Frank William Boreham 1871-1959

Frank William Boreham 1871-1959
A photo F W Boreham took of himself in 1911

Monday, September 04, 2006

Boreham on Cultivating Adventure

Inspiring Books
Repeatedly F W Boreham wrote that an adventurous mind was best cultivated by the reading of books.[1] Many of his editorials were intended to inspire readers to be adventurous through stories of people who sailed uncharted waters,[2] explored new regions,[3] invented new means,[4] pushed back scientific frontiers[5] or struck out along a new literary line.[6]

Stimulate Freshness in Relationships
Beyond the value of books to foster an adventurous spirit Boreham advocated stimulating freshness in relationships. He urged young people to “preserve some point of contact with the mellowing wisdom and ripe experience of old age” and he encouraged senior adults “to resolve to spend a certain amount of their time in the society of young men and maidens, and even of little children”.[7]

Enrichment of Travel
Many times Boreham wrote about the potential for travel to open people up to new vistas.[8] One of the principal gains in travel was “the sense of contact with history and antiquity” and a “certain mental expansion and intellectual exhilaration in looking upon new horizons and drinking in visions of unfamiliar beauty”.[9] Quoting the explorers Mungo Park and Charles Darwin, Boreham said the tourist will return “enriched by moral gains” which he understood as the acquisition of wholesome character traits. During war time when international travel was restricted, Boreham spoke positively of the value of “narrowing horizons” and appreciating the territory nearby, even the parts with which people thought they were already most familiar.[10] While the practices of fostering the sense of adventure through reading, people contact and travel were mentioned by Boreham as examples of what an individual could do, there are inferences that these measures might be also encouraged by parents, educators and politicians.

Geoff Pound

Image: Yours truly, taking Boreham's advice and travelling through Italy.

[1] Boreham, Mercury, 25 January 1930.
[2] Sea explorers include James Cook, Mercury, 13 July 1935; George Bass, Mercury, 4 January 1941; John Franklin, Mercury, 4 April 1936.
[3] Land explorers included Thomas Mitchell, Mercury, 13 June 1936; Hamilton Hume, Mercury, 11 October 1924.
[4] Inventors include Thomas Edison, Mercury, 1 February 1947; James Watt, Mercury, 27 September 1940.
[5] Scientists include Lord Kelvin, Mercury, 18 December 1937; Antoine Lavoisier, Mercury, 15 May 1954.
[6] Boreham, Mercury, 15 March 1924.
[7] Boreham, Mercury, 16 August 1941.
[8] Boreham, Mercury, 27 March 1954.
[9] Boreham, Mercury, 29 November 1930.
[10] Boreham, Mercury, 28 June 1919.