Frank William Boreham 1871-1959

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

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Boreham on Being Real

Desire to Taste Life’s Delicacies
The insatiable appetite to taste life’s delicacies was interpreted by F W Boreham as one of the drives behind the human capacity to realize its full expression. Moreover, it explained his passion for history which he regarded as “the reflection of real life”. He did not consider the lust for life as a selfish desire that resulted in a hoarding of life’s treasure. On the contrary, Boreham testified that the pursuit of life triggered a further desire to share life’s wealth, saying, “Life has been so sweet to me that I like to mark the relish with which others tell their enjoyment of it”.[1]

Intoxicated by Life’s Joys
This need to share and experience the joy of readers’ response may explain the motivation and the endurance that Boreham exhibited in his marathon literary career. Although rejoicing in the generosity of life that ensured there was always an abundant supply for all, it is surprising to find Boreham, the ardent teetotaler and prohibition campaigner, writing about the “intoxicating”[2] joy of life and declaring “the richest wine in the chalice of life still waits their thirsty lips”.[3]

Keep in Touch With Reality
One of the dominant notes in F W Boreham’s editorials was stimulated by the deeper theme of the magnetism of life. Announcing that “Drama can only hold the hearts so long as it keeps in touch with reality,”[4] Boreham then turned from the stage and sounded this call and warning to all the professions:

“If it be true, as it undoubtedly is, that the actor tends to become artificial, it is no less true that the poet tends to become fanciful, the philosopher hypothetical, the scientist chimerical, the schoolmaster theoretical, the artist technical, and the clergyman cloistral”.

Religion Must Deal With Realities
Reserving his harshest warning for the religious sphere, Boreham said, “The Church cannot afford to lose herself ... in a golden haze of nebulous speculation. Religion is of use to a real world only so far as it deals with realities”.

Concluding his editorial with an affirmation about life’s magnetism, Boreham said, “‘We were made by Thee and for Thee,’” cried Augustine, “‘and our hearts can only find rest when they find their rest in Thee’”.[5]

Geoff Pound

Image: “Drama can only hold the hearts so long as it keeps in touch with reality.”

[1] F W Boreham, The other side of the hill, 173.
[2] F W Boreham, Mercury, 21 May 1932.
[3] F W Boreham, Mushrooms on the moor (London: The Epworth Press, 1915), 105.
[4] F W Boreham, Mercury, 24 September 1955.
[5] F W Boreham, Mercury, 24 September 1955.