Half historic and half legendary, Nawojka dressed as a boy to study under the name of Andrzej in Krakow after her parent's death. She was probably from Dobrzn and was, according to some, a daughter of town's mayor and, according to others, the daughter of headmaster of the school. She nearly received her bachelor's degree before being discovered. She ended in monastery. An article was written about her for a journal, Signs.
The information is based on Martin of Leibitz (d. 1464), an abbot from Vienna, who wrote her story in Senatorium sive dialogus historicus martini abbatis scotorum, Vienna, Austria, Leipzig, 1725. More information comes from Alexander Jordan, Jagiellonian Poland, Miami, 1978.
Martin of Leibitz writes:
"Tell me about something unusual event that occurred in Krakow. I know you know a story."
"When I was there a young woman who claimed to be a virgin attended the university for two years in male dress, and came close to the baccalaureate in arts. She lived in a student hostel, behaved properly towards others, did not frequent the baths, and attended the lectures diligently. In Magna polonia she had had a teacher, under whom she had studied with other children. When her parents died, she came into an inheritance and, after dressing in male clothing, she went to the university."
"How was she discovered? And what happened to her thereafter?"
"Upon seeing her walk through the city, a soldier in the house of a burgher named Kaltherbirg said to his companions, 'If that person walking about in the guise of a student is not a girl, I will pay you so much. If she is, you will pay me.'"
"They agreed. "
"Later, as she approached the entrance of the house, the soldier called her as if to talk to her, and he set her on a table before his companions. Once he was undressed, it became clear what she was. She was taken before judge."
"When asked why she had disguised her sex, she answered, 'For the love of learning.' "
The head of her hostel was questioned under oath, and her colleagues as well. They could find nothing improper to say about her. She chose to be taken to the convent, where she was made Mistress and Abbess over all others. And I think she still lives there, for I recently heard news about her form someone who stayed in Krakow." p. 374-5
Reference: Mirosława Olszewska, 101 kobiet polskich, Warsaw 1988, pp. 18-19
Helena Ungelerowa (16th century)
In 1536, printer Florian Ungler died in Krakow. He had printed about 170 books, including the first book to be printed in Polish. According to the Statute Wiśliecky, after 1346 a women went from under her father's power to under her husband's power. But if a woman inherited a business, she was sometimes allowed to run it with help of men. So his wife inherited and ran the business. She generally printed Polish books. She signed books as Vidua Ungleri or Vidua Floriani (widow of Ungler or widow of Florian).
Reference: Mirosława Olszewska, 101 kobiet polskich, Warsaw 1988, pp. 21-22
Zofia Oleśnicka (16th century)
Descended from the mighty Szafrańnców family from Peiskowa Skala, her husband Mikołaj Oleśnicki was for the religious reformation. She, too, was a Calvinist. In 1550, he founded a Calvinist church in Pińczow and in 1551, the first gymnasium for non-catholics. Later it was arian (?) island in Poland. In 1556, the Krakow printer Łazar Andrysowicz Piseńnowa published a hymnal written in Polish and signed with her name. She was perhaps, the first Polish poet, as well as, possibly, the first Polish composer.
Anna Wasa (1586 - 1625 )
Daughter of Jan Waza, King of Sweden and Prince of Finland and the Polish woman Katarzyna Jagelonska, Anna was born in 1586 as a younger sister of Zygmund who was later elected King of Poland in 1568 and eventually became King of Sweden, too. Anna moved to Poland when her brother became King and remained there until his death. Her mother was a Catholic and her father was a Lutheran who was under the influence of his wife. Two years after her mother's death he married a young Swede and fervenr protestant, Gunila Bielke, and turned more to Protestantism. Zygmund was a Catholic like his late mother. Anna, influenced by father and step-mother, turned to Protestantism. She spoke Polish, Swedish, German, French, and Latin. She lived in Wawel, but she did not feel very confortable at court because of her ultra-catholic brother. After 1604, she lived at the Brodnica and Golubie palaces given to her by her brother. Interested in botany and zoology, in Golubie she founded a botanical garden which also included studies in physics, chemistry, history, and philosophy. Her close friend was professor Szymon Syreński, known for his botanical work at the Krakow Academy. After his death, she financed the printing of his botanicna work, Zielnik which contained information about 765 plants. She also brought into print Katalog rośtlin ( Catalog of Plants) by Gabriel Joanicky. She never became part of the counter-reformation but took part in a Protestant group. She died February 6, 1625 and was buried in Cartels Chapel. Eleven years later, King Władislaw buried her in the ancient town of Toruń in the church of Mary.
Zofia Gołowa (16th century)
In 16th the century, women were not allowed to study at Krakow University which was started in 1399 by a bequest to the school by Queen Jadwiga of all her personal property including her jewelry. Other ladies supported the school too including Princess Aleksandra Mazowicka, her daughter, Anna Maziowicka, Konstancja Konipolska Katarzyna z Dábrowy, Małgorzata z Pokrzywnicy, Joanna Gniewoscowska, Katarzyna Méźkowa, and Elz?bieta Helsztyźska. Later rich urban ladies such as Katarzyna a Urszula Homan also supported the school. In the 16th century as a reward for her support, Queen Anna Jagiellonka was given the title of honorary student. The first woman who had the title was a widow of Krakow pub owner, Zofia Gokowa. She attended the university in the years 1580-1581. Later her example was followed by Zofia Zweirzowa, Barbara, wife of shoemaker Marciej Opatowczyka, and others.
Anna Memorata (1612 - )
Born in 1612 in Łożebnica, Memorata was from a Czech family. Her father Andrzej Jakub graduated from the gymnasium in Gdańsk and publicly defended his works in logic and phyics. He taught in Łożebnica in a school run by Moravian brothers. Later, he moved to Czech community in Leszno where he was pastor. There he came in contact with scholars and divines who were grouped about a famous Leszno gymnasium called "New Athens" or " Protestant Sorbona" which was founded by Jan Amos Komenský (Comenius). She studied there and she had a better education than was customary for women. She learned Latin, Greek, Polish, German, and Czech. In 1641, a book of her poetry was printed by Chrystian Teodor Schosser under the signature, Anna Memorata, Virgo Polona (Polish Maiden).
Reference: Mirosława Olszewska, 101 kobiet polskich, Warsaw 1988, pp. 35-37
Maria Kunicka ( - 1664)
She was born in Świdnica in Silesia as a daughter of the doctor of philosophy and medicine, Henryk Kunic. She was 19 when a famous German mathematician, Elias von Love, came to town. He was interested in a girl who had studied languages, was also interested also in astronomy, and had contact with the astronomer from Gdańsk, Heweluisz. After her father's death, he married her and they cooperated together. The time was not peaceful, so they were happy to have survived the Catholic-Protestant War. They moved to the village Ołobok with help of Zofia Łbieńska. Here Kunicka finished the first and second parts of her treatise in 1643 and the third part in 1645. Called the Silesian Pallas," her book, Urania propitia sive tabulae astronomiicae, containing numerous astronomical tableswas printed in 1654 by Johan Seyffert in Byczyn. It had 144 pages and 286 tables. Yet, the times were bad. War erupted with Sweden and King Jan Kazimierz asked her to do a horoscope which she declined. A fire in the town destroyed all of their property including the library and laboratory. Only Urania survived and it was in several pieces located at different places. Afterwards, she lived with the Piast princes in Brzeg. She died 1664.
Anna Dorota Chrzanowska (17th century)
Chrzanowska was the wife of the commander of the fort in Trembowle, Ja Samuel Chrzanowski. Probably from Kurland from a gentry family Frezen (Fressen or Freyze), she was the second wife of a man who became a member of the gentry by his army career.
In 1675, Poland was attacked by the Turk Ibrahim Szyszman, Pasha of Alleppo. The Pasha attacked the Trembowle fort with its 100 dragons and 200 burgers and villagers from September 19 to October 5. Eventually, 425 missiles sent by the Turks into the fort destroyed the well. Some people tried to contact the Turks. About 30 people abandoned their posts. It was Anna who informed her husband of the situtation. When was possibility of surrender was discussed, she promised to kill her husband and destroy the fort before killing herself rather than allow the fort to fall into Turkish hands. Shortly thereafter, Ibrahim Szyszman went away since the army of Jan Sobieski was coming. Jan Samuel Chrtanowki was promoted to major, all the soldier were rewarded with 100 golden, and, in 1676, the Polish Sejm (Parliament) made him a nobleman. Later he was commander in Lwow.
Reference: Mirosława Olszewska, 101 kobiet polskich, Warsaw 1988, pp. 58-59
Jadwiga Piotrowczykowa and Anna Teresa Piotrowczykowa (17th century)
Between 1620 and 1670 one of the leading families in Krakow was the Piotrowczyk family. In 1620 J. Piotrowczyk, doctor of philosophy, rights and poetry, took up his father's trade, printing. His wife, Jadwiga, helped him run the business. Literate in Latin as well as Polish, she began to write poems of a religious nature, first in Latin, later in Polish. In 1663, a book of her poems was printed. After her husband's death, she ran the business (1645 -1666) until her son, Stanisław Teodor (who was a poet in his own right), came of age. After this she continued to write. Her daughter-in-law, Anna Teresa z Pernussów, was a poet too. Anna Teresa also wrote in both Latin and Polish and she is a author of De virtibus er vitiis mulierum Polanarum, O cnotach i wadach miewiast polskich (On vitues and vices of Polish Women), said to be the first book written by a Polish woman which is not about religion.
Reference: Mirosława Olszewska, 101 kobiet polskich, Warsaw 1988, pp. 39-40
Anna Stanisławska (1651 - 1700/01)
Born in 1651 in Maciejowice to a very rich magnate family (magnates were in the middle level of the nobility), she was a daughter of Michał Stanisławsky, Wojewoda in Kijew and Krystyna z Szyszkowskich. Her mother died early so she was educated in a Dominican monastery in Krakow. She was 17 years old when she was given by her step-mother to Jan Kazimier Warszycki, Kastelan in Krokow. He was insane and impotent, and made her life into a hell. Before his death, her father pleaded with Jan Sobeiski for his help. She was able to obtain a divorce by making her problems public which caused problems with her husband's family. She made another, much happier, marriage in 1669. But her husband, Jan Zbigniew Oleśnicki was not often at home since it was a time of war. He died in the Turkish Wars. In 1677 she married Jan Zbáski. He died in 1683 after the battle of Vienna. She was 32 and started to write her memoirs Transakcyja albo opisanie całego Z/ycia jednjen sieroty (1685). She died in 1700 or 1701 in Krakow.
Elžbieta Koopmanówna Heweliusszowa (17th century)
An urban lady from Gańsk, Elžbieta born Koopmanówna worked with her astronomer husband, Jan Hewelke (1611 - 1687), whom she married in 1663 and from whom she learned how to make measurements, etc. In 1660 King Jan Kazimier and in 1677 King Jan Sobiesky and his wife Marie visited her husband´s observatory. In 1677 he received a pension from King Jan Sobiesky and subsidies for his obeservatorium. In 1679 his Machinea coelestis pars posterior was printed in 90 parts which were sent to the scientists. After her husband's death, Elžbieta continued her husband's work, bringing it into print in 1687 as Cometogrtaphia totam naturam cometarum, ut pote sedem, parallaxes,distantias etc. exhiben in qua univesa insuper with 913 pages, 38 tables, and 80 copper engravings.
Elz*buieta Sieniwska (1667-1729)
Born in 1667 in Wisúnicz or Łańcuc as a daughter of Zofia Opalińska and Marshal Stanisław Herakliusz Lubomirksy, Elžbuieta was educated at the courts in Vienna and Paris. In 1686, she married the very rich Adam Hieronim Sieniwski, later a marshal, a senator, and a chatelan in Krakow. A friend of Jan Sobieski, Sobieski was often a guest in Wilanow. After the death of Jan Sobeisky, his wife and children left Wilanow with all their valuables. August II gave an order to Jan Krzystof Gnomon from Saxon to repair the palace and to offer to Konstan Sobeisky 300,000 thinking it enough, but Sieniwska offered more so she became the owner. With help of August Locci, August Spazzio, and Józef Fontana she repaired the palace in style of Jan Sobeisky.
She liked politics, taking part in the political plot after death of Jan Sobieski, when Prince Conti and August II of Saxony were vieing to be elected as the next Polish King. In her old age, she said that she liked life but was not loved by it. . She tried to help Francisec II Rakoci to reach power in Hungry. She died March 14, 1729 in Oleszczce before all the restorations were made, but the palace is even today a great treasure.
Reference: Mirosława Olszewska, 101 kobiet polskich, Warsaw 1988, pp. 54-56
Jadwiga Mistat ( - 1690)
Wife of a miner, Mistat probably worked as miner, too. She was executed for taking part in strike in year 1690 in Wieliczka with 4 other women, one boy, and 13 men. The strike started because the company refused to give miners salt according to an old custom from time of Kazimier the Great. The king's commission granted them part of their salt but not the entire amount, so they continued to strike. They killed Jan Granat and Marcin Olszowski, two miners who wanted to continued to work.
Zofia Lubomirska (1718-1790)
Born in 1718 as a daughter of Alesksand Krasinúski and Salomea z Trcińskich, she was taught a bit of French and married as the fourth wife Jan Tarła. By 1750, she was a widow. She married the widower Antonin Lubomirsky, a chatelan in Krakow. She had handsome inheritance from her first husband and by her second marriage went into magnate class. She was interested in politics. She wrote Uwagi nad stanem szlacheckim i mieskim w Polsce aor Project do porzAdku publicznego in 1770 which is similar to O naprawie Rzeczypospolitej by Frcz-Modrzwski. She supported industry and monasteries too. She died November 11, 1790 in Warsaw.
Elżbieta Drużbacka ( - 1765)
Drużbacka, called "The Slavic Sappho" or "The Sarmacka Muse", was both a poet and a writer for the equality of women. In one of her verses she wrote: "In Poland born, in Poland educated, in the free nation the fredom was me given too." In 1752 her work, Zbior rytmów duchownych, panegirycznych, moralnych i światowych, was printed. She spoke French. She spent her youth with the great magnate Dames Elżbueta Siniawska, wife of the chatelaine in Krakow or with Paweł Sanguszki Marshal of the Great Lithuanian principality. Married in 1720 to Kazimier Drużbacki, she lived with him in Cieplice or at Rzemien in Sandomersko. She had two daughters. By 1740 she was a widow with the beginnings of financial problems. She tried to sell wine and write poetry for her patrons. She also wrote Fabuła ksáżéů Eciu Adolfie, a fable on Prince Adolf, which is based on L´Histoire d´Hippolite Comte de Duglas by Maria d´Aulnoy and Historia ksiéżny Elefanyny Eufraty (History of Princess Elefantyna Eufrata) and Historia Ortobana. Broken by death of both of her daughters, she died March 14, 1765 in Benedictine monastery in Tarnow.
Anna z Sapiehów Jabłowska (1728- 1800)
Born in 1728 to the old noble family of Sapieh which originated from Gediminas, a founder of the Lithuanian state. She was the oldest daughter of Kazimier Karol Sapieha, a general of the Lithuanian artillery and Karolina Radziwi. When she was 10, her father died. After two years her mother married Jósef Aleksander Jabłonsky and traveled with him throughout Europe while Anna and her two brothers stayed in home. We know nothing about her education. She was interested in economy. In 1750 she married a kinsmen of her stepfather Jan Kajetan Jabłonkowski. After returning from a trip west, she ran the family property. Her husband held public office after 1754 and was not at home regularly. He died in 1764. After his death, Anna became interested in politics. After 1768 she worked in Lwow with Arch. Wacław Sierakowky and Jósef Pułaski. After the Third Partition of Poland, she was in contact with the organization Zgromadzenie Centralne preparing war. She inherited property after the death of her father Karol Sapieh and after the death of her husband Jan Kajetan Jabłonsky including 11 towns, 107 villages, and 24 folwark (?). On her land, she made many reforms, she founded mills and manufacturing plants but she cared about the health and education of her people, too. She founded a home for midwives.
She wrote several works. In 1783-85 she published Ustawy powshechne dla dóbr moich rzadców, a book about the organization of land property. For the bride, she wrote Dobra gospodiny, czyli fundamenta ekonomii gospodarskiej osobom młodym do tego stanu zabierajacym siE potrzebne printed in Krakow in 1784. In 1776 was printed her Ksiega dla dwornika folwarku skomorowskiego in German translation. In 1786 she printed Porzadek robó miesiecznych ogrodnika which was republished as Calendarium Universale or The Gardener´s Universal Calendar, London. In 1726 she translated from French Psychiologia albo krótko zebranie lekcej elementarne o nature i włas.ciwos.ciach duszy.
Awake by 4, she got up between 6 in 7 and went to chapel with all court. Her seat in Siemiatcze was visited in 1780 by Jozef II and in 1782 by the great Prince Pawl and his wife. She died February 7, 1800 in Ostrog.
Wiktoria Leszczyńska (18th century)
From Wileńszczyzno, Wiktoria's father was an artist. She married a nobleman. They was financial problems so she started a theater in 1765. The first Polish play was performed in this theater. She ran the theater with Antonia Prusinowska until 1767 when they received a pension of 2 000. About their later life, nothing known.
Urszula Łazarewiczowa (1740- after 1795)
Born in 1740 in Lwow, her husband was a tradesmen from Lwow or citizen in Warsaw. After his death, she continued his business. She knew French so she opened a great dress shop with Brami Krakowska. In 1792 she employed 17 women and 5 men. It was only one mode atelier (?) but another Franciszka Bottowa. After 1795 we have no information about her.
Maria Witemberska (1768-1854)
Born March 15, 1768 in Warsaw as a daughter of general Adam Czartoryski and Izabelaz Flemingów, she was educated in Puława, one of two small islands of Polish culture. She had a French governess and many teachers. When she fell in love with her teacher Francizsek Dionizy Kniazńin, she was married against her will to Fryderyk Ludwik, Prince of Wirtenberg - Montbeliard, a Prussian general mayor and kinsmen of Fridrych II, a brother of a great Russian princess. He was a rude and cruel man and after the war with Russia in 1792, he was sent to exile as traitor. She spent some time in a monastery in Warsaw waiting for divorce. In 1793 she was free but she lost her son Adam Karol Wilhem who was born in 1792. After her divorce, she stayed in Puława a Sieniawa to help her mother. They founded a Warsaw charity organization, Towqarzystwo Dobroczynności in 1814, and in 1816, she anonymously published a novel, Malwina, czyli domyślność serca which was dedicated to her brother Adam Jerzy Czartoryski. Thereafter, she wrote four other novels, all less successful that the first one.
Her great tragedy occured on March 3, 1831 when Puławy was taken by her only son Adam Karol Wilhielm Wirtemberski, a general in the service of the Russian Mikolaj I. After the death of her mother, she moved to Paris where she supported emigration . She contacted with her son and changed his opinions. After the death of her sister Zofia in 1837 she stayd with her brother Adam Jerzy Czartoryski. She died in Paris 21. pazd. 1854.
Izabela Czartoryska (1746 - 1835)
Born March 3, 1746 in Warsaw as a daughter of Jerzy Flemming and Antonina Czatoryska, she married the older Adam Kazimirz Czartoryski who was very rich when she was 17 years old. He cared about her education. She was famous not only for her love of adventure but also for her connections with scientists. She was interested in politics, too. A supporter of the Prussian party in elections, she was satisfied with the new constitution in 3. 3. After the Third Partition of Poland, she began working on Polish cultural activities, establishing the first national museum in Poland. She collected things such as swords of Grunwald and a sword of Stefan Batory. W Puławach organized a theater and supported poets and artists. She wrote a history of Poland Pielgrzym w Dobromilu in 1817.
All of her 6 children she educated as a Polish patriots. Her daughter Maria, married to a Wirtemberg prince who wanted her to abandon her thoughts of Poland, found her mother's home open to her. The sons of her daughter Zofia took part in the 1831 rebellion. In 1831 her great-grandson, son of Ludwik Wirtenberski, who was educated by his father, attacked the palace in Puława, and as a reward for this the Czartoryska family took part in rebellion. She and her daughters escaped only with some of their most valuable possessions. She died 17. czerwca 1835 in Vienna. They called her "Spartan Mother" or "the Mother of Fatherland."
Agnieszka Truskolaska (1755-1831)
Born in 1755 in Warsaw, Agnieszka was 15 when she married Tomasz Truskolaski. In 1774, she began playing in Narodowy Theater with her husband and continued to play until 1811. She played in Lwow, Lublin, Poznan, Gdańsk. For a while, they had a theater of their own, even performing plays in Polish. Agnieszka was also an opera singer. Her daughter Jósefa Ledóchowska was also a famous actress. Her husband died in 1794 and she died October 30, 1831.
Reference: Mirosława Olszewska, 101 kobiet polskich, Warsaw 1988, pp. 92-95
Anna Rajecka (1762 - 1832)
King Stanislaw August established an art institute in Krakow under the leadership of Italian Marcello Bacciarelli. The group included Bernardo Belotto called Canaletto, Givanni Batista Lampi, Jósef Grassi, Jan Piotr Norblinde la Gourfaine, Antoni Brodowski and Aleksandet Orłowski. Born in Warsaw in 1762 into an artistic family, Rajecka's father Jósef Rajecki painted for Bishop A.S. Grabowski during the years 1741-48. Her mother, from Krzywego Koło, was also probably a painter. Her brother, too, was painter. She started to study art from her family and, later, she was the only woman to study in king's palace school. She studied under Marcello Bacciarelli and thanks to him, she had a stipend to continue her study in abroad. She painted portraits using pastels. In 1783 she left for Paris where she stayed with Mrs. Lorito in Louver and probably studied under Baptiste Greuz. In 1783 Xavier of Saxony asked her to paint a portrait of a Saxon princess. In her own time, she was famous for her popular Rococo miniatures. In 1788 she married a French painter and historian of art, Gault de Saint Germain. She signed her work Gault de Saint Germain born Rajecka. Later she lost her eyesight and died unknown in Paris in 1832.
Maria Szymanowska (1789-1831)
Maria Agata was born December 14, 1789 from a Samonon ben Elisz family called Szloma z Rohatych. The entire family converted to Catholicism in 1759. Her father, Francizek Wołowski, had a brewery in Warsaw. Her mother, Barbara Lanckorońska, was well educated. They taught her to dance, to play piano, and to speak foreign languages. After two years of lessons, her teacher, Antonin LIsowski, advised them to find her better teacher than he. So she studied for four years under Tomasz Gremm. She not only played music, she composer music, and gave organized concerts. She was also a good painter.
Jósef Elsner, Franciszek Lesel. Karol KurpińskiI were among the visitors to her parent's house. When the French soldiers arrived in Warsaw, Eloy de Vice and Pierre J. Rode, pianist Daniel Steielt and opera composer Ferdynand Paér were among their guests. Her parents, seeing her talent, sent her to Paris in 1810. The director of the Paris conservatory dedicated her Fantazja for piano. After her return, on March 21, 1810, she married Jósef Szymanowsky and tried to be a good wife for 10 years, spending summers in Otwock and winters in Warsaw. At her parents' salon, she met Gasapro Spontini, Jan Ladslav Disika (a Czech pianist and composer), August Klengel, the Italian singer Angelica Katalan, and a son of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. After five years of marriage, she decided on an art career, beginning with a concert at the Vienna Congress. Tzar Alexander was enchanted and invited her to St. Petersburg. Although she was a great success, her husband and parents were not happy, especially her husband who wanted to see her in the house. So they separated. She wanted to educate her three children alone. For two years, she practiced the piano and on April 2, 1822 began playing in Moscow and June 17 in St. Petersburg. The concerts were attended by Tzar Alexander and his wife. At the end of 1822, she received the title "First Lady Piano Player of Her Highness Tzarina Elizabeth Alexandrowna and Maria Fiodorvna". With her sister Kazimita and her brother Stanoslaw she traveled throughout Europe. Her title opened doors for her in Warsaw, St. Petersburg, Moscow, Riga, Wilno, Kiev, Lwow, Poznan, Drezden, Wroclav, Vienna, Berlin, Genev, Pariz, Mediolan, Parma, Florence, Rome, and London. On August 5, 1823 she gave a concert in Marianske Lazne where she met Gothe, who wrote Am Madame Marie Szymanowska (Asssoechnung). She was in Berlin on December 10, 1823 and in January 1824. One of her concerts was for Fredrick William III and his court. She had concerts in London before George IV, too. She composed minuets, polonaise, mazurkas, nocturne, fantazje, etudes. In 1816 Karol Kurpińskishe dedicated one of his work to her, as did Jan Nepomucen Hummel in 1822. She was in contact with John Field, Felix Mendelssohn, Bartholdy, Fredrick Chopin, and Michal Glinka. Polish emigrants loved her.
After 1827, she lived in St. Petersburg, ending her public concerts in 1828. She hosted a salon where she meet Alexander Puskin, Michal Glinka, and Adam Mickiewicz, whom she helped to get a passport and who later married her younger daughter Celina. She died 25 July 1831 in St. Petersburg.
Wanda Malecka (1800-1860)
Born in 1800 into a noble family of Fryze, Wanda married Klemens Malecki who was interested in literature. She was the first woman in Poland to print a newspaper. When she was 18 years old she began editing Domownik which was handwritten because she did not have enough money for printing. She edited her newspaper until May 3, 1820. Only some fragment have survived, having been reprinted in Wanda's Literature Weekly for the Fair Sex edited by Brono, Count Kacoński. Her husband liked literature and tried to write poetry. For a short time in 1823, he edited Daily for Politics, Business, Industry and Agriculture. She wrote for Wanda and tried to raise money a woman's journal. In 1822 she was able to start Bronisława, czyli Pamietniki polek. It was supposed be a weekly but it was irregularly printed. She explained it by her bad health but the real cause was lack of money. In the end only 4 volumes were published and the newspaper ended in 1823. In 1828 - 29 she again tried to edit Wanda and changed its name to Tygodnik Nadwiślański. From 1826 until 1831 she printed Wybór romansów. After she started to translated from French and English, she received the cooperatation of the journalists B Kiciński and F. S. Dmochowsku. She wrote a poem "Wanda" about the heroic death of Wanda, a legendary daughter of Krak. She also wrote the novels Teraz dopiero kocham prawdziwie , Opuszona, and Fabiana without great success. She died on October 22, 1860. Marcelina Czartoryska (1817-1894)
Born May 18, 1817 in Podłużne na Polesi as a daughter of Michał Radziwiłł a Emilia z Worcellów, her mother died when she was only 5 years old. Educated in Wien (Vienna) by her grandmother Marcelina Worcellowa, her musical talent was nurtured by her good teachers. In 1840 she married Prince Aleksander Romuald Czartoryski, a supporter of Towarysteo Muzyczne in Krakow. They generally stayed in Vienna where they supported their Polish countryman. Because of their Polish sympathies and contacts, they were ordered to leave Austria. So they moved to Paris where she studied music. She met and studied under Chopin. She helped to get his papers to his family after his death on in 17 pazd, 1849. Under threat of property confiscation, in 1850 she was ordered to return to St. Petersburg with her son who was born in 1841 in Paris. She traveled alone and obtained permission to travel abroad for 6 month after selling her property on Russian territory. In 1852 she was again in Paris where she had a house open to both French and Poles. Her guests included Verner, Scheffer, Delaroche, Ingresm Delacroiix, Gounoudm Tellesfen, Viardot-Garcia. She had contacts with Adam Czartorysky and his son Wkadislaw Czartoryski. She started to publicly perform, especially works by Chopin, earning money for charity. She became famous for her performances of Chopin, giving concerts in Paris, London, Wien, Ponznan, Lwow, and Krakow. She had concerts with Franciszek List, Paulina Viardot-Garcia, August Franchromme, and Henri Vieuxtemps. In 1858 and 1859 she gave concerts in Krakow, later being forced to leave the town by Austrian authorities. She returned in 1867 to Lwow and, later, to Krakow, too. In Krakow, as in Paris, she had an open house for literary and artistic friends. On March 25, 1882 she gave a concert in Krakow with Helena Modrzejewska. She help to found the Konservatorium in Krakow. After her husbands death in 1886, she spent rest of life working for various charities, supporting the hospital of St. Luis in Krakow, a convent in Krakow, house of St. Jadwiga in Krakow and interants in Lwow. She died 5 czerwna 1894 in Krakow.
Narcyza Żmychowska (1819-1876)
Żmychowska was born in Warsaw March 4, 1819 to a not very rich, alibiet noble, family. Her father was a Jan and he took part in rebellion under Kościuszko. Her mother was Wiktoria z Kiedrzyńskych and died after her birth. So she was educated by kinsmen, ending up in the school of Zuzanna Wilczyńska and the Institut Guwernantek in Warsaw in 1835, eventually working there as a teacher. She did not have enough money to start her own school and her father's job did not pay well enough to allow him to support her, too. So, in 1838 she left for Paris with the Zamoyski family. In Reims she met her brother who emigrated because of his political activity. In 1839 she took part in illegal activities with Edward Dembroski and Skimborowicz. She moved in a group along with Emilia Gosselin, Anna Skimborowicz, Zofia Wégierska, Wincenta Zabłocka, Izabela Zbigniewska, Paulina Zbyszewska, Karel Baliński, Eleonora Ziemécka, Edward Dembrowski, Henryk Kamieński, Jan Majorkiewich, and Hippolit Skimborowicz. In 1843 for the first time she was in Poznaň where she wanted to found a school for Polish girls, but the Prussian authority did not permit her to do so. There she met Bibiana Moraczwska and Julia Woykowska. In 1846 she returned to Warsaw where she continued her illegal activity, helping prisoners and teaching of workers. She was arrested and spent 3 years in nunnery in Lublin. After returning toWarsaw she became interested in education for women. She started courses for young women. The time before 1863 was best in her life. In 1861 some of her works were printed. After 1862 she was a teacher of geography, so she had some money. In her articles published in the press, she advocated for women schools. In 1867 she visited Paris and prepared for print the works of Klementyna z Ta´mskich Hoffmanowa, criticizing her conservative view of women's role. She wrote Men's Letters: A Source of Knowledge; or This Time For Us". In 1846 she wrote her best-known novel Poganka (Pagan) , in 1861 Biała rosa (A White Rose) and in 1877 Czy tp powieść. She was a subject of sharp attacks from religious critics. She stayed alone, rejecting a proposal from the astronomy Jan Baranowski. In her diary she wrote "For a long time, I knew that a women - not rich, not beautiful and the mote and writer must have no hope for marriage according her heart." She spent the end of her life in poverty and died in Warsaw on December 25, 1876.
Zofia Bukoweicka (1844 - 1920)
Born on May 28, 1844 in Brzozowa to an impoverished gentry family as a daughter of Konstant Konarsky and Aleksandra z Jaseńskich, Bukoweicka married Ludwig Bukowiecky who was as a doctor under Langiewicz in a time of revolution.. Together, they worked in hospital in Opatowie. After the revolution ended, they ran to Krakow. Luckily, there was no repression. In 1869 her husband died. She worked as a teacher and took care of her sister's children. In 1885 she moved into Warsaw where she had a literary journal. She signed her articles Jaskółka. Her best work, Historia o Janku Górniku, was written in 1891-96 when she lived with her son Stanisław in Dabrowo and where she was a teacher. Her son became blind so she moved to Warsaw looking for help. She died on March 20, 1920 after Poland attained its independence.
Helena Cholewicka (1848 - 1883)
Born on January 20, 1848 in Warsaw, Cholewicka entered the Warsaw ballet school. She began dancing in 1864. She danced the main role in Sylfidza. Successful, in 1867 she recieved a stipend to study abroad. She studied in Paris where one of her teachers was the Italian Maria Taglioni. Returning in 1868, she became the prima ballerina. In 1873 she received a gold medal from the theater San Carlo in Naples. She danced with the Vienna opera. She danced Jadwiga in Pan Twardowski, Freya in Godess of Walhall, Melusinei... But she was ill. Visits to countries further south did not help. In 1878 she wanted to leave the theater but the director Sergius Muchanow, husband of Maria Kalergis, did not allow her to go. So she danced three years. Her last performance was March 11, 1881. In 1882 a special dance was performed for her benefit, but she was not able to dance any more. She had financial problems - no pension. In 1883, after intervention in Peterbutg, she received a small pension probably with help of Maria Kalergis. She died December 12, 1883 in Nice.
Jósefa Chybińska (1857 - 1890)
Born in 1857, Chybińska remained independent after becoming a widow. Interested in physics and electronics, she went to study in Zurich. Finishing her studies in 1889, she went to work in an international program in Stockholm. Her dissertation was in French about electronics. Believing in a great future before her, she died at her brother Teofil's estate in 1890, a year after receiving her degree.
Sunshine for Women encourages you to support our feminist sisters by purchasing their books, reading them, disseminating the ideas they contain, but most especially, by making their book available to our sisters, our daughters, and the community at large by requesting your school library, your public library, and area bookstores to carry their books. Remember it is not enough to write literature, history, and theology, we must pass these works on to future generations. Help us to preserve these works for a new generation by putting them on library bookshelves.
last updated September 2000