Frank William Boreham 1871-1959

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

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Boreham's Dominant Theme

F W Boreham’s Unifying Theme
While he framed and illustrated it in various ways, ‘All the blessings of life’ was clearly the dominant subject of F W Boreham’s writing and preaching, the unconscious unifying ‘message’ in his many themes, and, judging by his autobiographical writings, the passion and mainspring of his life.

Consumed by a Thirst
Frank Boreham once said of Charles Dickens, “Nobody can read Dickens’ first great novel without feeling that, in delineating Mr Pickwick, he was thoroughly enjoying himself. His pen seems to romp across the pages … herein lies the charm and strength of Dickens … enamoured of life … real life … never hampered by a theory … consumed by a thirst”.[1] The theme, ‘All the blessings of life’, captures the enjoyment that Boreham seemed to experience in his writing and the same exuberant note that was characteristic of his editorials, essays and sermons.

Overflowing into Service
Exemplifying this overriding theme and expressing the way he believed the experience of the richness of life should overflow into service, Boreham said: “Like the gentle Elia, ‘I find this world a very pretty place to live in,’ and standing here, beside my golden milestone, I have tried to point out a few of the things that make it so lovable. If something I have said makes somebody somewhere more glad to be alive, I shall be inclined to forgive this truant pen of mine its inordinate garrulity”.[2]

Geoff Pound

Image: ‘this truant pen of mine…’

[1] F W Boreham, Mercury, 28 March 1936.
[2] F W Boreham, The golden milestone (London: The Epworth Press, 1915), 9. ‘Elia’ was the pseudonym of the English essayist, Charles Lamb (1775-1834).