Frank William Boreham 1871-1959

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

Friday, April 06, 2007

How Publishing Success Blunted Boreham’s Prophetic Edge

During the Armadale years (1916-1928), the growing national and international success of F W Boreham’s publications that derived from his sermons and editorials was a crucial factor that greatly affected the subject and style of his newspaper editorials. The need to satisfy the demands of his publisher and his large international readership diminished the local content of his editorials and their connectedness with a particular time.

In 1924, Boreham revealed his awareness of this disconnection and justified his commitment to “a certain detachment,” saying this was a mark of “classical poetry.”[1] His publishing demands and the desire that his writing did not “embalm the spirit of a particular period” were understandable but resulted in a major detachment from the time and place of his readers. This move limited the freshness and directness of his editorial conversation and weakened the prophetic element in his writings.

Geoff Pound

Image: The Armadale Church, Melbourne.

[1] Boreham, Mercury, 5 April 1924.