Helen Baker (born 1948) is an English writer. She holds a degree in economics (from the University of York), a bilingual secretarial certificate (from the City of London College), and a Certificate of Education (from Wolverhampton Technical Teachers’ College). As a qualified Inspector of Taxes, she has worked in the public sector, in the private sector as a technical taxation manager and later in the academic world, as a lecturer, both direct and by correspondence.
The guiding thread of her career has always been finance. She soon realized the particular vulnerability of women because of their isolation from this domain. It led to her first published book. Money Matters For Women (ISBN 0-14-017230-0) was published by Penguin Books in 1993. It was a rare achievement for an unknown author to have an unsolicited manuscript accepted at all, not to mention by such a prestigious publisher.
Then followed other books on money, equally written from first-hand experience:
- Going For Gold is the Expatriate’s Financial Handbook. It was first published in 1994.
- How To Thrive on One Quarter of Your Income tackled (again from her personal knowledge) the common situation of a sudden, and drastic, drop in income.
- Wealth For Women was the completely updated Money Matters For Women published in 2005.
Helen Baker is also an educator. Having helped many French people (aged from three to eighty) to learn English, she conceived English Laugh and Learn, published in 2006. This compilation of no less than 2007 jokes and short stories took her nearly two decades. Each joke is presented in choice language and accompanied by grammatical notes. It is designed for adult learners and those at risk of losing their skills through lack of practice.
Comfort is a practical manual for maximizing personal comfort in every area of life.
Helen Baker is also a traveller. She published The Land of the Long White Lie after living for two years in New Zealand. Far South with Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij NV concerns South Africa and Argentina.
In addition, Helen Baker has produced biographies and works of fiction, of which two are set in her beloved country of adoption, France. In recent years, she has concentrated on the Regency period, producing eight books related to Jane Austen:
- The Book of Ruth is a continuation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.
- Connivance continues Jane Austen’s Persuasion.
- Playfulness continues Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park.
- A second continuation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice appeared as Precipitation.
- Maria – Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey continued appeared in 2011.
Helen Baker also completed two Austen fragments – The Watsons by Jane Austen and Another Lady and The Brothers by Jane Austen and Another Lady which incorporate all Jane Austen’s own incomplete story. She rewrote Jane Austen’s juvenile, unpublished story Lady Susan, in the mature style of Austen as Miss Jane Austen’s Lady Susan – Revived.
She has produced twenty-five books available to the public and two for a restricted audience.