Helen Rappaport London 2013
Born in Bromley, Rappaport grew up near the River Medway in North Kent and attended Chatham Grammar School for Girls. She studied Russian at Leeds University, where she was involved in the university theatre group and decided against a career in the Foreign Office and instead became an actress. She appeared in several television series including Crown Court, Love Hurts and The Bill. As she reveals in an interview she spent '20 years in the doldrums as an out of work, broke and miserable actress'...
In the early nineties she gave up acting and became a copy editor for academic publishers Blackwell and OUP. and also contributed to historical and biographical reference works published by for example Cassell and Readers Digest.
She became a full-time writer in 1998, writing three books for US publisher ABC-CLIO including An Encyclopaedia of Women Social Reformers in 2001, with a foreword by Marian Wright Edelman. It won an award in 2002 from the American Library Association as an Outstanding Reference Source and according to the Times Higher Educational Supplement, 'A splendid book, informative and wide-ranging'.
Mary Seacole features in Rappaport's 2007 book No Place for Ladies: The Untold Story of Women in the Crimean War which was praised by Simon Sebag Montefiore as being 'Poignant and inspirational, well researched yet thoroughly readable' and also received positive reviews in The Times and The Guardian.
Her 2010 book, Beautiful For Ever describes the growth of the Victorian cosmetics industry and tells the story of Madame Rachel who found both fame and infamy peddling products which claimed almost magical powers of "restoration and preservation". According to the Daily Mail, 'Rappaport handles her scandalous Victorian melodrama with energy and aplomb, and produces a richly entertaining portrait of the seamy side of 19th century society'.
- 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 Hitchinson
- 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
- Dark Hearts of Chicago (2007, Hutchinson) - co-wrote with William Horwood
- "Helen Rappaport's top 10 books on Lenin". The Guardian (London). 2 September 2009.
- "The Viney Agency". The Viney Agency. Retrieved 2011-10-07.
- Melanie Gow. "Helen Rappaport – The Interview — Beat". Beatmagazine.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-10-07.
- "Long-lost Seacole portrait found". BBC News. 11 January 2005.
- http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/6406447/Vladimir-Lenin-died-from-syphilis-new-research-claims.html Vladimir Lenin died from syphilis, new research claims