News & Events

find out where you can meet Helen and hear her speak

I passionately believe that as an author and historian I should get out there and not just talk to readers about work published or in progress, but also to debate history with my peers and uncover new ideas for future work

News & Events


Here is a recent wide-ranging article about my work as a writer, historian and translator:

From Stage to Study – The Remarkable Journey of Helen Rappaport, Historian and Storyteller

Interview with Yuliya Savikovskaya for London Cult online magazine, first published in Russian

And below is a rather wonderful conversation I had with a young blogger in Denver. Not all the usual questions by any means –  it’s wide ranging and quite revealing

Other media

I have recently recorded several podcast and zoom interviews, some of which are now loaded on specific book pages on this website and are posted on my Facebook page at  and on Twitter @HelenRappaport


Julie, the Rebel Princess: From Saxe-Coburg, to Romanov St Petersburg, to Exile in Switzerland

To be published 2024 by Simon & Schuster in the UK and St Martin’s Press in the USA

Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Few people know the story of Julie – as her family and relatives usually referred to her –­ and whom Queen Victoria and Prince Albert held in high regard. Her story begins in 1795 when she and her two sisters were taken by their ambitious mother, Auguste of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, on a long coach journey from Coburg to St Petersburg. This was in order to be inspected by Catherine the Great, who was in search of a suitable German bride for her grandson Grand Duke Konstantin. Julie was quickly chosen and summarily abandoned to her fate in Russia. Aged only 14 she was married off the following year but her husband Konstantin was a cruel, unpredictable sociopath and bully and Julie’s life was misery until she was finally able to get away in 1801. She had to wait until 1820 for a divorce, during which time she took refuge in Switzerland and built a fascinating and unorthodox new life for herself, in the process producing two illegitimate children.

This, the first biography of Julie in any language, draws on extensive primary research in the Saxe-Coburg archives and the Royal Archives at Windsor and includes many previously uncited and newly translated German, Russian and French sources.

For a discussion of my Julie project and some of the challenges of historical research, see Josh Provan’s Historyland podcast:

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