Lucyna Cwierczakiewiczowa

* 1829 (Warsaw) 26.02.1901 (Warsaw) Poland
Fields of activity: cook, social activist
Author: Halina Miksa, Czesław Miksa, Maria Sondej

Lucyna Cwierczakiewiczowa

»There is only one Shakespeare and one Ćwierczakiewiczowa«

Why I consider this woman to be an important person

Lucyna Ćwierczakiewiczowa was the first woman who succeeded as the author of cooking recipes and instructions. Hygienic rules professed by her were among the most progressive in the second half of the nineteenth century. Promoting healthy diet, exercises and gymnastics, she was ahead of her time and became the precursor of today's lifestyle. She was also a social activist. She often spoke about the role of education in the lives of women and their importance in the popularization of the healthy diet and healthy lifestyle.


She was born in Warsaw in 1829 (or in 1826) in a Calvinist family of von Bachman. She was educated at home. She was married early, divorced, and soon the age of 23 remarried, this union was long and happy.

Her first book (The only practical recipes for all pantry stock and cake baking) was issued in 1858. Two years later she released a second book: 365 dinners for five zlotys, which gained immense popularity and has been repeatedly issued. During the life of the author 24 issues of the book  appeared in of the total of 130 thousand copies, further copies appear in Poland even today.

Ćwierczakiewiczowa became a culinary authority in all three annexations and one of the richest people in Warsaw. In 1883, as fees she received as much as (84 thousand rubles the value of three estates).

On Polish territory culinary literature was developed earlier, but it was Ćwierczakiewiczowa who in her recipes refers to chemistry and physics, encourages readers to apply technical innovations, urges for cleanliness and tidiness. Always refers to her own practice.

In 1865 she started cooperation with a women's magazine “ Ivy” and nearly for 30 years edited there a popular domestic column and a fashion addition. In 1875 she begins to issue a calendar for women Carol for housewives, which includes descriptions of house work, and articles on gardening, medicine, hygiene, etc. She writes more guides, becomes an authority in every area of daily life. Not pretty and obese she becomes a celebrity. Confidence and culinary talent she supports with attention to business: her marketing skills were ahead of her time.

She was broad-minded and well-read, knew the languages. Sensitive to the plight of other people she helped, without expecting anything in return. After the fall of the January Uprising she turns to charity. Raises funds for the needy, sews mourning dresses, supports the wives of the arrested, and obtains visits for the prisoners. She does it quietly, the majority of her actions were known only after her death.

Lucyna Ćwierczakiewiczowa was also active in the social issues: she demanded access to education for women (also poor). She wanted to create schools of women's work for them, and she encouraged the ladies of the society to give free lessons. She helped the poor students, in her will she left a quite lot to them for scholarships. She advised women how to dress and how to save, urged Poles to cleanliness and tidiness. It is hard to overestimate her work.



  • Jan Kalkowski. Wstęp do: Lucyna Ćwierczakiewiczowa, 365 obiadów, KAW, 1985
  • Piotr Adamczewski. Cała Ćwierczakiewiczowa, (available 10.02.2013)
  • Ewa Czerniakowska. Lucyna Ćwierczakiewiczowa. Przyczynek do historii czasopiśmiennictwa polskiego, (available 8.02.2013)
  • Izabela Wodzińska. Lucyna Ćwierczakiewiczowa (1826-1901). Kobieta niekonwencjonalna. (available 8.02.2013)
  • Izabela Wodzińska. W walce ze stereotypami. Zdrowie i higiena kobiet w kalendarzach Lucyny Ćwierczakiewiczowej., (available 10.02.2013)
  • Anna Włodarczyk. Kucharka [w:] Wysokie obcasy (bezpłatny dodatek do „Gazety Wyborczej”, nr 30, 28 lipca 2012


Photo source

Weekly „Wysokie Obcasy” 31.07.2012,53662,12206598,Femme_terrible_Lucyna_Cwierczakiewiczowa_i_365_obiadow.html, Rights: The consent to place the photo of the picture on the website www.unless-women.eungiven by Agata Nowicka who is the author .