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352 MOSZCZEŃSKA, Iza (Izabela MoszczeńskaRzepecka ) (1864–1941) Polish publicist, suffragist, educator and social/political activist involved in the international women’s movement. Pseudonyms: M. Bell, Izydor Brzłkowski, Dora, I. M., M. Iza Moszczeńska was born on 28 October 1864, into a noble family from Great Poland (the historical name for the Polish territories then incorporated into the Prussian State under the so-called Prussian partition). She was born on the family estate of Rzeczyca, the daughter of Alfons Moszczeński (1816–1890) and his second wife Eufemia, born Krukowiecka (b. ca. 1838). Iza Moszczeńska had three sisters and one brother: Zofia (b. ca. 1860), Anna (ca. 1865–ca. 1878), Cesia (b. 1866) and Jan (b. 1870). Like many female members of the Polish intelligentsia unable to afford an expensive education abroad, Moszczeńska studied at home. (Women in the Prussian and the Russian parts of Poland could not enter higher education institutions. In the 1890s, universities in Lviv and Cracow, in the autonomous province of Galicia, admitted women to their faculties of medicine and philosophy). In 1878, Moszczeńska moved to Warsaw to attend Jadwiga Sikorska’s boarding school for girls, well known for its innovative approach to girls’ education. However in 1880, family financial troubles forred her to end her education before graduating, and she continued her studies alone at home. In this period, she read John Stuart Mill, Herbert Spencer and Henry T. Buckle, as well as learning Polish, English, German and French fluently. Before 1890, Iza Moszczeńska lived on the family estate at Rzeczyca, where she taught the children of the village and wrote her first articles for the Tygodnik Poznański (Poznan weekly), the Wielkopolanin (Pole from Great Poland) and Kurier Codzienny (Daily courier). In the years 1884 to 1889, she kept a personal diary in which she recorded her views on women’s emancipation and democracy. From 1880 to 1890, she traveled to Warsaw several times to attend lectures at ‘the Flying University ,’ a secret academy established by Jadwiga Szczawińska-Dawidowa for young women unable to afford a university education outside Poland. In 1890, after her father’s death and the forced sale of their family estate, Moszczeńska moved to Warsaw (at that time under Russian rule), where she and her mother established an illegal secondary boarding school for girls. (After the January Uprising of 1863 against Russia , the tsarist authorities prevented Poles from setting up private schools and associations .) In 1894, Moszczeńska married Kazimierz Rzepecki, editor of the newspaper Goniec Wielkopolski (Great Poland courier), and they moved to Poznan where she worked as co-editor of the Goniec Wielkopolski and participated in the social activities of women’s organizations in Great Poland, including the Warta Educational Associa- 353 tion (named after the Warthe river) and the Czytelnia dla kobiet (Reading Room for Women), established in the 1880s. Moszczeńska’s activism, modernism and anticlericalism provoked criticism from her husband’s family, leading her to break off contact with them. From then on, Moszczeńska used her maiden name for public activities. In 1896, she attended the International Women’s Congress in Berlin, where she delivered a talk on Polish women’s activities under Russian partition. In 1897, the Rzepeckis moved to Lviv (in Galicia in the Habsburg Monarchy). Moszczeńska wrote for the Lviv newspapers Kurier Lwowski (Lviv courier) and Słowo Polskie (Polish word). She cooperated with Galician activists from the women’s movement, whose campaign for women’s voting rights she strongly supported. In 1898, Moszczeńska and her husband took up residence in Warsaw, where they cooperated closely with members of the Polish Socialist Party (Moszczeńska under the pseudonym of ‘Dora’). After the sudden death of her husband in 1902, she was forced to earn a living for herself and her two children: daughter Hanna (b. 1895) and son Jan (b. 1899). Despite financial difficulties and lack of support from her husband ’s family, she entered a period of prolific writing and other public activities after 1902, publishing translations of W. James’ Pogadanki psychologiczne (Talks on psychology ) in 1902 and Ellen Key’s Stulecie dziecka (The century of the child) in 1904. She published in the progressive socio-political newspapers Głos (Voice), Kuźnica (Forge) and Krytyka (Criticism), as well as in Przegląd Pedagogiczny (Pedagogical review). Her articles also appeared in the feminist Nowe Słowo (New word), a periodical published in Cracow from 1902 to 1907, and in...


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