Skip to main content

Search LearnTheBible

Fanny Crosby Hated Math

Fanny Crosby (1820-1915), the blind lady who wrote many of the hymns in our hymnbooks, did not take well to math in school. "Mathematics was a ‘great monster’ to her… Fanny was less than enthusiastic about this subject. ‘I have never been a very good hater,’ she said later in life, ‘even when the best material was provided for the purpose; but I found myself an adept at the art of loathing, when it came to the Science of Numbers.’ She managed to learn addition and subtraction. Multiplication was harder, and when it came to division Fanny balked entirely… Anna Smith, who later became one of Fanny’s most intimate friends, was teaching her—or trying to teach her—arithmetic. After two days of multiplication, she had to admit that her pupil had learned absolutely nothing…" With pressure from the school superintendent, "Fanny got down to work and managed to learn the multiplication tables. Then Anna got to division. There Fanny’s ‘patience failed,’ She was one of those persons who just cannot learn mathematics, no matter how hard they try… The superintendent then wisely decided that Fanny could better spend her time in other studies, so he excused her from taking more arithmetic. ‘From that hour I was a new creature,’ Fanny recalled more than seventy years later. ‘What a nightmare I was escaping!’ "