIO

No Place for Ladies: The Untold Story of Women in the Crimean War, 2007 Aurum Press

Ekaterinburg: The Last Days of the Romanovs, 2008 Hutchinson

Conspirator: Lenin in Exile, 2009 Hutchinson

Beautiful for Ever: Madame Rachel of Bond Street – Cosmetician, Con-Artist and Blackmailer, 2010 Long Barn Books

Magnificent Obsession: Victoria, Albert, and the Death that Changed the Monarchy, 2011 Hutchinson

Capturing the Light: The Birth of Photography, 2013

The Romanov Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra, 2014

Caught in the Revolution: Petrograd, Russia, 1917 – A World on the Edge, 2016

The Race to Save the Romanovs: The Truth Behind the Secret Plans to Rescue the Russian Imperial Family, 2018 St. Martin’s Press

After the Romanovs: Russian Exiles in Paris from the Belle Époque Through Revolution and War, 2022 St. Martin’s Press


Dark Hearts of Chicago (2007, Hutchinson) – co-wrote with William Horwood

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